I was in Middle School and couldn't wait for High School. I was in High School, and I just knew everything would be better once I got to college. I went to college, and I knew I wouldn't be truly happy until I married Nathan. We got married, and I just knew we'd be happier once we finished school and had more money.
sidebar: Whoever said money can't buy happiness never used retail as a form of therapy, am I right?
Anyway, with each new step in life, I found myself looking toward the next achievement...surely then I'd be "happy".
I just knew that when Nathan got home from being gone for nearly a year, I'd be so happy. I am. I am happy that he is home, but life isn't perfect...and I'm starting to realize...not only realize, but embrace, that in that unhappy middle place is where God does his best work. I truly believe that. I know of some people that by all outside perspective shouldn't be happy, but they just radiate with the joy of Christ.
I know that God has used my experiences to soften my heart and give me increased compassion for others. I know many people who have so much more money than us, but they cling so tightly to it...knowing that we don't have a lot, and there's not much to cling to, I find myself being so much more generous. I find myself tithing more and with a more cheerful heart. I find myself sponsoring another Compassion child and focusing less on worrying about the future and the hows and whens and whys.
This new way of thinking is affecting everything. It's affecting the way I parent. I no longer think it's the most important thing for Manning to learn his shapes and colors and how to read, but maybe it's more important to teach him to use words that are honoring to others like "ma'am" and "sir" and to teach him that he needs to make sacrifices for the happiness of others...that just because he earned a new train toy for some potty successes doesn't mean that he doesn't have to share it with Deacon with a cheerful heart.
I don't really know where all of this will take me, but I do know that I'm excited to find out. I don't believe God would lay these things on my heart simply for me to think about, so I imagine I'll be sharing more someday about how we are living out these beliefs...and I can't wait. Except, I will. And while I do, I'll be happy with where I am and what I have and that's that.
I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2
Enjoying the middle: