everything and nothing

Monday, May 25, 2015

For those of you who still read blog posts. For those who don't live in a fairy tale. For the ones who don't judge other mothers (or try hard not to). For those who love me anyway. For those who may be struggling themselves.

I was going to start this post with the age old "mothering is hard", but really it's not about mothering at all. This is about life. Real and raw and rounded out - mothering is just one part of that. That might be shocking enough for some people. To know that "mother", although a role I hold sacred, is not who I am. And if I were to be honest, some days I want something more to look forward to than housework and homemaking. I long for adventure. Today was one of those days. What I didn't want was to face the sink full of dirty dishes. I didn't want to be grown up and responsible and, well, required. Required to be here and do this and clean that, and do it all again tomorrow.

This is also not about gratitude - for there is a difference between that and happiness. Feeling sad or discouraged is not sinful. It does not mean that you are ungrateful for or have left unnoticed the things heaven sent. I can generate a lenghty list of the blessings in my life that split my heart wide open and make me weep with thanksgiving. Being grateful and being happy are not the same thing. And discouragement can strike even the most stalwart. How we feel is not always a choice, but it is ours to decide what to do about it!

I believe I am a daughter if God. I believe He created me in love and sent me here with high hopes. I believe that I have a purpose and a mission while alive on this earth. I believe that I have been abundantly blessed. I believe that part of my journey will have me writing about real things, real feelings, and real life. And real life, although beautiful, is also imperfect and hard. I believe that I was meant to write. I believe that both hope and healing can be found when I do, not only for myself but for others as well.

You see, how we feel has very little to do with the outcome of our lives, or rather it can be everything or nothing at all. These things called "feelings" can take hold of the rudder and steer up places we never intended on going, or we can hold fast and decide that no matter which way the winds blow (or our feelings compel us) we will press on in the direction of our dreams. The shocking thing that we will discover at the end of our journey is that whichever course we took we never really let go of that wheel. For better or worse the choice was ours all along. I can blame my situation on the feelings I face, even though they are present and powerful, or I can decide that even though I feel tossed to and fro and a little bit lost, I still steer the ship! We each will have moments when we feel as though we'll be lost to the raging storm and other times we drift with no sunshine on skin, nor wind in our sails. Sometimes these moments are hardest. In the midst of chaos my heart turns quickly to the Lord. But it's different in the lulls. It is quieter there and more room is left for fear and doubt and discouragement to creep in. It is then that He reminds us, if we listen and if we'll trust Him that He is right beside us and this is simply a chance for us to make our own wind! The going may be slower than those moments of smooth sailing, but we will be made stronger. Failure does not lie in the feeling; success lies in the choice we make to keep getting up, keep making dinner, keep washing those dishes and folding that laundry and kissing sweet cheeks and holding soft, sticky hands and CHOOSING to do what you don't feel like doing. In the very act of doing what we don't want to do, simply because it is the right thing to do, we gain momentum. We change the feelings from the outside in, until we are no longer just going through the motions. Until we find our adventure, looking a little different than we thought it would. Looking a lot less glamorous and a little more like life.

I can be grateful, not always for the feelings, but for the fact that, in spite of, I can get up out of bed, put one foot in front of the other, and keep on living. Because to live, simply to wake each day, good or bad, happy or sad, sour attitude or sweet disposition, all of it, the whole crazy thing, in the words of Peter Pan, is an awfully big adventure.

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