Several years ago we took a 5,000-mile road trip around the center of the U.S.A. We loaded up our three year old and freshly turned one year old, and ventured around for 40 days in the wilderness. It was epic, and in many ways, completely life changing.
Perspective n: the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship.
Coming home from that road trip, we were renewed and invigorated to dig in deep to the daily grind of life and to find new and freshly creative ways to engage the community God had called us to invest in. We arrived home armed with stories from people around the country, fresh lens for seeing how others outside of our resort community lived, and passionate about living fully into the dreams God had placed in our hearts.
Sometimes I get lost in life.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like getting out of bed, of putting one foot in front of the other, doing the next exhausting task.
Sometimes I can’t fathom how enduring the kicking legs of a squirming baby who doesn’t want her diaper changed matters. Sometimes I can’t bear to read one more superhero book or look at one more Lego creation that looks exactly like the last one.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the bigger picture when the things right in front of me are screaming for my attention. Sometimes stealing an hour away to grocery shop alone, or taking an epic trip, can be the breath of fresh air I need to gain a better perspective.
But sometimes, I just need to live quietly for a while. Live more deeply into the mundane moments of life and be okay with the solitude and simplicity of the rinse and repeat of a simple, uneventful life. To pair down life to the bare necessities in order to figure out who I am and where I’m going.
Several months ago, as a storm swelled up outside and thunder boomed in the distance, I held the phone tightly to my to my ear while keeping one eye on my curious six year old whose nose was very close to the whirling blades of a food grinder. I bounced a baby on my hip while the other one sat at my feet playing with a borrowed truck from our friend’s toy box. I listened as my husband shared about his work day across the Big Blue Pond, and I tried to focus on what he was saying among the noise of life around me. When he asked me what we were doing, I said without hesitation, “Getting perspective.”
You see, we had been invited into the home of an “older” woman and her family while my husband was away on a work trip. I thought we were just going to be fed dinner, which was lovely in itself, but instead, what I got was perspective into the life of a family a few seasons ahead of me in their parenting journey.
As I observed them grinding their own oats and arguing over how much honey their granola needed, I realized that sharing life together in meaningful ways isn’t that difficult. We just need to be willing to share honestly and humbly with one another. We simply need to be available to make room at our table, or in this case the counter, to share with one another from our lives what God has made us to be – a community living together as one body. A community sharing from our lives that which we have received from our Father in Heaven.
This last year has been far from uneventful, but it has been quiet. It’s been a time of renewal, of putting off the old and what is now gone, and putting on what is new and growing more fully into the woman God has created me to be. Laying down the blog a year ago (and publicly at the beginning of this year) was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.
In faith, I shut down the noise and gave myself time to just listen and respond to the God who made me. I relearned what it looked like to live a quiet life, sharing with others from an overflow of my heart in tangible everyday ways, and I even took time to dust off my writing muscles that had grown rusty in the hurry, hub-bub of blogging.
As a stay-at-home-mom, I’m learning that seasons come and seasons go.
Some seasons we pack our bags for grand adventures. Some seasons we hunker down for a long winter or adjusting to life with a new baby. Sometimes we mourn our losses and other times we rejoice in the fragrance of new life.
But through it all we need regular inputs of perspective to keep us going, to keep us motivated to showing up each and every day, making those daily deposits of love, nurture, and grace into the home God has entrusted to us. We need help connecting all of the relevant data into a meaningful relationship within the context of our very own lives.
That day, standing in my friend’s kitchen as she showed me how to freeze noodles, make Baked Spaghetti, and argue that the teens were right about the honey in the granola thing, I made up my mind to do a better job of investing in the younger women God brought my way. I made a commitment in the noisy kitchen of her three teens and my three children under the age of six to pass on what I’ve learned to the next generation. I don’t have it all figured out, but I can share as an overflow and in obedience.
The mission of Intentional By Grace is to equip women with the tools and inspiration necessary to live gospel-motivated lives for Him. So, I’m going to pick up the torch again here in this space and chronicle my journey through life, sharing what I’m learning, putting wheels on God’s Word in practical every day moments. I’m going to invite you to my busy home of three little kids, ask you to not mind the unknown sticky substance stuck to your big toe, and pull up a stool, or just pick up a broom, that’d work better, and join me on this journey of grace-motivated worship of Jesus our Savior.
What do you say?