Finishing strong

Has there ever been a job, pursuit, or role in your life that required you to dig down deep and finish strong? Two current things come to mind for me. I am in the midst of working hard to finish well both a book and the role of active parenting. Obviously, one has higher stakes, but both are often on my heart and mind these days.

Writing a book about my parenting and faith journey requires a great deal of my time and energy. I am a rookie author. I warmed up by creating a blog almost five years ago. But authoring an entire book is a different ball game. After going it alone for a time, I hired a coach who is pushing me to be more honest and vulnerable. He encourages me to dig deeper, and this book will be much better because of our interactions. 

 Just like on the field, warm ups in my writing are important.

Just like on the field, warm ups in my writing are important.

 Huddling up with others is also helpful.

Huddling up with others is also helpful.

 And then we play the game.

And then we play the game.

Recently through a series of timely and surprising interactions, an opportunity that I have been searching for came to light. In April, I am going to be trained by Circle of Security International – an early intervention program for parents and children. With all of the personal parenting shifts I have made, this offers me a chance to continue to share my story and learning with others. It is very exciting….but there are things that I need to complete before jumping to this next thing – specifically my book.

On the home front of active parenting, this too requires a great deal of my focus, energy, and time. Though at times it is tempting to sit back and “let it roll” at this point in the journey, my daughters deserve better than that. It is hard work to pay attention and be attuned to the needs of my teenage girls . The age of thirteen is not when the majority of the warm fuzzies of parenting take place (possibly the understatement of the century!). This phase requires commitment and at times a dive into the depths of my soul. Sure it would be easiest to let my kids isolate themselves in their rooms with their electronics, but there are important parenting tasks during these days. It will require creativity and sometimes a different approach on my end. I desire to finish strong.

 Our early days together. I had so very much to learn.

Our early days together. I had so very much to learn.

When I am weary and exhausted as a mom, I use the same strategy I take as an author. I ask others to come alongside and share the journey. I am reading and discussing the book Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions Into Adulthood with fellow moms. I talk to friends who have traveled this road before me as well as those who are right in the thick of parenting teens. I access the professionals within my network and get feedback on healthy relationships.

It seems that the key to finishing strong is to realize that “I am not alone.” I am grateful for all those who come alongside as I walk various paths. How about you? Is there something you hope to finish strong? What have you found most encourages you when motivation wanes? I’d love to hear from you.

PS  As I wrote this, I looked back over our family's story in photographs. This also motivates me to dig deep, do the hard work, and finish strong. Here are a few motivators: