Friday, February 17, 2012

Waiting

I’m going through a time in my life right now, one of those uncomfortable stages where I’m focused a lot of the time on how uncomfortable I am, stretched too thin yet wanting more. I feel as though my life is at a standstill, while others around me are moving forward, climbing higher, growing larger and increasing their capacity. I, on the other hand, have put my study on hold to free up my time to sit at home and breastfeed all day. I don’t even know how long it’s on hold for; maybe I’ll never go back to it. It didn’t exactly work for us anyway, trying to work around my assignments and exams, and there were times when I knew that we were hanging by a very thin thread, and each new semester I was signing up for fewer and fewer papers. Now that I’ve stopped, I don’t know if I’ll get around to starting again.

A week or so ago I looked up my old blog from ten years ago. It was...uh...interesting, reading through those posts from a time when we had just 2 kids, then 3. I found myself cringing at parts of it, laughing at others, but mostly it was an emotional journey down memory lane. I’d forgotten a lot of it, and was glad I had taken the time to record it. What struck me most, and has been playing on my mind ever since, is just how much I was achieving at that stage of my life. I was working for a wonderful church. I was writing things that were being printed. I was making music that people loved. I was attending Bible College. I was busy, and oh so satisfied at the end of every day. That’s not to say that I’m not busy now. I’m always busy doing something. But I don’t feel like I’m achieving anything that makes me rest my head on my pillow every night feeling full and satisfied. I go to bed at night worrying about things, praying and making plans for the next day. Plans that usually involve making up for something I didn’t do, or did badly today.

Yesterday, while standing at the supermarket checkout, I picked up a magazine and as I was browsing through the pages I came across an article written by a friend of mine. It was a good article, and not totally unexpected, but as I looked at her name written underneath the page’s title, I was overcome with a sense of failure that filled every part of me. I could feel it taking over my mind, churning my stomach and filling my boots, until I closed the magazine and slipped it back on the shelf. I didn’t buy it, not because I don’t love my friend or feel proud and happy for her, but because in that moment I was acutely aware that I’m not contributing to the household finances and so how can I justify a magazine purchase? I had failed at life, failed my husband, failed my family, and now I was failing my friend. But worst of all, I had failed myself.

I felt heavy and sad as I went through the checkout, filled my car with gas, drove the short drive home. And as I rounded the corner into my street I spotted my gorgeous girl sitting outside on the grass verge at the front of our house. Just sitting there waiting for me to come home, and when I called out “hello beautiful!” she jumped to her feet with an excited smile. She was beautiful and messy with her toothless smile, and for a second I was able to take my mind off the things that I haven’t been doing and focus on what I have been doing lately.
I’ve given up medication, coffee and foods that I love to grow, nurture and feed a healthy and happy baby boy.

 I’ve been teaching a 7 year old girl to read more quickly, write more effectively, try new things, be a good friend and dream of beautiful things.

I’ve been helping a 10 year old boy work through changes in his body and personality, teaching him how to communicate better, building in him an awareness of the world around him.

I’ve been helping a 13 year old boy settle into high school, talking him through ups and downs with girls, guiding him towards making good choices and creating opportunities for him to exercise freedom.

I’ve been supporting my husband in a new workplace, and a new job, being there as he talks it through, someone to bounce ideas off. I’ve been encouraging, advising, loving as he finds his place in the world, helping him to realise how amazing he really is.

I’ve been building a safe place for the people in my care to move forward, climb higher, grow larger and increase their capacity.

Cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, breastfeeding, carpools, grocery shopping, dusting, vacuuming, tidying, sorting. It all amounts to something greater in the end. Each tiny piece of the puzzle is as important as all the others because without it the picture is incomplete.

I came across this post this morning from BeautifullyRooted. It was like manna from heaven. As I took the words in, I felt my heaviness lift. I know these words are anointed and I know they’re for me as much as for anyone else.
I need to love my life for what it is now. I need to stop focussing on how things used to be, and I need to stop living as if my life hasn’t started yet, because “it is beautiful... even in the waiting.”

12 comments:

  1. I remember having some of these same feelings...and doubts really!! I once went to confession when I was 8 months pregnant b/c I didn't feel at all happy about being pregnant again!! Now..I am past those growing pains of raising babies and I have my cake and can eat it to! and I can see MY college eduction coming thru in my kids!!

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    1. That's a great thought, that you can see your achievements coming through in your kids. One I must remember. Thanks for dropping by.

      xo

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  2. I understand what you are saying. I often have to remind myself to focus on and enjoy each day and experience in life and with my kids for what it is. When I choose to embrace it and enjoy it is great. The more I do this, the less I have to remind myself to do so. Thanks for your post. Cx

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    1. Hey thanks for visiting :)
      Yes I need to remind myself to enjoy this stage, instead of trying to just get through it to the next one. Life is now, not soon, but now. Take care.
      xo

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  3. What you're doing IS meaningful work. Be encouraged, good and faithful friend. There is a season for everything and everything in its season. The time will come for you to resume your study, but it's not now, and to force it before its time will drain you. There will be a season for publishing your writing too.

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  4. Thank you so much for linking up to the blog hop!! Wishing you all the best in your bloggy endeavors.

    Kelly
    www.livelaughrowe.com

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    1. Thanks, it's such a good idea, I'm always looking for new blogs to check out. :)

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  5. Hi, what a sweet post. Stopping over via the blog hop! So nice to meet you! New follower :)

    Lindsey
    outofalabaster.blogspot.com

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    1. Nice to meet you too Lindsey :)

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  6. Saw this on "best in blog" link - SO glad this post turned around for you. I was cringing in the beginning "BUY THAT MAGAZINE! DONT SAY THAT!" I was saying.

    Your role as a mother and wife is a wonderfully valuable one.

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  7. Amazing how often we can be content... until we compare ourselves with what we think others are achieving or what we think WE should be doing.
    A book I've picked up recently spoke to me when it said that most of the pain we experience in life is when we say/think to ourselves "It's not meant to be like this!"
    That really speaks to me; We definitely experience a struggle as we come to terms with each new phase of our lives.
    A very thought-provoking post Cass - Glad you were able to see that what you do NOW is so valuable.
    xx

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