When I was a teenager and people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I had no answer for them.
It’s not because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. On the contrary, I wanted to do SO MANY THINGS, I had no capacity to choose just one. Journalist? Yes, please. Movie producer? Cool. Writer? Awesome. Baker? Wow, that would be great. Lifeguard? Only if I get to work Del Mar’s Powerhouse Beach.
And the list went on. Wife. God-follower. Youth group leader. Overseas missionary. Photographer. Actress. Storm chaser. Meteorologist.
I am bad at making decisions, especially when my “Yes” means saying “No” to something else.
Which brings me to my post from last week. About five minutes after I hit publish, I saw the deeper question hidden within the words. (Sometimes, I need to write out my thoughts before I understand what’s really bugging me. I’m not the only writer who does that, right?)
I didn’t really want to know how to blog with four kids. That’s like asking how I can lose weight without eating healthy and moving more. It’s an impossible question, more rhetorical than realistic.
No, what I really wanted to know is how can I have it all? And the answer to that question is – I can’t.
Life is a series of trade-offs. Despite what the feminists of yore want me to believe, I can’t have everything. I must choose what I want most and then love well according to my priorities.
I believe this intellectually, but I have trouble living it. I tend to live my life as if I have more time, more energy, more me than I really do. (I’m an optimist.) And then, when my life gets hectic, I get cranky and stabby because life isn’t going the way I think it should.
Head? Meet wall.
I have a lot of knots on my noggin right now, because this season of life is the crucible of prioritization. I have so many little, malleable people who want my attention and affection. If one of my top 5 goals for my life is to introduce them to God’s glory, the window to their souls is open wide right now. This is the time. Today is the day. I dare not miss it.
That’s not to say I can’t have interests outside being Mommy. I would be a small and miserable woman if all I did was attend to the needs of my family day in and day out. But I do need to be mindful that I can only multi-task so much. (Jo covers this point nicely, so I won’t reiterate. But yes. Multi-tasking is usually just code for “I can’t focus to save my life and everything is suffering because of it.”) At some point, my sanguine tendencies to want to do everything mean that I do nothing well.
And I want to do a few things well. Which sometimes means doing other things less than well.
Reality. I don't always like it.
But it's important for me to accept it. I'm working on that, with God's help.
My Siesta Memory Verses for January were Deuteronomy 6:4-7, the beloved Sh’ma of the Jewish people. There, God reveals the key to a good life, a life of abundance and bounty:
“Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!”
That’s it! The one thing. Love well.
And then he says:
“Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children.”
And then, in verse 9, he says:
“When you are done with that, you can have all the time you want to blog.”
Remember that scene in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" when the Nazi has to choose which cup is the Holy Grail? He grabs an ornate, flashy, bejeweled vessel and drinks from it -- and then shrivels up to peach pit as his girlfriend screams? Then the Knight Templar says one of the best movie lines ever: "He chose ... poorly."
I don't want to choose poorly. God, grant me wisdom to chose wisely.
Because peach pit was never on my list of things to be when I grow up.