Monday, June 2, 2014

On Living the Life in Front of You

"I think about how valuable it is to live the life in front of you, regardless of how tempting it is to press your face against the glass of other people's lives online, even though doing that is so much safer and so entirely addictive." Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine. 

It's been a minute since I've written anything, and I'm sad that this continues to be a pattern.  I had this idea that once our wedding was over, and all the crafting/planning/stressing that ensued, I'd be living the dream with free time.  The truth is, life has thrown a few curve balls at us since getting married, and between working nights, visiting my sick grandmother, and trying to get settled into our life together, I've been a little bit busy!  But it's all very good, and a time is coming when things will be fully settled.  That free time may never come about (how do moms do this?  I'm barely keeping my head above water cooking/cleaning/doing laundry for only two of us.. how do you add more to the equation? And working moms? Guh. You have my admiration and appreciation), but I'll have to learn to find quiet moments in the midst of chaos.

As for my heart lately, it has been ever seeking things it cannot have.  The Shauna Niequist post from above is possibly one of my favorites.  Shauna gets me in a "kindred spirit" kind of way, and I always always always love her writing and what she has to say.  Well I'll tell you that lately, I've been pressing my face against the glass of other people's lives, and my heart has been restless and full of all I most hate to be: envy.  The first thing that got me were all of the beach pictures I saw on Memorial Day.  Oh, how my heart aches for Wrightsville Beach-- Trolly Stop hot dogs, the smell of Ocean Potion and salt on your skin, a good book in hand and not a worry in the world.  Those are things I miss so much.  Yet, I'm happy in Indy.  No, I'm not a ten minute drive from the beach, but I have good friends, a loving husband, great job, and a wonderful city that has been so good to be since I was transplanted here 6 months ago.  

And then there's the big things.  Like friends buying houses or having babies.  Or just seeing other friends post about their marriages on Instagram and Facebook.  Oh, how easily I get swept up in the comparison game.  I like another quote that I see people reference often, and I think it's so so true: comparison is the thief of joy.  If only I could tell you just how true that is.  And here's the funny thing about me comparing my life/relationship/stage of life to everyone else's on Facebook: I know that I'm not called to where they are right now.  Scott and I don't know how long we are going to be in Indy for, so why buy a house?  As for babies, I have little desire, time, or money for one right now between work and Scott's school loans building up.  I'll be excited for one someday, but not today.  I feel that the worst of these crimes is that I'm envious of other people's marriages.  Mainly because I feel like it's not fair to Scott.  I've been so happy these past two months since marrying him.  It just feels like how I always thought it should when you are married to your best friend.  Yet I still press my face against that glass of my computer looking at other friends' wedding photos, their fun outings they go on together, and their lives together and think "Oh yes, that's what we need."  I'm so happy until I see that someone else looks happier.  They might not be, but I perceive them as being so and get caught up in what I'm doing wrong to not be as happy.

I feel like I'm spilling all of the ugly parts of me for you to see with this confession.  I don't really like for people to know that this is what social media has turned me into, but there it is.  I want my focus over the next few months to be on finding contentment and joy where I am.  I want to get back to finding small joys in each day and not just recognizing them, but thanking God for them.  I take SO much in my life for granted, and I always want something more than what I have.  Instead of wanting more, seeking more, being jealous for more, I want to reflect on everything I have and all that the Lord has blessed me with in my life.  I want to take in each moment as it comes and appreciate it, even if it seems to be sad or hurtful.  I want to take what I can from that moment and learn from it for the next.  

Maybe you can hold me accountable for living the life in front of me.  Maybe you can help me by saying you sometimes feel this way too.  Or maybe you can tell me I'm being silly and that I need to stop acting like a middle school girl.  But whatever small way that it is, you are part of my journey to live the life in front of me.

Grace & peace, dear friends.  And please be in prayer for this journey.  I'm wanting to feel joy for those around me without showing my big green envious monster side.