This is pretty much shameful and embarrassing to say, but my life doesn't satisfy me. Let me clarify by saying that I love my husband and my kids, adopted and foster, to no end but being their caretaker and having a full-time career doesn't fulfill me the way I thought it would.
My mindset has always been, once I accomplish this 'insert goal here," I'll be happy. Looking at it now, what a horrible way to live? At one time, I thought that the adventure of having kids was going to finally be the thing that pushed my happiness over the top. I wouldn't have to search anymore and I would be done. I was WRONG!
My husband and I worked so hard to have a family. With lots of classes, state and county certifications, we became licensed foster parents and have had 7 kids come through our home. This has been such a rewarding experience. Two of these kids are now ours and they truly are the light of my life. However, let's be honest, there is nothing glamorous about being a mother. The satisfaction and 'happiness' I achieved by attaining the goal has been beaten down by the daily grind of life. Just this week, I've been puked on, had to clean up multiple puddles of urine and have cooked a meal that no child would touch. Over worked and under appreciated basically sums up my life, at work and home. An occasional 'thank you' would go a long way but I would settle for following directions the first time. I typically get neither.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. My family is it's own kind of perfect and I wouldn't change a thing about it. Yet, even after the adventure of getting there, I'm still looking for more. I want to travel and take spontaneous road trips. I want to spend days exploring large parks and exotic locales. I want something more than just the daily grind.
Apparently, I am never satisfied and there lies the problem. I am always searching for happiness in the wrong places. I am always working and striving for the next thing and never take the time to enjoy where I'm at. What is wrong with me?
Believe it or not, I found the answer when Amazon kept harassing me about a free Audible book with my Amazon Prime account. I came across the book, Longing for Paris, by Sarah Mae. God laid this book in my lap ya'll. If I didn't sound like Sarah Mae's husband, I don't know who does. I was raised to be a rock. To be dependable with work and income to support my family. I work day in and day out at a job that makes me miserable just so my family can have stability with two incomes. I don't even call in sick unless it is for one of the kids and if it is for me, I'm usually about to die.
The problem is that I find no joy or contentment in what is now my daily grind. It is a means to an end. It provides well for my family but it has slowly sucked the life, hope and faith right out of me. Well over a year ago, new life started stirring in me in the form of wild ideas. I decided that I wanted to do something different with my life. Through lots of conversations with my husband, lots of prayers and a lot of tears, I finally begged God to let me know what it meant. Through a series of events over the last year, we bought a building downtown, I got a crazy idea and now we wait for construction to finish. I'm about to do something that I never though I would do. I'm about to quit my job and I'm searching for confidence to finally pull the plug.
I watch my 7 year old and she is confident to the point of being obnoxious and I am so jealous of her. Just as an example, take a look at the picture on the left. She was a flower girl in my niece's wedding. She was gorgeous and did her job wonderfully... until the end. She didn't feel like spreading the petals anymore and just decided to dump the basket and sashay on her way. This picture was taken as she prepared to dump and run. She had no thought as to who would care or of what anyone thought. She didn't want to do it anymore and so she didn't.
I'm sure I use to be like that as a kid but as you age and encounter the world, you learn to second guess yourself, doubt yourself and no longer trust yourself. This is where I find myself. I constantly compare myself to these ideals that society has set for us and being a contributing member of society with a paying job and insurance has been my role for so long that the thought of letting it go is beyond uncomfortable. Yet, I'm going to take that leap of faith.
If construction goes to plan, I will be taking this most uncomfortable leap of faith in March. I'm trusting in a God who says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10, NIV). I am praying that my family will get to see adventure everyday as we see how God guides us, not only into the unknown future, but into a deeper trust in Him while bringing my dream into fruition.
I want to be a part of the adventure that follows by faith and I want to feel the freedom that comes with total trust in Him. It is through this that I think that I will finally find my true happiness and lead my family on a daily adventure that fulfills and excites.