how many times do i think about something - past remembrances, or future wonderings - or look at a gorgeous photo, or think back to another time in my life, and sigh a contented sigh. how idyllic that was. how perfect that looks. how amazing that would be. ah. contentment. if only i could get [back] to that place. life would be grand!
clearly what i have now is nowhere close to a grand life. nowhere close to all that it could be. because the grass is always greener… somewhere else. right?
except that this life doesn't work that way. idyllic usually happens in a photo, or a still life of what things were before because it rarely exists in the midst of real life. we get snapshots. we get moments. but our whole lives don't look like that. they can't. and they shouldn't. and they won't.
i thought about this as i bustled about getting breakfast ready for keane and myself this morning. we may not live in my dream house. though we do live in a house that i like very much, and that works for now. i may not officially work outside of this whole mom thing. though i do get to write on a whim, and help my husband out when he needs it, and help coach a soccer team. we may not travel the world at a moment's notice. though i have been to some pretty great corners of it. i may not get to complete all of the projects i'd like to in a timely fashion. though we have had some great turn outs on our d-i-ys. i may not live in the exact place i would like to if i could live anywhere, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great things about where we live.
everything may not be exactly as i'd like if i could choose all of it, but we have it pretty great.
my life may not be idyllic, because truly i don't believe a life exists that is actually fully, completely idyllic. but life is pretty great. even on the bad days i can count a lot of blessings.
my challenge to myself is to stop wishing for something else. to take advantage of what's in front of me and enjoy it fully instead of saying how much better it would be if only we could change ______.
because it's not really that much better. not if you expect that external thing to change everything for you. as much as i would like our mess of a master bathroom to be repaired and updated, that will only bring me momentary happiness that will soon fade into normalcy. as much as i'd like a gas stove and a double oven and granite countertops those things will not bring me joy. and the same goes for all of the things that i would like to change in my life. those things are not the source of joy.
even for the hard, horrible, heart-wrenching years when we so desperately wanted a child, and one just wouldn't come. those days and years were marked with desire for a family, but even keane who brings a lot of joy into our lives, even he is not the true source of joy.
it's ironic to me that i came to know christ as a teenager, but too many of my "christian" years have been marked by an attitude that reflects the culture i live in more than it reflects the attitude of christ. he is the bringer of joy, the healer of constant comparison, the only one who can give us true contentedness. too often i struggle with these things. too often i buy into what the culture says - both literally and figuratively - by thinking that my life would change drastically if i only had this thing that everyone says i need.
but it's an insatiable desire for more, and none of it satisfies. it always gives way to something else.
i can live my life appreciating the idyllic moments that happen everyday, giving thanks for my blessings, and coming back to the cross again and again and again.
i can live my life always wanting and hoping that the next thing will be the thing. i can chase the moments where i want to live, but all the while wonder if each moment i'm living is one of them because i cannot fully focus on where i am since i'm always hoping for something better the next time around.
i can get stuck missing what i have because i'm hoping for something more.
and i don't want to live that way. it kind of seems like a waste.