While it feels highly unrealistic to commit to a blog post a day when I have a baby due any day now, I’m at least giving it a shot, linking up with a 31 day challenge.
When I think of tea, I think of sharing a pot with someone and having a good heart to heart talk. My goal this month is to brew a few cups of Chai…to open my heart a bit and invite response. I’d love to begin a few conversations. So draw up a chair and muse a bit with me.
When you work in the profession I do, living overseas working with people with great needs, people assume you are in it for the love of it. Living the dream. The height of fulfillment on a daily basis. Yes, it may be hard but there’s nothing you’d rather do.
And that’s the way we all want to live, isn’t it. For passion. Fulfillment. We want to live the way children run, free, fast, unexhausted. Where the blood coursing through your veins propels you to live, fully, sprinting, heart beat pounding in your ears, face wide open to the sky, arms swinging.
People assume I love my work. Love my life.
And I do. Some days. And then some days I want to run away from it, blood coursing, arms swinging, sprinting face first into the wide world of predictable and comfortable and 9-5 and job descriptions and anonymity and English.
Most days I’m just there. Neither loving it nor hating it but trying to be faithful.
Sometimes we do the right thing because it is the right thing and we train our hearts to follow. I wish it were the reverse—our hearts know best and if we follow our hearts we will do the right and rewarding and beautiful things. But sometimes our hearts are lazy. Sometimes our hearts have good intentions but are weary. Sometimes our hearts don’t know what to think because they were designed to feel and not think!
So we go back to what is good. We go back to what is true. We go back to the things that are pure and noble and worthy of doing them. And we do them for those reasons, not because we desperately need to feel something in order to be alive.
Parenting is like this. By our facebook posts, you’d think our children were always smiling in our organized living rooms with combed hair and wiped noses. But we don’t have our cameras on the ready in the mornings when they’ve put clean undies on top of the dirty ones and won’t hurry up. When we need to walk out the door in two minutes—or should have walked out the door two minutes ago—we aren’t camera ready, aren’t even really loving it, this parenting of rush and fluster.
Of course we have those good moments too, moments where our kids stand at the school yard fence, too small to be embarrassed by blowing kisses and kisses and still more kisses and catching ours and stuffing their pockets full for later. We have those early morning snuggles or those mid-day giggles that fill the pockets of our hearts. We love that. We can live for it. But when our pockets get turned inside out by the day and all we have emotionally left is lint for the hungry child, the dawdling child, the defiant child, we keep on being parents. We keep on acting in love. We act in love not because we always feel it but because it is right. It is good. We calm ourselves by reacting calmly. We remind ourselves to love by acting lovingly.
I had a conversation with a friend a few weekends ago. She shared with me a thought a co-worker presented speaking to a group of new college students. “Sometimes,” this lady said, “we get so focused on doing the best. On being the best. Whatever happened to just settling for good and expecting good. God looked at his creation and declared it good. Why can’t good be good enough?”
So, I find myself, wondering about good, wondering about right. I find more peace there than when I strive for all dreams and all fulfillment all the time.
But my question is: Is that healthy, whole realism or settling for less than the best? What do you think?