Dear Kids, You can’t be anything you want to be.

Dear Kids,

I know this is weird coming from your mother, but I’m here to tell you that you CANNOT be anything you want to be. As it turns out, there are lots of things you probably won’t be any good at. And that’s a good thing. It is true that Life is about discovering what you were meant for…about hearing your whisper. But, discovering who you really are, is mostly a process of elimination: Discovering who you are NOT. The good news is: you have a gift. The bad news is: you’re gonna have to cross some things off your list to find it.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” E.E. Cummings

In discovering who I am, how God made me, I have discovered a few things I am not:

I am terrible at math. And I am a terrible math guesser. If you ask me to guess or estimate any quantity, I will likely give you a ridiculous answer. And I certainly cannot do simple math in my head. When I run out of fingers I am screwed. Yes, you should strive to learn math because it is necessary (most of it), but I am really ok with the fact that I stink at it. I have a phone. With a calculator. I’m good. (Vocations to avoid if you are bad at math: Accounting, Engineering, any business really, etc.)

I am not a good organizer. When I see clutter I see trash, NOT potential. I am the opposite of a hoarder because I am a thrower-away-er. Mostly because I don’t know where to put things!! I can stick to systems but I cannot myself CREATE systems by which to keep my life in order. I stink at it. Once we had a house cleaner who while cleaning, brought me a box of my own items and said in broken English, “Dis does not belong in kitchen”. Tears welled up as I whined in perfect English, “But where does it gooooooooo?” Organization and Administrative duties are a no go for me. (Vocations to avoid if you are organization-averse: ANY office job, Any receptionist job, being a mom. Kidding. Kind of.)

...and gardening...I am apparently no good at gardening.
…and gardening…I am apparently no good at gardening.

I have no eye for style. I have absolutely NO idea what colors go together and what textures go together and what is acceptable decorating taste. Period. I can however look at magazines. When I see a picture I can get the picture. With my wardrobe I will just try to recreate the exact outfit the model in the magazine is wearing. In decorating my home, I am a slave to Pinterest. My brain just CANNOT envision what would look good on my own. I have a friend who is has a beautiful home. Every room is tastefully and immaculately decorated with meaningful galleries, full of just the right mix of color, texture and nostalgia. I hate her. Totally kidding. I envy her. BUT, I have come to the realization that I am ok that I have to look to magazines and Pinterest for (step-by-step) inspiration. It’s not my “thing”. (Vocations to avoid if you are style-averse: Decorator, Fashion Designer, Reality TV Anybody, Homemaker. Kidding about that last one again.)

Animals. I think they are cool, but I don’t want to be responsible for one. (Vocations to avoid if you are animal averse: Veternanarian, Marine Biologist, Farmer, Animal Planet employee, Dog Trainer, pet owner. Seriously. I don’t want one.)

Serving and bodily functions. I would make a terrible nurse. Don’t call me over if you are sick because I cannot deal with goop. I do have compassion and I will send over a meal, but I can’t stand the sight/smell/ feel of any bodily goop.  When my kids get sick my first thought should be: “Oh no. Bless their heart. My baby is sick.” But my honest first response is: “Oh no. Goop. Bless my heart.” Also- if I sense you are capable of getting your own soup and Kleenex I will encourage you to do so. (Vocations to avoid if you are snot/poop/pike/serving averse: Doctor, Surgeon, Nurse, Janitor, Mother. Dang it. Somethings you just gotta do.)

I have a Business degree from Georgia Tech. That sentence makes me smirk because there is nothing in it that resembles ME. An engineering school (Math), with a business degree (Administrative and more math). What is even funnier (now NOT then) is that right after I graduated, I got a job at an ACCOUNTING OFFICE as a RECEPTIONIST!!! What? I know. Crazy. I was “let go” within a year. Should I have gone to GT? Should I have pursued a different degree? Sigh. Another blog, another day…

2015AMJ 639
I’m not great, but I’m good at being a mom. And I love it.

In Romans, the Bible says, “Be honest in your evaluation of yourself” Exactly. Don’t waste your time doing things you’re not good at! Cross them off the list and MOVE ON! Seriously. And don’t feel bad about it. I’m not saying to avoid learning or challenging yourself, but don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t good at something. Because you ARE good at something. You just have to discover what that thing is: the thing that God put in your heart for you to discover. Your gift.

Gifts are who you are. Gifts come naturally. Talents are great, but gifts are what you need to “do”. Given by God for you to give away to the world. My spiritual gifts are: Encourager (“get up and get your own soup..see??, you’re not THAT sick!”), Teaching and Exhortation. Learn to operate in your gifts and you will be fulfilled. And you can let the list of “things I’m not good at” get longer and smile and think, “I’m doing it. I’m discovering who I am meant to be.” And that takes bravery and honesty. You cannot be anything you want to be, and you SHOULDN’T. Because you are a very unique piece of God’s great puzzle and finding where you fit is heaven on earth.

Keep trying. Keep crossing things off. Keep in Step with the Spirit. And he will lead you to what you were meant for. When the Bible says He will give you the desires of you heart that does not mean he will give you WHAT you want, but He will place the things TO want in your heart. So babies, you cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be your you-iest YOU, and THAT is all you should be.

Love Always,


2 thoughts on “Dear Kids, You can’t be anything you want to be.

  1. So well said Bonnie! You really made the point and the humor made it unforgettable. Keep going, you are such a great writer!

  2. this was a great inspirational read for me! My mom always told me I could be anything I wanted to be if I put my mind to it. I believed her ,and was devastated when it didn’t work out… While I know her intentions were pure and good and encouraging and inspirational they were not realistic! And I feel the same exact way that you do and I love that you put it into words for me to be able to relate to myself and teach my son how to be great at the gifts God placed in him, we will just find them out along the way 😊

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