Last month, I was with a group of young women speaking at a small group Bible study. At the question and answer time, so many wanted me to give them a formula to assure them that they were doing all of the right things to be sure their children would turn out ok.
I also realized that because I made it to 60 and I am still alive, my kids made it through their years into adulthood with faith in tact, with vision for life, and still loved us, that somehow, I must have "done all the right things" or perhaps was more in control of my life.
Reality is I have never been in control and there were never formulas I could count on. Each child was extremely different. Each year was a new kind of stretch to my life, I always had challenges and kept looking for the time when life would settle down.
Expecting to be able to control life, children, husbands, friends, church, family is a road that leads to disappointment. We cannot make life behave by just trying harder or getting the right book, planner or instruction. Truth is, God wants us to rest, to leave our burdens in His hands, to learn a little more every day, how to walk by faith, love and become more patient, work hard and enjoy our days that He has given. As I thought about these things, I remembered an article I wrote some years ago, right in the middle of the "messiness of life" that I hope will encourage you.
Happy Weekend! Happy Friday! Enjoy your days.
Seems I have never reached that magical point where my life is quiet, peaceful, slow, with all the details in my life organized. There are more balls in the air now than when our family was much younger!
Today as I was whizzing in the car to Kohl's (afterall, I had a 30% coupon in my hot little hand) looking for jeans and a couple of things that Joy needed, all the while keeping in mind that she has a meeting I have to drive her to in an hour.
Also knowing that I have to pick up some medication for the sinus infection I have developed with an internal ear infection (going on since Michigan--five weeks ago) and have an appointment with friends to pray at 5 and then pick Joy up from her meeting, and then go back to Walmart for the things she will need while I am gone;
and then to a cooking class with Sarah and Joy-- we signed up for a while ago, and then meeting friends who are flying in from out of town at their hotel at 9; finish packing and then leave for the airport with Clay and Sarah at 7:30 in the morning,
and I think--my life is not in balance--but I can still walk with God, have joy, enjoy my minutes and the ones in my life at each moment, and make it through one minute at a time.
My home is not in balance--I know that when we fly to 5 cities in 7 weeks, to host mom conferences, that my house will get messier than usual and need a good cleaning when I get home. I understand that if I am going to be faithful to schooling when I am home and making meals and having quiet times in between all the prep for conferences--that things will pile up and go by the way side--but I also know I have a plan for getting it all together when I get home.
I know it will take all of us a few days just to sleep enough to have the energy to clean and straighten up--but I know that we will get to it and I will feel good about my home again.
I liked what a friend said to me, "The swinging hand on a clock is only in balance at one point while the fulcrum swings back and forth between the two sides."
And so my life goes--in perfect balance, rarely, once in a while--but always swinging between the two tensions.
My life wasn't in balance when I had 3 children under 5 and I had to nurse them and deal with ear infections and asthma.
My life wasn't in balance very often amidst the 17 moves--6 times internationally--seemed often I was packing or unpacking--
My life wasn't in balance when I had 3 teenagers and an elementary aged child who just wanted to play and read picture books, while we were staying up late with our teens talking about all sorts of serious issues in life, and then getting up early with my wee, little fun one-with dark circles under my eyes.
And all the while these in my home wanted to eat, (which meant shopping, cooking and an endless stream of dishes) and wear relatively clean clothes and messes abounded--always cleaning and messing--straightening and cluttering. No balance but a lot of life and fun and discussions and work and corrections--a stream of life never ending, but flowing to yet another new challenge and season of life.
I think I would have been so much more content and joyful if I had just known at the beginning that life for me would not be balanced--but could always be meaningful--if I would just accept the limitations of each day, each season, each child, my marriage and my finances--none totally balance, perfect--but all a blessing--so that is what was going through my mind today as I was whizzing about.
I don't think scripture promises balance--Jesus's life was not balanced--he always had people chasing after him and someone was always criticizing him amidst the feeding of 5 thousands, healing lepers and forgiving prostitutes, holding children and blessing them and saying scathing things to the Pharisees--
Paul's life was certainly not balanced--even keeled--amidst prison, ship wrecks, beatings, and teachings. Peter was traveling, teaching, being persecuted--yet all of these had joy, full hearts, love and time to reach out to and teach others.
So, I was contemplating today--that if I would just see this day and all that my puzzle brings as God's will, I would be content, joyful and enjoy rest in the moments of my days.
Off to pick up Joy!
PS Thanks for all the letters for you who are enjoying my newest book, Own Your Life. I hope it will encourage you to live well right where you are, to accept the limitations of your life, to enjoy the days you are given and to give yourself grace in the midst