Has really beat me up lately.
Has disappointed me.
Has been exhausting.
I have everything I ever wanted – a beautiful family, a country home, a book that my own two hands wrote on the verge of publication, a dream job teaching at a community college – the only thing left on the ole’ bucket list is renovating a villa in Tuscany.
But I ache for some reason. Ache for peace. What in the world is this about? I sound like a spoiled brat don’t I? I’m anxious, short with my family, on edge over everything I should be doing but just can’t seem to find the time to do ( I'm pretty sure my youngest plays a role in this problem #hugemessmakeralldaylong...) Why? I ask as I trudge along my familiar walking path. Why do I feel this way? Why can't I be more present rather than constantly obsessing about what is not happening? I pause to listen as the carefree birds chirp all around. I pick up the pace, stepping into thick cobwebs woven through overgrown trees that stick to my body like silly string.
One foot in front of the other - up and down the rocky, red terrain, therapy and penance serving the same purpose as I question these feelings.
Ryan and I are not our best selves nor at our best togetherness right now. I often expect him to make me happy which he can never do, and I know this, but knowledge doesn’t eliminate expectation. I can’t even put my finger on what exactly is going on with us, but there is this need to just get through another day. Exhaustion over the past few years has definitely crept into our life. Our hard, simple life has caused conversations between us, the words softly asked, “Is it worth it?” Causing us to question a life we were so excited to start only three years ago but now feels difficult in the midst of sleep deprivation and so many responsibilities. He and I still talk, often, but instead of whispering sweet nothings it’s more common to hear bickering and short choppy answers to questions riddled in reality such as, "honey, can you pick up some more chicken food tomorrow because we ran out three days ago..."
I adore my baby, but she is one. Is there a one-year-old on the planet who is easy? Man alive, I dare say she is more difficult right now than the other seven kids combined, and speaking of those other kids, they attend school, and I take care of their basic needs: cooking, cleaning, laundry, tucking into bed at night, but there aren’t many opportunities for real connections lately.
The same could be said for my spiritual life. My prayers are short whispers, “Lord give me grace, Lord give me strength, Lord hold my hand as I walk this weary path.” I’m holding on for dear life in this season and it doesn’t feel right – it doesn’t feel authentic – it doesn’t encompass peace, and it certainly doesn’t feel like “just keep livin!” – it feels fraudulent to even end my posts with this exclamation lately.
And I think – how do I replace the weariness with gladness? With joy once again? With peace? How do I get to a place of energy and engagement? Am I supposed to change my thinking through the weariness? Change my heart? Change my perspective? How Lord? I ask, as I pluck the beautiful wildflowers out of their natural habitat and place them in the stroller.
Thankfulness. Gratefulness. Could it possibly be that simple? I whisper to the Heavens.
Thankfulness brings peace – at least what the Word says. Do I choose to believe this?
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21
Thank you Lord.
Just keep livin!