This week, I've spent a lot of time considering what I'd like the next step of my life to be. I've prayed, trying to discern God's Will for my life, knowing that He put this passion and drive inside of me for some reason.
What I've realized this week is that there really isn't anything I enjoy more than I enjoy quality time with my children. I don't love it all. I don't love the dishes, or the laundry, or changing diapers. I don't love mopping the floor, mowing the lawn, or making dinner while three kids are crying and pulling on my pants.
But, I do love the talks. I love the dinner prayers. I love the play dates, when I see D learning to make new friends. I love having lunch at school with K, and hearing her tell me about her new friend at recess. I love cuddling with C, and reading the same bus book that we've already read 7 times. I love finding new activities to do with them, I love teaching them.
I think I'm beginning to see that I can be passionate at home. I can be passionate ABOUT things at home. I've always looked externally for a solution to my discontentment, but God is showing me that it's an internal problem first.
I often find myself thinking, "if only I could do ___" If only I could work, and Gibbs could stay home. If only I could go back to school and do what I am really passionate about, then I would be happy. But it's much more likely that I'd be discontent even in my "ideal" circumstances.
Paul learned to be happy regardless of what was happening. He knew God was in control of the good times and the bad, and knew his purpose in life was bigger than his feelings in the moment.
God has great things in store for my life. I don't know what it is yet, but God willing, I can learn to be passionate about it even when it doesn't feel exciting in the moment. Even when there is a mountain of dishes to overcome before I can get to what I really want to do that day.
I mean really... even if I had the perfect job, I'd come home and there'd still be laundry to do, floors to be cleaned, diapers to be changed!! But I'd be missing all of the good stuff that makes that crap worth doing!!
If I love to write, what's stopping me from writing at home? Nothing, except myself! If I love politics, what is stopping me from running for the school board, or another local position? Just myself. If I love teaching, I have THREE able and willing students at my disposal at all times! I can get as much out of my life as I am willing to put in.
You can be as happy as you want to be.
I believe that knowledge is power. Knowing that I have control of my own contentment is a revelation to me. I can't blame my discontentment on staying home, or my husband not being home enough, on God's Will for my life, or the children's constant demands. I have the power to do the things I love to do, if I wanted to do them. The thing that stops me is me.
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other.