Every two years, I get the itch to turn my life upside down.
This is that time.
So this feeling, it’s familiar to me – and those that love me, bless their long-suffering hearts - now. I kick against my life, wondering if it’s enough, if I’m enough, if God is enough, if our life looks the way God would desire for us.
I wonder if, at the end of my life, when I’m retelling my old stories, will they be good stories to tell, good stories to hear? I am yearning for more than a mortgage I’ll never pay off and faithful church attendance and tinies that grow up to behave well in public and pay their taxes. I’m pacing around my house liked a caged thing, it all feels like too-too much, and it doesn’t help that I just finished “7: A Mutiny Against Excess” by Jen Hatmaker, no, that woman has not helped me one bit. I am spending the week with Tsh of Simple Mom fame’s “Organized Simplicity: Clutter Free Intentional Living” and I’ve filled three pages of lined notebook paper with my goals and hopes and intentions.
I want to paint the walls white and have a yard sale, I want to move, I want to burn something down and start over. I want a farm, I want to make soap. I want to start a commune, an intentional living community and I want a quiet house. I want to downsize and I’m stalking rural fixer-uppers in Washington State and the BC interior. I want a backyard garden and a tire swing, tinies with dirty hands at the end of the day. I want to homeschool forever and I want to send them all to boarding school so I can write in peace for one blessed moment. I want a baby and I want to adopt and I am so done having babies. I want to downsize and I want to organise, I want to swear off buying anything for a year, I want to go paperless, buy local, learn how to make a quilt. I want to pay off this damn school debt and then give away half our money. I’m sick of cleaning this house. I want to write my book and I have the wickedest case of writer’s block and I want every girl that needs Mercy to find the giver of mercy, and I don’t want to miss a minute of my life. I want to abandon my online life, delete Facebook, but first I want you to see this cute picture I took of my baby standing up, and like the proverbial tree in the forest, will you know I exist if I don’t tweet about things I”m reading and thinking and doing? I want to lose weight – yes, me, the “you’re beautiful, no matter what” girl needs to lose some serious weight – I need to practice some radical self-care, to take a walk, to eat vegetables instead of popcorn for supper, I need to slow down. I need my husband and it’s now 10 days until he’s back with our family. I feel like I want to take a month off together after that, a month just to deep clean my house, figure out our budget, our new dreams, our lives. Who are we again? And why are we here?
This feeling arrives like clockwork by now and, if I were my family or my friends, I would roll my eyes at my own angsty self. But it’s real and true: I get this sense of holy discontent, and then usually we do something about it. We move. We change jobs. We start something, we end something. It helps. We are very practised at upending our lives and living at sixes-and-sevens while you rebuild can be a bit addictive.
But this time I’m learning to lean into it. This time, I know, I sense, that I need to sit here, in the tension of what I think I want and see if it is truly what God wants for us. Instead of feeling the discomfort and just doing something different, I want to feel the discomfort and explore it, its roots, where it comes from. And then wait on God to move, to speak, to breathe.
And then, God-willing, I’ll be faithful to God’s heartbeat for the world – and for us.
This is difficult.