I was thinking this weekend about how awesome it will be to have a daughter and pass down all my beloved books to her, especially the ones that got me through middle and high school. No books were more special to me than the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. She just got me, you know? Those stories were about the simple moments in life that feel so big when you are in them. One of those books is Ramona the Brave. Anyways, this is all kind of a long way of saying, I’ve been thinking again…About life. About dreams. About the dreams we have for our life. You get the picture.
I think we’ve all been there. Those moments where the yearnings of our heart are so drastically different from our reality. Or at least, I hope you’ve been there too, because I’m there now.
I think there is the kind of desire that leads to discontentment, and then there is the kind of desire that leads you to your next step. For a few years, I struggled with the first kind of desire. But as I’ve grown and matured, I’ve made my peace with those desires and have found a level of contentment with my life that I’ve never had before. I believe I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, right here, right now.
The problem is with the second kind of desire. Because although I believe in what I’m currently doing, and I’m not asking for any of it to change, I also continue to feel this tug on my heart for more.
I believe God places things on our heart to keep moving us forward. I don’t believe he places things on our heart to taunt or tease us. I don’t think he gives us desires that will go unfulfilled because that would no only be pointless, but I think it would go against his character. I think the desires that get us into trouble are the ones that aren’t from him, but that is a whole different ball game.
So here is the thing. I’m a stay at home mom. I believe in what I’m doing. I believe I’m supposed to be here, day in and day out with my kids. I’ve tried the whole working thing a multiple different ways and it always added up to the same thing: it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
I’m not saying you are supposed to stay home. I’m not saying working is bad. I don’t care what you do; I don’t lose a lot of sleep over what you do or don’t do. I do, however, lose a lot of sleep over what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m sure you do too, so let’s just be supportive of each other’s mutual uncertainty, k?
So I’m home with the kids. It’s great. I feel good knowing this is where I’m supposed to be right now. I blog. I’m a part time yoga instructor. I do stuff, you know?
But the thing is, I yearn for more. So. Much. More.
What, exactly? I don’t know. Sometimes I think more yoga. Sometimes I think more blogging. Sometimes I think more high powered executive (not really, but kinda). And I don’t think this feeling/yearning for more is one of those bad kind of desires. I truly – from the depths of my being -think it’s the good kind of more. The kind that God himself gave me.
The question then is, if it’s a good more, if it’s a more from God, then where the heck is this more???
Ok, sorry. I don’t mean to yell. It’s just, you see, I struggle to know what to do with myself in the mean time.
Do I go chase the more?
No, I don’t think that’s it. I’ve found that the answer to the “What am I supposed to be doing right now?” questions is usually to be right where you are, until you aren’t anymore.
So I stay put. Ok…but then what? How do you stay put, knowing you aren’t going to stay put forever? What do you do with yourself?
It’s like when you are standing in a room full of people you don’t know and suddenly you don’t know what to do with your hands.
Where do I put my hands??? Do I hold something? Cross my arms? I don’t know!
All I know is I’m doing something I’m supposed to be doing, but it doesn’t feel like all I’m supposed to be doing, but the other thing I’m supposed to be doing hasn’t made itself known yet.
Are you still with me?
Life is so confusing. Saturday night I sat in the tub with bubbles up to my ears and tried to sort this all out to no avail.
When that didn’t work I turned on Gilmore Girls because in the absence of clarity, Gilmore Girls is the next best thing.
Then the following morning, in church, we sang one of my favorite worship songs, “You Make Me Brave” by Bethel. Google the song lyrics, they’re pretty great. (Watch the music video here.) But as I was thinking through the words, it dawned on me that it takes just as much bravery to hold the course as it does to make a big, life-altering change. I mean, sometimes the big changes are the easiest to make because, despite the risks, they are also super exciting and full of untapped potential.
Remaining right where you are at, doing exactly what you are doing, sometimes requires the most bravery. Because you already know the challenges. The frustrations. The things you wish were different, but aren’t.
All this to say, I still feel these desires – this restlessness for more. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing. But if I get to bogged down in wanting the more right now, then that’s when things get sketchy. For me, it takes true bravery to look at your situation and know that something is missing, and still find contentment. It takes bravery to live in the here and now and not worry too much when and how the desires of your heart will be answered.
So for now, I’m going to be content with where I’m at, and choose bravery over frustration about the rest. Rebekah the Brave. Beverly Cleary would be so proud.