You guys heard that Macklemore song that says, ” I wish somebody would have told me that babe, someday these will be the good ole days.” ? I was at the gym the other day and this song came on over pandora and I just kind of got lost in my thoughts when I heard those lyrics. I have heard this song a million times before but right now…in this season…they struck me harder than they have before because I KNOW that one day I will look back on where I am right this minute and see the goodness in all of the spots that seem difficult right now. I’m a wife and a mama. I’m a business owner….a wellness advocate…a photographer…a friend…daughter…an aunt…all the things to the people who let me have roles in their lives. I love my life.
I have been trying to put together goals and dreams that I want to make happen before I turn 40 (I have like 3 and a half years so…there’s time! hahaha!). It feels really weird and unfair to say this but…I have all I have ever wanted. I have spent my life desperately wanting to cut the small talk and dig into the heart-filled conversations. I have developed a deep desire to feed people (food=love in this southern ladies’ heart!) and trying to be the best care giver I can possibly be. I have put smiles on my kids’ faces by showing up at school with birthday brownies and at-home pizza parties for no good reason. I have been able to cook meals and fold socks and brainstorm and conflict manage and cheer on and celebrate every day with my husband…who…out of all the people in the whole wide world he could have chosen…picked ME to do life with. I have a mama and family/framily that love us endlessly. I get to give a lot away. This morning I closed my eyes to pray that God would give me a bigger desire for Him and that He would show me what to pray for…what to want…for whats next…and all I could do was swallow hard and sit in gratitude instead. No words came out. Just silence. And it was sweet and soothing and terrifying all at the same time.
Here’s the thing though (isn’t there always a thing??? Bless it. )…it still doesn’t seem like enough. And I’m not talking about sufficiency. I’m talking about abundance. In a world where people tell you to work more-but be a minimalist, push harder-but not so hard it pushes people away, dig in and fight for what you want-but not so much that you are giving up on the things they expect from you….how are we EVER supposed to know when we’ve “arrived.” The answer my sweet, beautiful, crazy friend is simple: you never do. I know that is like THE most cynical thing to say ever but it’s real. Our human hearts and minds are fitted for work and when we hit a goal…its time to think bigger. I am NOT saying that you should not be satisfied with the things you have worked for and always wanted, I’m just going to ask you a hard question: What’s next?
All this to say, I’m stuck. For me there is danger…REAL danger in sitting idle and reaching for nothing. My mind does not automatically go to the Lord’s greatness or fullness in my life…it goes to my deficiencies. When I’m not close to wrapping my fingers around a goal I’ve set for myself, I just want to wither away and call it quits and let my mind go numb to the desires and dreams I have…how lame. If you are like me AT ALL…I want to walk through this with you. So…what do we do to get out of the funk? Girl…dude…I don’t know. But I know what we don’t do and that is keep sitting visionless. We HAVE to get back to the things that inspire us. After assessing and lots of brutal honesty with myself…here is where I have to start and I’m totally game for you to join me here too. I need step by step instructions…a CLEAR plan and although I don’t know where it all ends, I am banking on these 4 steps to figuring out what’s next.
1.LIST ARE LIFE SO MAKE THEM
Make a list of all the things that set your heart on fire. Make a list of all the people you want to work with. Make a list of all the fun things you want to use your influence for. Make a list of list of all the giant, dramatic, out-of-your-current-control, HUGE things you want to do with your influence (including all of the people you want to be able to help once you figure out exactly what it is that you are doing and pushing for). Write it all down and keep it in front of your face…this becomes the WHY we didn’t realize we needed, friends.
2. SIT IN THE SILENCE
Ohhhhhh how we want to hear from God (or at times from anyone) but it feels near impossible when all we surround ourselves with is noise. Noise from social media…noise from our jobs…even noise from our families…and all it does is create frustration because DAYYYUMMM can we just shut out the distraction and fight to hear that still small voice…the quiet whisper in the midst of all…the…screaming. I’m convinced that the Lord speaks to me in music and moments when the pounding in my chest and the cries of my heart come out as more of a whimper than unnecessary chatter. So…stop talking and listen, friends.
3. TELL SOMEONE.
NOT everyone. ONE. Tell ONE. Y’all I am the ultimate doubter…borderline faithless when it comes to big things…but ohhhhhhh I am so good at sharing the ideas of the big things with people around me. I mean, its pretty freakin easy to forget all of the amazing and genuinely good things God has poured out on my adult life when I get too comfortable and talking to people makes me REALLY comfortable. So make yourself uncomfortable and only tell the one person. Tell them about your struggle and how much you want to bust the ceiling off of the limits you are sitting in to regain VISION for the new thing. Most people will look at you like you are a literal-crazy-bird…but your person won’t. They love your crazy so…bring it.
4. BE WILLING TO WAIT
So rude. Do y’all remember when potato chips were made with Olean? That was the fat free oil that required a warning label on the bag because if you ate more than one actual serving size, it would LITERALLY make you poop…like immediately…like standing right where you are. YIKES! We laugh at that thought but you can’t get more instant gratification on a diet plan than being caught off guard by a potato chip poop in the middle of a work meeting! We live in a Verruca Salt world, loves. We want to know the next thing now. We want to be walking in it now. We don’t care how prepared we are for it…we just want it right this second. If life worked like that we would all be in big trouble. Thank you Jesus for knowing I would need you before I even knew that myself! If the Lord gave me EVERYTHING I have asked for immediately after I asked for it, I would have been a child bride to Devon Sawa and definitely have lived a tragic VH1 “where are they now?” episode…what a mess I would have been. If REAL direction is what we are looking for and REAL impact is what we want to have and REAL encouragement is what we want to spread…it’ll be worth every single second we had to wait for it.
I’m getting to work. I hope you do the same. Running scared and afraid and imperfect is SO much better than sitting on your hands and I’m ready to run….long distance…no sprints. Let’s do this.