"When you are where you least want to be, you are exactly where God wants you to be."
More than two years ago a wise woman told me this. I have had this quote in my drafts since then. I knew it was important. I kept coming back to it. Recently, I realized that it fits a topic that has been rolling around in my brain for the last few weeks: This is totally not the life I had planned.
Not making excuses for my drop off the blogging grid for part of last year, there were a few posts but not many. This blog, it seems is somewhat a mirror to my heart. Things got out of hand. I didn't do a lot of things I usually do. When things get out of hand I tend to be a clam. With the shell closed. For those who really know me, this says it all: I did not decorate last year for Christmas as I have in years past. How I deal with Christmas is usually a good thermometer of the state of internal affairs.
Now just so you know, I am not unhappy with my life. I have even accepted that I will likely grow old in this duplex. But this is not where I thought I would be. These are not the plans I had made.
Man makes plans and God laughs. Yiddish proverb
From the time I was twelve I would tell people I did not want to get married. I did NOT WANT CHILDREN.
When I was eighteen I had a steady boyfriend and a pastel rainbow wedding planned. My house would be neutral and the accessories would change colors with the seasons. By accessories I did not mean books. I liked books--but I wanted fancy things.
When I was twenty-two I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated with an advertising and public relations degree.
When I was twenty-five I thought I would spend my life with an electrician and have horses.
When I was twenty-eight I married a man who was unemployed (after he had been MY employee) and we said we would never have kids. We thought the homeschoolers down the road were very weird.
When I was thirty-three I had a baby. Quit my job with questionable finances. Decided I would homeschool this child (before he was born). Wanted to raise livestock and live "off the grid." We would hunt for or raise our food. My husband worked in IT.
When I was thirty-six I had baby number two. I wanted to show dogs. I still wanted to homeschool my sons. I would be the perfect mother who cooked nutritious meals, read to her children and discussed poetry over tea. Proper tea.
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it. Flannery O'Connor
The truth is...
I would love to have time to make homemadefromscratch cookies for my boys.
I buy cookbooks and recipe magazines like some people by fashion periodicals. But I will only make a handful of the delicious meals I see. My husband cooks as often, if not more than I do.
I would love to craft more. I would love for my house to be lovely.
I would like to have fewer electronics and less time in the car.
But I don't.
I will say I did become a teacher...just not a traditional one. I live in suburbia (Duplexopolis, to be exact), spend near thirty hours a week in the downtown area of a major city, homeschool my children, have no time for plants let alone livestock. My books are out of control and "decorate" my whole house. Space not taken up by books is consumed by yarn. My husband works out of our home via the internet on systems sometimes over a thousand miles away. In the middle of the night quite often.
My children have never hiked, planted a garden, milked a cow, trained a dog, raised chickens. They just learned to properly swim this summer. They have never hunted (although they have been trained to properly handle fire@rms). They don't ride bikes or skateboards (much to my youngest's disappointment). They DO play video games and watch television. I am going to be lucky if I can get the poetry section to be a hit in a month or so.
They don't drink tea.
My boys play piano beautifully. They read classics and not so classics. They are comfortable with people of all ages. The oldest is somewhat conversant in classical music and likes to visit the art museum. They know about opera. And..my sons, my sons dance. Pretty well, I might add. They dance a lot. They dragged me halfway across this gorgeous nation this summer so they could dance. The oldest dances as many hours a week as some grown-ups do professionally.
Dance drives our lives more often than I would like to admit. As I speak things are in upheaval because of their dancing.
We had somethings we knew needed to change. My prayer was that God would make the decision a no-brainer for us and point us in the direction He wanted us to go. In at least one area He has been quite clear. And all day yesterday I wrestled with His answer. I am praying for a little more guidance. I have a feeling more answers are forthcoming, and, as in the past, I will be questioning my plea for clarity.
This morning I am "not where I want to be." But I am where God placed me. I am where God wants me to be. He is in control. I need to remember to live in this moment and be where I am; to live in the present and not try to mess with a future that only HE knows.
Are you where you want to be?
God, Father Almighty, please help me to focus on you and to teach my children to allow you to be in control of our destination. Please help us remember the ultimate destination and not to become worried about things we cannot control. Thank you for all of the blessings we have received abundantly. Teach us to be good stewards of our time, talent and treasures.
Counting it all joy, albeit, tentatively,