Anything Worth Doin’…
I don’t know about you, my friend, but I have found it quite maddening humbling to parent a kid who is just. like. me.
No, seriously. It’s been an eye-opener, for sure. Understatement of the century.
Do you know what I mean, dear friend? Did our Sovereign God curse bless you with a kiddo so much like you that your very own parents, the ones that raised you, clothed you, and cared for you, can now only laugh at you? They sit back in their happy-retired-pants and don’t even try to force back a smile, at the reality of their prayers sent up during your childhood, have finally been answered. Gee, thanks Mom and Dad! Although part of me suddenly feels the need to buy you a new car.
May I introduce to you Abigail Caroline Holzberger.
She comes by the middle name honestly, I can tell you that for sure.
She is strong-willed.
She is charming. And she knows it.
She loves people and is always making them laugh.
She never stops talking. Yes, often to herself, and even in her sleep.
She is a methodical mess; surrounded by clutter she doesn’t even see, yet particular and organized about crap that doesn’t matter.
It is her world, and we are just lucky to be living in it.
Her strong-willed spirit was the first clue that this was going to be a bumpy ride. Poor Ryan.
But, coming in as a close second was the philosophy I inadvertently but apparently live by – Anything worth doin’ is worth overdoin’.
Oh, how my close friends could vouch for this time and time again.
She first showed us this trait as an infant with her pacifier issues.
Jacob, my oldest, wouldn’t take a pacifier. No bottle. Nothing. I was a new Mom and was a huge proponent of nursing so I took the La Leche chick’s advice as gospel truth. Then, I didn’t get to go on an evening date with my man for over a year. Live and learn.
With Benjamin, it was different. I was a nursing pro, still very much on board with it, so I knew – I could do this. The doctor said “It’s a boy!” to which I replied, “Praise God! Give that boy a paci.” orsomethinglikethat. So, precious BenBen was fairly dependent on his ‘night-night’ anytime he went to sleep. As the year or two went on, I mayormaynot have put an extra one in there in hopes of him not being able to knock both out of the crib within the same twelve-minute time period.
Then there was sister friend. Lord, help us. There was something about the fact that she was a baby girl, and I had a very traumatic labor No drugs! @#!*! leading to emergency surgery for me, coupled with the fact that her jaundice was so scary bad there for a while, I remember the words “possible brain damage” accidentally being said within my ear shot. Needless to say, she got whatever she wanted for the first few months. And what she wanted was her ‘night-night’. It wasn’t long before it became, not one, but four. That’s right. Somehow, that rascal girl managed to get one into her mouth, while clutching the other three firmly in her chubby little hands just in case one fell through the crib slats.
Look at this sweet girl one day before she left her crib and went to her big girl bed where “big girls don’t get ‘night-nights’.” Poor thing.
But, check her chubby little hands…like I said…Anything worth doin’…
Add some highlights, a few stretch marks, and thirty years to her and you have me.
Same song, different verse.
Some of you may have noticed I’ve been reading a book lately. No, Caroline…you don’t say? I had no idea. Would you mind telling me about it?
Well, friend this book is case in point.
I have posted six or seven times in the last month or so and they have all been pretty much about this book. I tried to warn you people.
Because this book is magic? No.
Because this book is the best thing ever written? No.
Maybe it’s because this book is the answer to everything. No again.
But I do know The Book that is the answer to everything, by the way, in case you are interested.
Here’s the deal. When I loved NKOTB, I loved them big. Like, I had posters on the ceilings, doodled their names on my Trapper Keeper and wore the eight-inch Joey and Jordan buttons on my acid-washed denim jacket. I was sold out.
When I went to college, I had the double-T silver decal on my car, wore the t-shirts all the time, bought the University spirals even though they cost more, (Ok, my folks bought them!) and cheered for their sports teams, despite unending ridicule from, well, pretty much everyone I knew.
Anything worth doin’ is worth overdoin’.
Some people may say I have been overdoin’ the Jen Hatmaker thing. And those some people may be right. I don’t know.
What I do know is this – I can’t un-know what I know. I can’t un-learn what I’ve learned. And any work done in my spirit regarding any of this stuff has been done by the Holy Spirit of My Living God and no one else. Period.
Could I temper my zeal? Maybe. Although I kinda don’t know that for certain. Not sure I’ve ever tried. At least, not about anything that truly mattered.
Should I leave people the heck alone when they ask a simple question like “How’ve you been?” Maybe. Once again, debatable.
I just haven’t ever really had the capacity to like something a ‘little bit’.
Camp. Don’t get me started about camp. I was sold out for a decade and tried to convince everyone I knew they had to come work there for the summer. I still have so many people who know with certainty I won’t answer to anything but Pele.
And that was just three months out of the year.
First time at Joe’s Pizza and Pasta – I was in love. I told anyone who would listen, “Oh my goodness, you have to go there and get the fettucine alfredo and lasagna plate and let the sauces ooze together into a blissful Italian masterpiece! It will seriously change your world. Like, go there today!” Oh how I miss that gluten-filled lunch time blessing.
And y’all, that was pasta. C’mon now.
Do you truly expect ME to read a book that turns out to be a complete game-changer and not be super pumped to include everyone I meet and especially those I love most dear?
Could I be less of a bull in a china shop? Yes. But that’s been true of me since 1979. I like to think I’m better than I was as a toddler.
Could I try my best to have greater finesse than a Mack truck? Absolutely. But, you should have seen me during the couple-skate song at Jamie’s Skating rink in the late ‘80s. Finesse ain’t never been my thang.
But there’s one thing I can be, and that’s authentic. What you see is ab-so-lute-ly what you get with me. Like it or not. And I guess, for now, I would just like to humbly and truly apologize to those people whose feelings I’ve hurt during this journey. I mean it – I never meant to hurt anyone.
I was raised with the truth that “if an apology is followed by a ‘but’, it is not a genuine apology.” So, I just want to be clear here; I am absolutely apologizing for hurting/alienating/offending anyone. I assure you it was not my intent. I am not apologizing for the change of mind-set I’ve had. For the passion He has placed within me. For the enthusiasm with which I want you to jump on board.
It’s not like you aren’t going to heaven if you don’t read this book. Duh.
It’s not like if you read it and don’t like it, I can no longer be your friend. Duh.
I was still friends when my Lindsay went to be a missionary in Mexico and not ever come work at camp. I was still friends with my husband who never really loved Joe’s Pasta and Pizza. “It’s alright, babe. I’ve had better.” Communist. Sorry he said that, Joe, but he’s my husband! And I’m still friends with my brother even though he bleeds burnt orange. 2008 season. 39-33. Ahem.
But, the fact that I feel like I was asleep and am now wide awake; had blurred vision and then done got Lasik for free…forgive me for the added dose of zeal.
I believe God will have far easier work ahead of Him to curb my refreshed zeal for Him, than He ever did trying to spark my complacent heart for Him. I know He will do a far greater work through my outspokenness than He has ever done with me biting my lip to ensure I don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, ever.
I hope when I err on the side of overzealousness, He will grant me extra grace, knowing my heart is zealous for Him, not for me, and it’s just about as pure as physically possible for my ol’ heart. If you know me at all, you should know I haven’t all of a sudden gone off the deep end. Shoot, I fell off years and years ago…just been flat for a while and forgot how to do this Christian life big.
May I be able to adequately hear what He wants me to hear.
May I be prayerfully careful and unashamedly brave as I speak what He wants me to speak.
May I be discerning as to who He wants me to love on, not who others suggest are safer or more worthy to love on.
And most of all, may He receive every ounce of glory, fame, honor and credit if even one good thing comes out of any of this. I want none. Not a drop.
Amen and amen.
Ps. I kid you not, this is the picture of my daughter in her bed right now as I type this post. Anyone counting? Yep. That’s right, there are thirteen ‘babies’ in bed with her tonight. Thirteen. Sometimes it’s one. Other times it’s none, but she has on three pair of panties. You just never know with this one. Ah well. You go, girl! And at least it isn’t still ‘night-nights’ – this stuff isn’t messing up her overbite! J