I started the one word as a resolution on a whim. I had a three month old, a nineteen month old, and I was staring my return to the classroom in the face as my husband was returning to his second semester of PhD school. I asked for enough. I just needed enough, needed to be enough, wanted to be able to pull it all off. I was given grace. And in the leaning into grace I found enough. Last year I was feeling trapped, tied, I had been thinking of this wild and free God we serve and I wanted more freedom in my life. I asked for freedom, nope. Free? No. I was very clearly given unashamed and this year I have found a lot of freedom.
You know where this is going. I did some dream journaling this year at my birthday weekend. I kept asking for growth. In my marriage, in my blogging, in my career. I feel like these last two years have been years of pruning, of stripping away attitudes and patterns in my life that aren’t healthy and aren’t from the Lord. I am ready for some new blooms to spring up. I can smell the new growth in the air. So I asked for it. I asked for grow. I even tried it out, told some people that might be my word. It wasn’t. It isn’t. I was told no. And frankly, I was mad about it.
So, I had nothing. No idea. I wasn’t thrilled with that either. The Lord knew I would hate my word, likely reject it. So the Holy Spirit made sure I heard, and gave me a word uniquely suited to me. Two words actually. They just sound the same.
If you are familiar with my writing at all, you know that I am really not as careful as I should be. There and their, two and too, pair and pear, come on, people can figure it out. Sometimes, I use the wrong word, prefer the accidental meaning and keep it on purpose. I mean, not often, but sometimes. So I got the word here, and I said no, so I got hear. And I didn’t say no but I did get pissed, because these words are going to be hard, because these words confront a lot of my coping mechanisms.
I am perpetually sure that life will be way better about two years from now (whenever now is). But it has gotten really bad in the last six months or so. My husband is in his third of four years in a PhD program. Next spring he will, hopefully, be interviewing for jobs. I am awesome at making up futures for us based on the jobs that may not even be real that I decide he is going to get. If you have a college in your town, and we have interacted on twitter, chances are I have dreamed up a pretty detailed life raising my girls in your town.
And chances are I have dreamed up living in your town on the days living here is hard. Teaching in this political climate isn’t getting any easier. And teenagers in general are just always hard. I know everyone tells me to make sure I don’t wish the toddler years away, and I love the hilarity and the cuddles, but I do dream of a future where everyone goes to the bathroom by themselves, and never in their pants.
If I am brutally honest with you, it is often the messes I am imagining away. In the future I live in, in my head, there is a church that believes everything I do, a perfect house, more time to write, magically built-in like-minded community and a really easy job. In the future in my head nothing is messy. But life is messy.
A funny thing happened as I cleaned my house to prepare for my family coming. I remembered that I loved it, loved my house, loved my neighborhood. I remembered that I heard, and that is how I got here. That it has always been like that for me.
I don’t want to live in a future that I create in my head, I want to be here. In the real, where it is messy. I want to learn to clean it up and let it lie and know when to do which. (I think that is where the hear comes in.) I want to be here, wherever here is, and in the place that the Lord has put me, I expect to hear his voice.