This has been a ridiculously, stupendously busy year. I am full time teaching after being off for 14 years; I’m enrolled full time in graduate school, pursuing a master’s degree in Religious Studies; and I’m still running this crazy household. When friends ask me how I’m doing, how my life is going, all I can say is this line,”It’s really good. I love everything I’m doing while I’m doing it.” While this is absolutely true, it’s been bothering me that this is all I can think to say. So I did a little intentional thinking about this the other day. How am I really doing?
First, I am filled with joy. Oh, I am stressed out – a lot. Organizing 5 kids on 4+ sports teams: carpools, snacks, meals, all on a budget, and trying not to forget anyone at any given time or field… it’s a lot to manage. Finding time to plan and grade for 140 freshman students whom I dearly love and desire to provide great, meaningful education…it’s a lot to manage. Squeezing in chunks of quiet time in which to read fabulously deep books on theology and writing the necessary papers and assignments that accompany quality grad. classes…it’s a lot to manage. But there is much joy to be found in all of these activities. It shows up in the conversations I get to have with my kids when we’re in the car, driving to yet another practice. It shows up when those students are genuinely shocked that I sent out a quick email letting them know I’m thankful for them. It shows up as I’m using parts of my brain that have been dormant for so very long. I am truly joy-filled.
I have such amazing support. My husband and kids love me in the midst of my insanity. My family and Rob’s family – especially those Grandmas – have made themselves available in so many ways – caring for these 5 lucky kids, caring for me in practical, loving ways. Friends who listen to me whine, treat me with suprise doughnuts, jump out of running cars for much-needed hugs, reach out through quick emails and texts…I am loved in all the ways I need to be, and much more. And I know that I am lifted up in prayer. That, along with spirit-provided comfort and inspiration, is the only way I am walking through this and am still fairly upright, and mostly-remembering to breathe.
As I contemplate my joy and my aforementioned response to my current life, I think the way I’m feeling is HOME. I am home in my body, in my spirit, in my soul. I’m not complete, and am still pretty much a mess (my house reflects this), but I am more perfectly me than I have ever been before in these 42 years. THIS is the biggest blessing of my life right now. I’ve always been a performer. I put on “Becky-shows” for whatever needs I anticipated my audience may have. And I’ve been really good at this, if I do say so myself – which I do. And it’s not all been a lie, a piece of my true-Becky is included in every performance for the low, low price of free! But at the heart of every performance now is… me. This is where my life thus far has brought me – home to me. So when I’m performing now, it’s rooted in authenticity and (I almost wrote maturity – which is hilarious, and would be much-debated!) this giant store of love I’ve received.
And how does one put all of that into a simple response to, “How are you?” I guess, just the way I’ve been answering will have to do. No, I don’t watch much tv and I don’t sit down much, I don’t exercise as much as I’d like to, and right now I don’t have time to read or write much for pleasure (although I”ve gifted myself this time today for my birthday). My garden will probably be a mess again this year, and I’ve sent more than one kid to soccer practice in a semi-clean (who am I kidding – dirty) jersey… But I am loving everything I’m doing while I’m doing it. Even in the most stressful moments or the painful ones that are prevalent in this broken world, I am acutely aware of the ways I am held…and blessed. There’s a lot of ugly amidst the beautiful…but I choose to focus on the beautiful.
There is much that is sacred in my ordinary life. And I’m so very thankful for every moment.