As a mom who happens to be on staff at a church, this is a question I hear a lot. “Is this all there is for me? Does God really have a plan for my life? Should I be working or at home? Does my lack of desire to potty train really matter? Is surprising my family with the new Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets before they’re available nationwide REALLY as exciting as this gets? Does my husband really not want me to wear a mumu AGAIN?!?!”
Well, those are all great questions and certainly a true perspective of being a wife & mother.
There is another perspective & it is the one that I’m walking through with a friend right now. She’s a single mom who will be saying her earthly goodbye to her son this week and she’s also asking “Is this really all there is? Is my sweet boy really gone? Will I really never hear his giggle again or hold his hand? Is this really all God has for me with my boy?” And the answer is yes, yes it is.
You see, it’s the same question but two TOTALLY different, but very real perspectives.
If some of us were honest, we’re bored with our shallow conversations in our taupe living rooms. Our dinners are a bit dull & our kids are pushing us towards crazy one way or the other & at the end of the day, we ask “is this it? Does God really want me to make that recipe I saw on Pinterest AGAIN?!?” For some of us, the answer is yes, but we have to use less garlic so it’s even more bland!! For some of us, the answer is NO WAY!! Your hubby got a babysitter, put on your dancing shoes, & you are going out on the town! For some, the answer is your husband is working late & for some the answer is he’s still gone & he’s not coming home. But, in all of it & with all of us, God is drawing us to himself. Encouraging us to choose HIS glory & HIS story in the midst of our mundane, our loneliness, our boredom, our pain or the fun of our seemingly never ending adventure. However, it’s all an adventure – it’s a matter of our perspective. We’ve all heard we have to focus on the positive & that is so true. God thought this was so critical, he even gave us a verse to address it completely.
Philippians 4:8 tells us:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We’re all on our own adventure, but we’ll miss the fun of being a part of what God is doing in & through us if we start comparing our lives to other’s.
EVERYONE HAS JUNK!!!
Sure-you may think your friend is on an exciting fun journey as she starts her new job or that she’s driving a fun new car that isn’t a mini van with automatic doors. What you don’t know is that the new job is lonely and fills her with insecurity that is compounded as she sits by herself in her cube at lunch. She misses her playgroup friends who actually included her in their lunch plans-even if it was just going to McDonald’s. Yes, that new car IS fun, but her kids scream bloody murder if an errand takes longer than 10 minutes because their brother crossed the imaginary backseat boundary lines.
You see, we all have our stuff-most is WAY bigger than the examples above, but it all matters. Our perspectives have to shift-we have to remember that one day we will ask ourselves, “Is this really all there is?” and we’ll watch our son or daughter walk back into their dorm for us to drive home, we’ll watch them walk down the aisle, or we’ll watch the funeral director close the door.
Well, great!! Now I’m depressed AND I’m still bored with my life, I still think I weigh too much, my car is not fun, & my kids still argue & shriek at the drop of a hat-what do I do?
you focus on others,
you accept that you aren’t where you want to be,
but you’re exactly where your heavenly father says you’re supposed to be.
If you feel fat, then watch your portions and exercise. If you’re feeling bored with your hubby, then plan a date or make his favorite dinner and don’t entertain the thoughts that “he should have done this.” If you’re tired, then take a break. If your kids drive you crazy, take a moment to think of the 5 things you’ll miss about them when they’re gone & then thank God for those things.
Above ALL else, trust that your heavenly father has an incredible plan for your life. For some of us, that plan elicits such fear that we shirk away from the pain of risk and dwell in the comfort of complaining & apathy. For some of us, that plan reminds us that we actually may need to slow down a bit to hear his voice and allow his plan to take place, not our own. NO MATTER WHAT, we must remember that God REALLY does have a sweet & glorious plan for each of us & we must fight against the lie that tells us that “this being all there is” leaves much to be desired.
We fight that lie by asking ourselves:
Who are you serving?
Where are you replacing apathy with action?
Where are you replacing blame with responsibility?
Where are you loving and laughing well?