Every hour in my day seems to fly on by and suddenly it’s Thursday. I feel like I can’t keep up with the clock…it just keeps going. Whew. Welcome to the (almost) weekend. You made it!
1. Growing up is like growing a garden. We’ve loved having a garden this summer–there’s nothing quite like some fresh tomatoes and basil (with cheese, of course). We’ve expanded this year’s garden to also include okra, spinach, cucumber, kale and a few herbs. But let me just say, it takes work. It requires daily attention, cutting out the bad and elements completely outside of our control (like good weather and no rabbits). In the same way, personal growth and development takes time and effort, working through and eliminating the bad and faithfully waiting through the variables we simply cannot control. A garden is the perfect reminder of that process.
2. We all have strengths and talents. Mine just happens to be writing incredible to-do lists. While you may never see me performing that in a talent show, it’s still pretty significant and can help out the people around me. So, use your talent. Even if it doesn’t belong in a frame or on a stage, it can still make an impact.
3. Rest is important. We live in a culture that praises busy and expects constant work. The problem is, that’s not sustainable, healthy or necessary. Yes, use your strengths but also, set aside time for rest. You can and should take some time to rest every day, every week, every month and every year. Take a break. It’ll be okay.
Do you dream about doing something epic? Especially this time of year when people are going wild with goals and dreams? There’s the pipe dream or acceptance speech that you picture happening one day. Whatever it is, it’s amazing and you’ll be leaps and bounds from where you are now.
Some days though, the success is merely in making it through the day. There’s no award passed out or a congratulatory grin flashed your way. You get to go to sleep and do it all over again. All the little details and duties add up each day, and suddenly you’re out of time to do that epic thing or even have time to think about it.
In the movies they have a clever way of showing someone trudging through life. There’s a theme song and clips upon clips showing the main character go through the practicing and preparing. They pace through the hallway or run up and down the stairs–trying and failing–albeit showing small signs of improvement. Finally, the moment comes and it all amounts to something. Cue end credits.
Right now, all I’ve got to show is the movie montage, and it’s not even half finished. I keep working on fixing my mistakes, finding who I am, appreciating what I have, realizing my strengths and weaknesses, building better relationships and searching for my moment. That great big shining moment at the end of it all when it comes together and somehow makes sense. The tedium and the frustration of going through it all again and again is far less lighthearted without the song and the sped up highlight reel.
I look around and think how badly I want to check all of those things off my list, forever. Wouldn’t it be nice to say you’ve mastered all of your mistakes or finally formed perfect working relationships with everyone you know? Maybe you can say that, but I certainly can’t. Each day seems to bring both lost battles and small victories.
You know what? Sometimes I want the montage to be over already. Get me to the good part. But what I’ve been realizing lately is a need to appreciate the montage. It might be as close as we ever get to the “big moment” in this life. This wonderful thing called life is a nonstop montage of all the things we have to work through. It might not even be until the end that we get to look back and see all of the triumphs within it. We get to constantly grow and learn and do things, despite the hardships it might bring. Wouldn’t you rather have a life that is progressing instead of a stagnant life after that one big moment has passed?
So maybe living out the montage isn’t so terrible after all. (Having a theme song couldn’t hurt though…)
That basically sums it up. Over a quick weekend out-of-town, I think it sunk in for me. We’re doing alright. We are. We really are. And past that, we’re growing and learning and healing and developing. Some of the past few days, and even weeks, have been rough. Some of them have been as easy as can be. Sometimes we stress over the future and what it holds. Sometimes dwell too much on the past. There are good and bad things on either side of the present, but all in all, we’re doing just fine. This move has been good for us. Good for our marriage, good for our perseverance, good for our faith and good for our lives. I’ve thought it and mentioned it in passing. Now it’s time to say it out loud—we’re doing alright.