As I enter back into the blogging world, it comes to my attention how very lacking I have been in even using this medium to keep up with everyday happenings. I have decided that it is ok with me if no one else decides to peruse my entries. I am going to write things out...for posterity or just plain ol' therapy. It provides me with a useful outlet for my inner ramblings.
My thoughts of late have been turned towards the concept of community. My fabulous friend Tiffany wrote a blog about one particular aspect of this topic. Should you have a few extra minutes, head on over and read it. You'll be glad you did. But finish this first. I digress...
My heart and mind have been struggling. There is a longing deep within me to "fit," to belong, to have some sense of rightness in the world around me. I have cried. I have prayed. I have cried some more. Little by little, it seems that the answer to those pleas in the dark is not going to be a neatly wrapped parchment scroll dropped from the heavens into my lap. Nor is it going to be some sudden sense of revelation and knowing. Instead, for me, God has chosen to take me on this personal journey His way. (I know, right? How far we mistakenly think we have come from being in the same boat...er, treading the same sand...as those Israelites.)
Over the past few weeks, I have seen that my community is bigger and more diverse than expected. Just as there are many hats that we each wear as we switch out our roles in life, there are also many facets to our daily lives and the relationships we share. I have a wonderful place of connection at my neighborhood elementary school. My children grow and learn there, and they are blessed daily by incredible teachers and friends. I laugh now when I recall how very very fearful I was about sending my offspring into the lion's den of public education. Yes, God. I hear You on that one. As a result of this choice, I now have the glamorous job of the substitute teacher which has allowed me to become familiar with the place my kids spend 7 hours of each weekday. I have the opportunity to volunteer and give my time to the teachers who invest in 24 kids all day every day....and somehow seem to do so with a smile. Friendships that I treasure have formed from this particular gathering place. All in all, a great big piece of who I am centers around this brick building with its aged copier and fussy laminating machine. I am at peace there.
I have a broad and very eccentric circle of friends. These people rarely have graced the same locale, but they are of the utmost importance to me. I know who to call when I want to go see a movie no one else will want to see and exactly which theater has better popcorn for such an event. I know who to call if I want to wander the aisles of Target or Barnes and Noble just for the heck of it. I have our-kids-are-friends friends, book-reading friends, day-to-day-let's-get-through-it friends, and friends who offer to pray and mean it . It's a great big mush pile of personalities, people, and places I have been in life. But it all comes together to make something well-balanced and lovely and so very necessary.
Part of what I am learning is that the place I was seeking to meet my need for validation may, in fact, not be the correct place. Not to be too cliche, but putting all of my eggs in one basket at this point in my life may not be what is wise or even fair. Not too long ago, I had one of those emotional breakdown moments which we females tend to do now and then . (Sorry to sound stereotypical, but it's true.) I called my sister-in-law, and during all of my complaints (valid, of course) and questions about searching for my place and purpose she made this comment: "Maybe God wants you to look to Him and not the _________. Just Him." Well, since we are being honest here, I did not enjoy that little nugget of wisdom one bit. Nope. Didn't like it, pushed it aside for a good while, and decided that was just something for her to say to sound all holy. (Sorry, sis-in-law who hopefully doesn't read this blog post!!! hehe) Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I am pretty sure she was correct. God has decided to use that as a reallllly funny life-plot development for me. Cue the irony. And I am slowly learning to listen.
I may not make it through this particular episode completely whole. A few bits and pieces may need to be lost, refined, or adjusted along the way. But if I get to the end with a greater appreciation for those that impact my life, a greater awareness for the places in which I can serve, and a greater focus on God and not the extra....junk....then I think it will be ok. Or at least my view will be much clearer.
OH! And here is that blog link: