These weekend features are to remind us of all the INGS of life. The Being. The Waiting. The Watching. The Hoping. Recognizing the ways in which the Spirit is moving in our lives. This weekend, see if you can pinpoint some INGS in your own story as I share one of mine.
As spring turned a bright corner and began to look a little more like summer, my heart leapt. Finally, I’d be free. And happy.
Other than meals, naptimes, and bedtimes, there’d be no semblance of a schedule once summer announced our school year had come to an end. The completion of the hardest year of homeschooling and parenting to date was going to be a most glorious sight. This wicked combination that plagued my everyday had me spouting words I never thought I’d hear myself say about the things I’d always loved in the past. Words like hate, never again, can’t stand, can’t do it began to accumulate on my lips. None of which fit in with my normal Pollyanna-ish attitude about life and struggles. Then there were the daydreams of running like Forrest Gump down our dirt road to get away as soon as Jeremy’s commuter car pulled in the drive. But I never did. Fear of moose, bear, and other wild things kept me and my sneakers firmly planted at home.
And it’s a good thing. Running away was never the answer. But figuring out what my heart needed was.
I figured out pretty quickly that whenever I would hit a rough patch in the last year, I’d shift my brain and heart into the idle position. It’s this thing I do. Whenever the hard stuff is unavoidable, it just seems easier to dig in my heels and not allow myself to be moved. Refusing to doing anything to make it better or more manageable, I just stop. And that wasn’t doing a thing to help my cause except make me even more miserable as I fell behind — leaving me stressed and ruing the hour when I’d have to begin it all again in the morning.
But then it started happening in my happy place when summer was in full-swing. The days still possessed a special kind of crazy despite the freedom and lightness this time of year brought. Why did I feel this way? Wasn’t the hard stuff supposed to have disappeared?
Have you ever experienced this? You got the thing you really wanted and then you realized that the problem wasn’t what you had or didn’t have. The problem was you.
If we can’t be content in the middle of the difficult stuff, we won’t be content when our dreams come true. It’s the cold, hard truth. We don’t magically turn into grateful people the moment we get what we want. We have to practice. And practice some more.
As we step into the weekend, on this day of celebrating our country’s independence, shall we also celebrate our own freedom from slipping into idle-mode when the difficulties hit? Instead of digging in our heels, let’s dig deeper. Trying contentment on for size and letting it stay a while.
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