Thursday, April 4, 2013

Living as if I'm Waiting

Hey kids! Before I launch into a post on waiting, I just wanted to let you know that you might be waiting a little for posts here. I'm in the process of importing my blog to a new site, and I also have a couple of freelance projects tying up my time right now. Thanks for being patient!

I wonder how much of my life has been wasted living as if I'm waiting. There's always something that's not quite right or not quite complete in life. There's the major milestones: a spouse, a job, a child. And then there are the little things that we tuck in our minds: "If I could just get this; complete that; change this, then I'll be happy. Then I'll be on track."

But completion, perfection and material attainment are illusive and in a never-ending game of one-upsmanship.

Lately, I realize I've been living as if I'm waiting. Mike and I have been trying for Baby Two for what feels like a really long time (though I know it's not that long in reality). And I realize that my mindset has switched to waiting mode. It's subtle, but it's there. It's an almost subconscious feeling that I'm just waiting for life to get started, to get on track.

The problem with waiting mode is it steals us of our joy today. Nothing will ever be complete or perfect this side of Hades. We can't wait to embrace and live fully in the joy God has given us today.

I'm preaching to myself here: I know that others have experienced tragedy and to simply say, "life isn't perfect, live in today anyway" would be trite and even cruel.

But in my circumstance, my negative mindset of waiting is really the result of my frustration with things not going according to MY PLAN. I was never a woman who desired to have children, and I still don't have that deep, visceral desire for more children. But it is my plan to have more children, as part of my nice, neat life plan. When that plan doesn't go according to my schedule, I get annoyed. I start living in the theoretical future, rather than the present.

This was my same reaction to Mike's unemployment and my inability to become a stay-at-home mom. I never had a deep desire to be a stay-at-home mom. But I thought it was what I was supposed to do, and so it became part of my nice, neat plan. When that plan was frustrated, I made myself sick with worry, frustration and waiting. (In the end, my life, though not as planned, is so absolutely ideal for me. I get to work from home with my lovely daughter while still engaging in fulfilling and invigorating work. I wouldn't change it if I could.)

The lesson for me is: Stop waiting until life is just so to live each day with fulfillment and gusto and joy. "Just so" will never come. But the today that I have is beautiful in its own way. As Solomon wisely said: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart" Ecclesiastes 3:11. Though we long for the perfection of eternity, God has made this time beautiful in its own way. 

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