Written by Patty Riera
It was a few minutes after midnight. I sat at in airport chair waiting for my flight to Amsterdam and said out loud “Thank God for the seat upgrade! I will be able to sleep comfortably and nobody will interrupt me, or hit me with their elbows! I just want to sleep!!!” I could not wait to get to Amsterdam and London. I knew the schedule would be hectic and I needed to be on top of my game, but at the same time I was SO EXHAUSTED!
It has been one of the toughest seasons of my life. The last few months I slept every week in a different bed, traveled anything between 6 and 16 hours… sleeping everywhere I could including airplane seats, eating pretzels for dinner and falling asleep and snoring in taxis (yes…I do snore when I am really tired!). There were weekends where, as a family, we had less than 24 hours together, because one of us came back to Dubai Friday night and the next one was leaving Saturday evening. It was crazy…
My work has exploded since I took a new role in March and, professionally, I know I am where God wants me to be and He is using me to make an impact in this region but also around the world.
I’ll be honest – I am living my dream. My job is my passion and my calling! It is like a hobby I am being paid for. I have an incredible husband who supports me, pushes me to go forward and fully believes in me. I have a wonderful son, who is my joy and my pride… And I am very proud of all this.
As much as I was fine with the work schedule and assignments, something felt different the last few weeks. It was almost like, in spite of my confidence and belief, I had all these thoughts/voices and perceptions that were telling me what kind of mother or wife I should be: Should I leave my son for a few days and go away for work? Should I always leave food in the freezer so my husband has food when I am away? Should I make sure I prepare this incredible birthday party this year for Philippe? Should I really invest so much in further University education and put all the time in research and development? … and many other “should I” questions were just running rampant in my head… Some of it came from my own thinking and some of it from the people in my systems that don’t always understand or approve of me, my choices, and question what wife and mom I am.
Some weeks ago I went to Qatar to deliver an Executive Coach Training. In the middle of a demo coaching session for the group, God spoke to me through a model I was presenting. He reminded me of all the “should’s” I have been telling myself and said,
“I need you to come back to what you want to BE, to all the dreams and images I have given you as a woman, wife and mother. I want you to come back to the core of how I have created you and what desires and hunger I put in you…. And when you connect with it, the right doing will flow and you will have what you want to be”.
I was literally in awe… I stood in front of this group and could not believe the personal breakthrough that I just had while delivering the workshop. I was there to support others in their personal and professional growth… and there it is, God speaking to me…
That afternoon I came back to my hotel room and sat on a sofa… OK God … what do I want to BE! and I started writing…
I want you to BE – DO – HAVE rather than HAVE – DO – BE.
I want to be your daughter, mom and wife and a business woman…
“I want to be a strong and confident woman, the one who God created me to be. I want to be a successful businesswoman and at the same time an incredible mother and wife. I want my son to have a mother that he looks up to because she fully believed in the calling that God has put on her heart and worked extremely hard to fulfill it. I want to be a mom that shows him that even in hard times, God is the answer and my support. I want him to see a mom that loves others, sees potential in everybody and supports their growth, in order for people to fully live to the potential that God has given them. I want him to have a mom that he bakes with when he comes back from the nursery or school. I want to be a mom that will take him on business trips at some point, to create memories of us two going somewhere together. I want to be a wife that supports, cherishes and pushes her husband for the incredible things that God has for him as a leader, husband, and father. I want to be a wife that stays true to herself and to the purpose of why God has put us as a couple together. I want to make a difference in the world by providing new knowledge and challenging what good leadership looks like in organizations…I want to be known for being a person of encouragement and authenticity… I want to be real….” And the list went on and on…
And then He spoke again… “Now go and start believing it… and when you do… the doing will come… and you will have what you want to be!”
I am your daughter…
I realized how important it is to proclaim these words over my life, not just as a way to believe it but as a reminder of who God has created me to be. I decided to start creating boundaries around my life, a space I can fully operate in. I did not always have that space, mostly because I was scared of what others would say or think, would they approve of the person I am, would I fit in, would I belong.
Why was this important to me? I understood that when I operate in faith and with a clear picture of what God wants, my own boundaries and understanding of what I want and what I don’t want is so much clearer. This means I can be generous in the space that I am operating in and not worry about what I should be doing, because my core belief is my foundation and will keep me on track, even when distractions and interferences come.
This does not mean my boundaries will stay the same for the rest of my life, but I know I need them in order to be the person He has called me to be. I love the verse in Luke 6:43 which says, “No good tree bears bad fruit, or does a bad tree bear good fruit”. In order to bring the best of me, my tree needs to be healthy and founded on Him. I am sufficient in Him and all my hope, rest and strength comes from Him.
I am a daughter, wife and mother, and a businesswoman…and as separate as these roles are, they are also very interconnected as well. The challenge for me personally is to not to allow my work, my passion, and feeling of responsibility to take over and control what daughter, wife, and mother I am.
I don’t think I have it all figured out…well, let’s be honest… I definitely don’t… and that’s ok… and there will be different priorities in different seasons of our lives. Our life is a constant learning journey and every time, we are stretched and we grow, we move forward sometimes by running, sometimes by taking small steps.
But at the same time, I want to remember that He has created me and put dreams and desires in my heart. He gave me visions and images of what is possible through Him in me for Him. Whatever he has planned me to do and influence, He will provide strength and wisdom to do it and manage it – I am enough in Him!
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5
His word and His guidance is my bulletproof vest… He is my rest and He is my confidence and assurance! Even if a bullet hits me, it won’t go through, because He is my shield. It might hurt, but it will not wound me.