- Silvia Farag
How Do I Measure Up
Updated: Mar 6
Almost everybody I know -- wealthy or struggling to make ends meet, single or celebrating their 20th anniversary, their kids are grown or toddlers --everyone seems to be suffering from some sort of culturally induced ADD or feelings of inadequacy.
Our brains are swamped, and our bodies are tired. Blood pressures are up, serotonin levels are down, tempers are short, to-do lists are long, and nerves are shot.
For me, there is usually a disconnect from up above, because I get too caught up in the everyday. Busy looking around instead of looking up. Life becomes unbalanced for me.
It is easy to forget who we are. The daughters of the living God.
Here's how I typically spend a Monday morning ... see if any of it sounds familiar:
3:17a.m. I am awakened by the sound of Christian’s voice. 'Mommy, I have to pee,' he informs me. "Good to know,' I murmur. 'Now go back to sleep before Mommy loses her mind."
3:30 a.m. Now I have to pee. My bladder used to be legendary. 3 kids later, it's a whole new ball game.
5:09 a.m. Mr. Christian Cuckoo Pants insists it's time to rise and shine. I offer him a check for $1,000 if he will sleep for just one more hour. But the kid sees through me and observes that sun is up and so must we. He also reminds me that I still owe him 10 lollipops from the time he tasted a Brussel sprout.
5:30 a.m. My peaceful morning prayer and bible reading, starting the day giving thanks. I hope that I planted this seed for my kids. Before you put your feet on the ground, kiss the inside and outside of the palms of your hands, thanking God for everything we have received and everything we have not received.
6:00 a.m. Hit the group workout class. The instructor, I mean Drill Sergeant in Nikes, hands me two 15 pound weights and tells me to tighten my core.' What core? If I can’t find it, I can’t tighten it, smarty pants.
6:45 a.m. Rush back home. Shower, change and guzzle a cup of coffee. Glaze over the low glycemic Ezekiel bread. Gluten-free, sugar-free, taste-free is what that stuff is. Spot the buttery muffin. What if I just ate the top of the muffin? Will it surround my nonexistent core and leave a lovely muffin top forever? Oh well, it has blueberries.
7:00 a.m. Remind my 3 children who seem to suffer from the same condition that their father suffers from, selective auditory processing, for the 7th time to brush their teeth, make their beds and get downstair.s Breakfast is usually on the run. And for the record, an apple is a perfectly good breakfast. An apple a day…
7:15 a.m. Drive my monkeys to school. This is usually my favorite part of the day. I get them in the car, and we can talk about anything and everything. We usually pray the Orthodox Creed together and read a chapter in the Bible.
7:30a.m. Arrive at crowded school parking lot. Trek down the hill and realize that I am currently sweating more than I did during this morning’s workout. First kid drop-off, successful. Not late! He likes me to wait and wave to him as he walks down the hallway. He’s, my hugger so I will wait even if it’s raining. Drop next kid off at their school with the usual, 'Love you, be smart, be kind and believe in yourself.' Pray that my influence will stay with them throughout the day. She usually responds with, 'Olive Juice.'
8:00 a.m. Need more Coffee!!!! I order on my app, while I call my mom like I do every morning as I run in to get it. My mom, my best friend, reminds me that coffee and cookies are not a meal for a middle-aged woman. Then her epic, 'Silvanna, intee hat aandee Rabina?!' (translation= Silvanna, do you really think you can outsmart God?) How does she always know? I’m still wondering when I became middle age. Then I start my sessions.
Fast forward to the evening.
Mommy guilt usually keeps me up. I could have handled that better. Did I say I love you enough? Why didn’t I read a few more chapters with them? They didn’t eat enough vegetables today. Why did I just eat that entire bag of cookies? I need to finish my session notes. How did my mom do all this? Was I too much today? Was I enough today?
Being a parent, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a servant, managing a career, maintaining relationships, (maintaining hair color), just isn't as easy it as it sounds in Proverbs 31 if we try to do it alone. We seem to forget that He is present with us if we clear some space for Him. God alone can center us during our busy lives. 'We thank You in every condition, in any condition, and in whatever condition.' (From the Coptic Orthodox Prayer of Thanksgiving.)
God designed us women with a gift. We are all influencers.
Pick a woman in the Bible who is known for anything, and you'll find she was a woman of influence.
These were ordinary women. Much like us, they probably didn't feel like they had particularly extraordinary lives. Probably busy and tired like us too. They all had influence and it’s how they chose to use it that made them great women.
Sometimes we think we have no influence because our life seems way too ordinary. We somehow feel that it’s only the people with a platform or with a microphone or that have authored books that seem to have influence. But the truth is God has wired us from the very beginning to have seeds of influence. It is powerful and potent. Women have influence in a totally different way than men. As women, we have a natural way to influence all those around us.
Every single advertiser is trying to influence us because they know that if they can convince you that the cereal will make you fit in that tiny red bathing suit, you will buy it and every single person in your family will eat whether they want to or not. You are the target audience. Why? Because you are the one that will go to Target. You are the one that decides what goes on the table. You are the one that has influence about where you are going to go and what your kids are going to do and where they will spend their time. Influence. Whether you realize it or not, you have that power.
If you are high stress most of your day, you become biologically less empathetic and less generous. Our immune systems are now compromised. We are off balanced. Not centered. We also know that parents who come home stressed out and anxious, can pass this on to their children. Anxiety is passed between family members. Influence.
Let’s really ask ourselves, what is mixed in with our influence? Stress? Anxiety? What are we bringing into our home, our children? If you are holding on to anger or resentment, you can’t hold on to His promise, your inheritance.
The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is. Everything you gain in life will turn to dust, and all that will be left of you, is what was in your heart. God put these seeds of influence in women.
It was the women who cared for Him up until the bitter end as well as the hope filled climax. The women were simply indispensable to Him.
Jesus demonstrated only the highest regard for women, in both his life and teaching. He recognized the intrinsic equality of men and women, and continually showed the worth and dignity of women. Jesus valued their fellowship, prayers, service, financial support, testimony, and witness. He honored women, taught women, and ministered to women in thoughtful ways.
The truth is, we were designed in His image, and we will never feel fully complete without Him who created us. Life’s struggles will inevitably beat us down, but it’s in knowing our place in His plan, His purpose for our life, that we can begin to find peace, and feel complete.
When feeling stressed, try remembering Mathew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He states clearly, we don’t have to walk alone.
He will get us through it.
Women, rise to your high place. This is God’s view of a woman.
You are fellow heirs in the Kingdom of God. You are honored. You are cherished. You are valuable. You are needed.
You are His friends, His followers, His daughters. It doesn't all have to get done perfectly, just intentionally, in His name.
So, take your high place . . . this is God’s purpose for you.
Silvia Farag, MSW, LSW, PsyD Candidate runs the Christian Center for Counseling and works with adolescent and adult clients in individual, couples & family therapy. Her personal philosophy is that through human connection, we can foster the encouragement needed to take courageous steps toward creating positive change. She uses evidenced based and strengths-based approaches & believes in the inherent ability of everyone to overcome when they are willing to step into their potential. Therapy illuminates the path so the client can make conscious steps towards emotional health. Her attitude is one of respect and acceptance of each client’s individuality, allowing for the creation of a safe, therapeutic space. Silvia serves with Coptic Women Fellowship, an archdiocese ministry focused on enriching, supporting, and strengthening the lives of women, along with the clergy and several accomplished women of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America.