You know what’s exhausting? You may think running a marathon sounds tiring. Nah. What about spring cleaning your entire house? Not so much. Working a 15 hour day. Nope. What is exhausting, absolutely draining, is to be constantly wanting what other people have or at the very least being fixated on the things you don’t have. It is a vicious situation to find one’s self in on a regular basis. This is an area that I feel most people go through. Why must we be forced to deal with the awesomness of “everyone” around us? Inexplicably, we become convinced that everything in their lives is without flaw or struggle. Their “now” is what fairytales are made of….dreams coming true in real time. But, you & I both know that though other’s lives may be a bit more in unison or make more sense than where we are at personally in the present, no one is abounding in perfection. We allow ourselves to watch others and take notes.
It seems to me that the Lord has been speaking to me about being content where I am currently planted and taking time to smell the roses in my own yard…my tiny little yard that is not the yard that I think I need or want or deserve. Yes, yes, it is a metaphorical yard. Side note: I really don’t like my actual yard either. Yep, I said it. I own it. I have had my share of moments where I’ve been consumed with feeling sorry for myself because I don’t think my life, my “yard” is what it is supposed to be right now. If the Lord knew me at all, He surely would understand that this is not the blueprint I created for this season of my story…my life timeline.
In the official guidebook of Farrell D’Lynn Boone, age 39, it clearly states that I am to have a 5 bedroom home with a gigantic fenced in yard complete with a porch swing and swimming pool, husband, kids, & golden retriever puppy. In the guidebook it states that I am about to launch my 4th published book and my husband & I are planning our second trip to Europe. The waiter at the café on the corner knows us by name. The guidebook is quite detailed as you can see. It provides explicit information stating that we live in a neighborhood that is cookie cutter classic with its friendly neighbors, Saturday cookouts, and an overflow of sharing milk and sugar from next door so that you can make cookies for all the kids nearby. Ahh, the guidebook. I hate the guidebook. I hate it because it’s in my head and I created it. It is a perfect storm of things I desire and want as well as things I think are what’s best for me. It’s also full of pieces from other people’s puzzles. The Lord has the right plan for my life…for my family’s life. He did not sign off on my guidebook. I sent it to the printer before He saw the proof. Yes, He listens to the desires of my heart, but, He doesn’t always make them come to fruition. Sometimes what we don’t have is just as important as what we do have. And, other times, the journey to get what we now have is where a wealth of knowledge and growth takes place. It is what makes us who we are.
I must confess that there have been times in my life where I was only able to recognize the beauty in something in a specific moment because of the struggle attached to it.
You know, many of the things I want in life seem very valid to me, true dreams and goals that I put great value on. But, I truly want what God wants for my life in the timing that He sees fit. I struggle with knowing what is my own voice vs. God’s voice. I also struggle with the possibility of getting in God’s way. I often wonder how many times I have redirected a planned path the Lord laid out because I wasn’t obedient, missed His cues, or just simply made mistakes that altered an outcome.
I have had some major revelations as of late…personal epiphanies. I can’t help but wonder how many “now” moments I have allowed to be in my rear view mirror rather than front and center all because I was too hyper-focused on the “now” of someone else. There is no joy or fulfillment to be found by watching someone else smell their roses. We all need to take the time to take a deep breath in our own garden. I implore you to take a moment to look around you. Not just your four walls. Your life. Your day. Turn your senses on high alert.
Stop buying movie tickets to someone else’s show.
That’s what I want you to grab on to. That is what I need to take heed of in my own life. One of the most convenient and habitual things we do is to be so easily able to disregard incredible “now” moments. The other day at work, I had a rare opportunity to roam the halls where I teach and visit with a few co-workers. Stories were told. Anecdotes were shared and hilarity ensued. Hugs were given. Smiles were passed. Quick witted banter was volleyed in brief, yet purposeful chatter. I felt the Lord nudge me at the end of my hallway socializing escapade. I was happy. I was doing what I loved best….talking with people. I made others laugh. I got to be a present participant in someone’s tall tale. There was energy to be found in the interactions. My “now” in that moment was fantastic. I was immediately grateful. Grateful for my job. Grateful for my co-workers. Grateful for my desire to connect with people. Grateful for smiles. Grateful for a hidden gem of a 10 minute window I didn’t know I would have as the day began. My day beyond this time had its challenges. I worked hard. I had multiple moments of frustration as the hours unfolded. I found myself exhausted from the sheer amount of multi-tasking I was doing.
When I came home, I chose to focus on the “now” that I was incredibly thankful for and was choosing to hold it in high regard.
Another moment came to me when I recently witnessed my 4 year old daughter playing in our kitchen. Christmas had come and gone and there were toys anew around our home. But, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I looked over and watched my sweet girl giggle under a storage tub and scoot around the floor pretending she was a turtle. She had a pure, contagious joy that screamed, “I LOVE MY RIGHT NOW,” and she delighted in it. And I loved that “now” as much as she did. Watching her made me take a moment to reflect. It was me, my girl, and a tub in our dirty kitchen and it was absolutely one of my favorite moments of the day. It was a magnificent “now” that I needed to acknowledge.
I must say that I humbly and somewhat painfully came to the conclusion that it is possible that maybe other people are just better and far more accomplished at actually embracing their “nows” as they unfold. I feel as though God is trying to help me see that I need to be the best version of myself in each season of my life and that I need to wake up to where I am and what is taking place. I need to exude gratefulness. I need to up my game with the recognition and declaration of the beauty of “nows.” I know that I have to allow my life to shine where it is at presently and I have to be willing to slow down and see those things that I have ignored. I challenge you….I challenge myself – find and document “nows” and watch your once envious, downtrodden heart open to the beauty that is ever-present. These moments may be small, may seem like a flash in the pan to the eye. But, they pack a powerful punch when embraced and appreciated as the blessings they were created to be.
Farrell Boone is a native Texan who has been living the Nashville, TN life with her husband, Rob, for the past 8 years. She is mommy to the outspoken, beautiful, sassy, and hilarious 3 year old known as Emme. Farrell is an educator, writer, terrible house cleaner, football watcher, sweet tea drinker, and an overall sensitive soul. You can connect with Farrell via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook: Farrell Boone or read more of her writing on her blog.