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.”