Four. That’s the number of phone calls I made yesterday while grocery shopping. (NOTE: I said shopping, not checking out. I am not that rude.) I admit, this isn’t an ideal way to do either one, but my schedule calls for multitasking on a whole new level.
During one of these phone calls, the person on the other end of the line divulged they were living in a constant state of flux and they would be glad when things were normal. I laughed out loud as I shared I had come to accept the state of flux as my new norm.
I remember a time when life seemed a bit more manageable. Even with 4 young children at home, things were simple. Our sphere of activity was limited to roughly a 10 mile radius. There was home, church, the library, the occasional trip to Chik-fil-a & not much else.
Yes, there were 10 loads of laundry to do each week, trips to the grocery store, Dr.’s appointments and so on. But, I was in control of what that schedule looked like. Everything revolved around our home. And as hectic as things could be, there was always the salvation of nap time! I possessed a misguided notion that things would always be this way.
I knew my children would become more active as they got older and our sphere would grow. But the path my life has taken was drastically unexpected. Here’s the short story: Steve and I decided to leave the predictable life behind, quit his steady employment, go to graduate school and start a non-profit. In the process we have moved 3 times.
I thought I had an adventurous spirit – I relish going new places. But truthfully, I only love new experiences when I choose them. It’s completely different when they are thrust upon me. Then I tend to get whiny and indulge in a pity-party. I’d like to say that I have embraced each of the changes that have come my way with open-minded acceptance. I’d also like to say that I run 3 miles a day and can do 50 push ups. All three would be a lie.
So, what’s the point? I’m not sure. But I do know I have learned a few things along the way.
- When you pray the prayer of Jabez, asking for your territory to be expanded, expect it to happen and don’t be shocked when it does.
- You can waste your time grieving for your old life, circumstances, house etc., or you can live in the present and move on. Yes, it’s alright to miss things, but when I find myself in 2010 wondering why things aren’t like they were in 2004, I need to move on.
- Every single circumstance we go through, no matter how painful, will be useful to us in the future. I like to say that God never wastes a hurt. In the words of Beth Moore, “On the other side of your greatest pain lies your greatest ministry.” Don’t waste it!
- Life goes on. Sounds simple, but I am ashamed to admit that I have missed a lot while participating in a good old pity-party. Look up and enjoy the view. See where you can be effective today.
So, I’m a slow learner, but I have come to accept that the craziness that I call my life is in some way normal. I traded the predictable for the unexpected and, all in all, I don’t regret it one bit. The blessings, opportunities, expanded faith and experiences that have come with it are invaluable.