Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Learning to Live

Ty started a new job right after Christmas, and he is working regular hours now, as opposed to the weird hours of his previous job. I have been finding that I am a bit at loose ends. It is the first time in my adult life that I have not had a job to get up and get dressed for or a deadline looming over my head. Yet, as I sat here this morning, I found myself asking for more time. Time to get the house cleaned, time to write a few more blog posts, time to organize the kids’ lessons and time to dream.

Mostly time to dream. I tend to spend a lot of time in my head, thinking things through to their ultimate conclusion, working out problems, and just wondering about the great mysteries of life. It is one of my favorite times, pacing around the living room, speaking my thoughts out loud and letting them drift where they may. It gives me energy and keeps me awake both mentally and physically.

This past week I haven’t been able to shake this groggy feeling, like my brain is only functioning at minimum capacity, refusing to do anything beyond basic life sustaining operations. I feel like a decade of being on survival mode has left me unable to cope without some sort of crisis demanding my attention, every cell super charged with adrenaline. Now it seems as if all the big issues of my life either have been or are being addressed, all without any apparent effort by me. It is a strange lulling security that seems to be dulling my edges.

This is a strange new role I have stepped into, full time wife and mother, good but strange. I look back over my life and I place them alongside my former job titles and I wonder how the tool-and-paint-sales person, art instructor, berry farm foreman, bartender, restaurant manager, college instructor, field hand, green house worker, hay hauler, floor layer, and shelf stocker got here. I had always hoped, but I don’t think I have ever believed that it could happen.

There is a big difference in hope and belief. Hope is dandelion fluff that floats through our vision, catching the sunlight, but impossible to grab. Belief is the foundation stones of something greater than you. Solid and strong, never failing to bear you up when you need the support.

I find now that this hope has solidified, and no longer am I chasing it across a field of broken glass. It’s here and I am learning to live with it. I am trying to understand how to accept it as a reality and keep reminding myself it is real. I am not going to wake up only to find that it has all been a pretty figment of my imagination.

So I am left with the question – Now, what?

Before Ty, so many of my hopes and dreams were bound up in the idea of being in love and being loved. I planned the ways I would care for the man who was willing to share in this life I desired, and I dreamt of the days when I would no longer feel that crushing weight of being alone. It took up so much time, kept me from going mad from the harsh facts of my existence. It was a beautiful place to retreat, to hide when the world got too scary, but now I live there. I don’t need to hide in my head. It is a good and frightening feeling all at once. One that leaves me blissful and sappy while filling me with a rare dread–what shall I dream of now?

Is it possible to be still and enjoy the moments that flow one right into the next? It is so new to me, so very strange and foreign, I often find myself holding my breath as if it were an exotic bird that I dare not startle or frighten away. I tip toe around this new life, careful lest I awaken myself and not all together sure that I like this new feeling of peace. Wondering how insane is that?

My father once said ignorant people are scared of what they don’t understand and even if something is better, they will do everything in their power to destroy it or remove it. I think that is where I am. This place, this feeling, is something I don’t understand but thankfully, I don’t believe that I am ignorant. So I am going through the process, learning to accept this blessing with grace and joy. It isn’t always easy, and I don’t think we acknowledge this part of the journey enough.

In this fallen world, marked with pain and suffering, doing without and just surviving, we have forgotten how to receive. We have forgotten how to experience the good things that the Father has chosen to bless us with. We have found that it is far easier to destroy or remove the blessing before we truly allow ourselves to experience it. It just seems so out of place when measured against our past experience, so we sabotage it, we deny it, or we run from it.

So look around, what is the Father bringing into your life? Is it a blessing? A special provision of grace? Your heart’s desire? Can you embrace it, acknowledge that it may not feel right just, yet is a good thing? Embrace it, protect it, and I promise you it will be worth all the awkward moments, every new and uncomfortable feeling. He only gives good gifts.

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