I have been longing for so long for life to be different that I feel that all I've become is a vessel of yearning for which there is not respite, no peace.

I have been at peace for so long that I fear I might never reach again, knowing the things that are now revealed through my faith and relentless searching. My peace is complete.

I am both these things. I am both wholly unsatisfied and completely at peace. How can this be? How can I be of such diametrically opposed minds at the same time?

C.S.Lewis put it so perfectly in The Weight of Glory:

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words - to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it... At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.

It has taken me 42 years to understand and appreciate that this world is at once beautiful and amazing, and limited and disappointing. There is no need for me to choose - it is all these things. What I control is where I throw my attention, my words, and my presence.

I no longer want to wish for more time in the day - for there never will be. I no longer want to long for more time with my children at some particular stage in life, for there never will be. I no longer want to long for those who have passed to return, for mistakes to be erased, for relationships to be restored. I no longer want to long for any of these things. For longing is a false teacher that makes one feel as if they are not what they actually are - a passive observer of a life that is longed for, but does not exist.

Rather, life is an active sport worthy of full participation. I will take those things that I long for and I will take action to breathe new life into what is available before me.

Longing for more time with my small children? Instead I will recognize the gift that is this day and this moment. I will be attentive to the fact that one day, this day, will be the one to which I long to return.

Longing for restored relationships? Instead I will treasure the relationships that are before me now and work to insure that I am creating a brighter future with fewer regrets.

Longing for the past to be redone, changed, or improved? Instead I will appreciate that the pain as well as the beauty conspired to bring me to this very moment in time, and under my control is what I do right here, right now.

We live in a flawed realm with pain, disease, hurt, sickness, heartbreak, and death - this is the lie. We live in the artistic beauty of creation with sunrises, sunsets, babies laughing, soft puppies, and grand love - and this is the grand and awesome truth.

I need to learn to look at the opportunity before me and focus on how I use the time and energy I have rather than lamenting the lack. Life is not lack. I will live in the grand and awesome truth of abundance.

This is the longest break I've taken from the blog in some time. I write that as if I intentionally took a break verses the truth - I just haven't been able to sit down and write. It's ironic really because I've never needed to write more than I have in the past two months - but I had so many thoughts that everytime I would sit down to write I would freeze up. Nothing would come out - nothing coherent anyway.

Tonight may be no different, but what is different is that I'm posting it no matter what. I've got to get back in the swing and if that means putting bad writing out into the world, so be it. (Sorry.)

This picture was taken as we drove home from our vacation. We were about two hours from home having driven 10 hours already that day. 18 hours total over two days! Don't they look like they are having a blast?

It isn't moving. It didn't even work. They loved it. I guess an 18 hour drive will make even the smallest things seem great. We drove 36 hours in total to spend a half day in Nashville, four days on the beach, and a half day in the Great Smoky Mountains. It was a great week. Not quite as relaxing as last year. The kids had outgrown the kiddie pool and wanted to be at the ocean or in the bigger pools where they needed supervision. This resulted in an incredibly fun week, but not a relaxing week.

That really sums up life lately - it's a lot of fun and there is a lot going on, but it isn't very relaxing. The kids are just entering that stage of life with sports and activities. We are only doing one thing at a time, so it isn't even close to crazy compared to other families, but it's busy. We have the new church that we absolutely love and we are investing in the people there. We have added so many wonderful new friends and so many great opportunities to serve the community. "All good things, all good things," as Olaf would say, but more busy. My job is extremely busy, beyond comprehension really, but I'm blessed to work for a company that doesn't ask me to sacrifice my evenings and weekends except for the occasional deadline. Even with that, the lingering task list can encroach on your ability to be truly present. It's all so good.

It's all so good and yet I've felt abandoned lately. I've felt like I couldn't carry it all, couldn't get it all done, couldn't live up to my expectations, or anyone elses. My husband has felt the brunt of this more than anyone, because if I couldn't meet my expectations, he couldn't either. I've been hyper-critical and difficult. I looked forward to our vacation as a time to renew my mind - and didn't have a moment to think the entire week. I came home having enjoyed our time, but not renewed.

I feel like I hear God speaking into my life more than I have at any other time and I feel overwhelmed by blessings and opportunities, but at the end of the day I feel so inadequate.

So earlier this week I kind of just broke down inside, and I've kept breaking down all week. But we had dinner with friends yesterday and they breathed a little life into me. We got some amazing news today about The Chapel and I'm so excited. I'm finally writing - no matter that it's a confessional to my inadequacy - I'm writing! I got to spend some time at my therapist and start to work through some pain that I've been struggling with, and we talked about my writers block. I feel like maybe the drought is subsiding and God is ready to rebuild.

I sat down to write feeling like an abandoned building and I'm finishing it feeling like a gutted piece of architecture just brimming with possibilities. It's amazing how 'empty' can be without hope through one lense, and nothing but hope through another.

I've got an exciting month ahead. If I can only remember that it is not through my strength or effort - then I think I can give the Architect of my life room to work. If He could be exhausted, I would have done it by now - constantly underfoot with ideas. I think I'll just try to go stand in the corner and see what He has in mind.

 

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