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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Enough

Y'all I have at least a dozen blogs posts rattling around in my brain right now, they're getting crowded, elbow to elbow, bumping against each other but homeschooling (and the lack of being able to blog from my phone) have made it tricky to find the moment to sit down and let it spill out... till right now. This can't wait. The boys are in the kitchen eating apple slices and frozen yogurt tubes while I'm half-heartedly making a box of mac & cheese for their lunch and sneaking in this quick little note. Because it has to be said. Right here, right now. Before it goes away.

Contentment. Right here and now, right where I am. This is enough. This life. This craziness. All of it. I'm not in love with all of it everyday, some days more than others, but I am okay with it. Really. And who I am, the smallness of it, the bigness of it, the quiet, the trying to be heard amongst the din both in my house and online. I'm good with it. I have faith that I'm on a journey and my life won't always look like this, and it is going somewhere and that this stage matters... at least most days.

Then there are the other days - do you remember being that starry-eyed teenager? I don't know about you but I remember thinking that all I needed to be happy was a boyfriend. I could not wait to have someone notice me, and want to talk to me for hours, and hold my hand (sigh). And then once I had the boyfriend all I needed to be happy was to get married... and have a baby (or two), and then for them to get to be school-aged and less of a hassle (I really truly miss those hard, humble years) and then I realized that I was always wanting the next big thing and I stopped.

Until I realized that I am a writer.

Then it started all over again. I thought - oh I will finally be happy when I have a blog, with X number for followers, but that morphed into I will finally be happy when I have a book deal, or I will finally be happy when I am published. On this journey towards becoming a published author (did I just say that out loud? Yes I did.) There is a huge temptation to think that somehow to be published will be to be satisfied. I don't think so. There will always be something else, someone who has accomplished more, who has succeeded at a greater level than I am currently. Some next best thing.

The way I see it is like this - how will I feel if I accomplish all of my goals? I imagine myself packing to get on a plane to go speak somewhere and to sell my books and then I imagine coming home to a sink of dirty dishes. How will I feel then?  Well, I think there will be that temptation to wish I had bigger sales or better reviews or invitations to speak and this place or that. I imagine there will be the temptation to compare myself to someone farther along, bigger or better and I hear God's spirit encouraging me to learn this lesson here.

So I come around to this word "enough". I'm tempted to say "I am enough" and in a certain sense that is true, what God made when He made me is good. Sin has a way of turning that image of God into a fun-house crazy-snap-chat-filtered image sometimes but that little piece of the image of Himself that God placed into me when I was being formed, it's always there, even if it is kinda hidden. I keep asking Him - who do You say that I am? I want to be her as clearly as I possibly can be.

But I also have to say that God is enough - He is the one who satisfies my longings, and my identity is found in Him, he has set the boundaries for my life and I want to say with the Psalmist that they have fallen in pleasant places. I want to be like Paul who said that he had learned the secret of contentment, he had learned that he could have a lot and he could have next to nothing and it didn't rock the boat of his self-image. So I could be the next Ann VosKamp or for better or worse the next Jen Hatmaker, or the next Beth Moore or I could continue on as that sweet lady in the back row that just a few people know but they are loved by her - and it wouldn't make a difference.

That is when I am stopped right in my tracks. Really? It wouldn't make a difference? Not to me, not to God? Really? Really. Even when these kids are driving me CRAZY and I feel like one small drop in the ocean? Even then? I don't know who it is that God made you to be but I God made me to be a writer, and I want to be a writer because I believe that that is who God made me to be, not because that is who I am trying to become. I want to be a writer out of the overflow, not out of striving. I want to write because, for whatever reason, God decided that this world needed yet another writerly soul on it and I am one of them. I am not trying to prove anything, not even to myself. I am not trying to earn an identity, it was already given to me. I already have enough. I already am enough. At least that it what I am telling myself today.

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