Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One of my favorite friends is in one of my favorite places. A magical place of anticipation that verges on impatience. Excitement with a twinge of fear. The wonder-filled final days (maybe even hours) of a swollen womb bursting at the seams with a baby who is ready but not quite yet willing to emerge. I am eagerly awaiting her call to say that the new little one has begun his transition into the world. I will grab my camera and rush to her house, excited for the opportunity to photograph the unfolding of another miracle. With the excitement, though, there also comes a hint of longing. Just 20 short months ago, this friend was beside me with her fully round belly on the day I had Juni. And two days later, my baby girl and I were there with her to meet her precious new son for the first time. And though my heart, and hands, and days are full, I can't help but feel like I am missing out on something. Some....place.

In all honesty, I don't often examine my feelings and wonder if God is trying to teach me something. I'm just not all that reflective in my every day life. That's part of the reason I blog. It forces me to really think about things. To step back and look at the bigger picture and see circumstances for what they might really be. Writing causes me to come face to face with my own heart. And I don't always like what I see staring back at me.

I saw a quote the other day. It was attributed to Theodore Roosevelt and it said "Comparison is the thief of joy". I read that and I literally brought my hands to my heart, dropped my shoulders, and sighed. Every minute I am living encircled by these blessings overflowing, this energy abounding, this breath surrounding...and I am not allowing myself to be content. And here's why: I am racing. Racing through the days, racing through my life, and most shameful of all, racing with other moms. I doubt any of them even know that we are neck and neck in this thing and that I am pushing my limits to stay in as a real contender. The events in my personal mommy olympics include homeschooling, home birthing, extended breastfeeding, baby wearing, organic eating, nutritional supplementing, sewing, hobby farming, and even blogging, to name a few. When did I begin to let myself believe that life is a competition? And why do I always think I have to be the best?

So I sit here. Reflecting, and writing, and learning my lesson. Taking notes on the gentle lecture the Lord is giving to my heart. I am feeling the weight of my sweet toddler on my lap as she nurses herself back to sleep. I am hearing the rhythmic breathing of my very nearly 4 year old dreaming beside me. I am picturing my little girls snuggled together in their covers surrounded by stuffed friends and bedtime books. I am thinking about my strong boys sleeping peacefully in their bunks. I am realizing that God knows what I don't know. He sees what I can't see. And his plans are better than mine.

I am in a race. But there is no one trying to beat me, no one passing me by, no one receiving my medal. Because it's not a race against anyone, it's a journey TO Someone. And when my route intersects with other runners I want to be able to cheer them on to run their best race, rather than kicking it into high gear in an effort to leave them in the dust. It's not going to be an easy lesson for me to learn. I am naturally competitive, so walking hand in hand with my fellow Mamas is a challenge to my nature. But I am finally seeing that pursuing life as a competition to win rather than a journey to share is the ultimate exercise in comparison. And I'm tired of letting it steal from me.

I love my life.

Gotta go lace up my running shoes and reach out my hands to my teammates.

Go, Mamas, go!

1 comment:

  1. You just filled my heart with your words. I am anticipating sitting with you again, hearing those words that another Allen will be joining your flock, feeling the joy when you find out the gender and counting down the days with you.

    I see in you, a true team player, one that shares knowledge and wisdom, skills that you have already developed. I think back to 4 years ago and what I have learned from you, the many times you have grabbed my hand, what you have volunteered to teach me, and how glad I am to be on your team. You are an incredible friend, brilliant at the things you take on and an amazing mom. GO TEAM!!!