Have you ever completely and totally struggled with direction in your life?
Which daily tasks to first accomplish? Or do you simply throw your to do list out the window and drink in your children? Or how to possibly manage doing both?
For some time, I felt as if I had done well to manage both; letting some tasks go to enjoy my boys. Other times, I have encouraged independence in the boys, so that I can at least manage to remove a few things off of my plate.
And, then, there are those questions that deal with those tasks to accomplish outside of the duties of home. Notions of fulfillment notwithstanding.
I have found myself at the intersection of all of these things and feeling entirely restless.
Anybody who knows me knows that I enjoy creating. It has provided me a beautiful outlet for years, as I pursued academia and athletics. However, it always was placed on the back burner. I placed music and ballet aside to pursue athletics. It seemed as if I excelled, but I still felt as if something was missing. Then, sidelined by injury, I was forced to re-evaluate it all. I thought that my focusing on a career in law would bring the clarity and fulfillment I needed.
And yet, things never quite felt right, until I stepped into a new life at a magical little flower shop in East Falls, Philadelphia (@fallsflowers). It was here that I really found my talents in creating, that I stopped feeling restless. So, I thought.
I was doing something that I loved. Something which brought others joy. I was able to enjoy God’s creation each day and marvel in the beauty of the natural world.
Then along came one beautiful little boy and an eventual move out of the bustling city and life I had come to love. With this came new joys, new realities, and new realizations.
After I gave up working in the shop to pursue a new frontier of life as a stay-at-home mommy, I find that I am constantly oscillating between fulfillment and abyss. Being home is, without a doubt, the most difficult job I have ever undertaken. These little people are awfully difficult to predict and extremely needy. And completely perfect.
Each day brings with it a new challenge to overcome and a new developmental milestone to navigate in my boys.
It is still in creating that I find joy. I try to carve out time each day to make something. Whether it is a new recipe, painting a watercolor or print to give to a loved one, or working around the house. I constantly question myself whether I should more seriously pursue any certain craft. Despite all of this, the notion of fulfillment seems ever-fleeting. The moment I have a paintbrush in my hand, or clippers making an arrangement, or working in a cloud of flour dust, I have fulfillment– or so I think. And as quickly as it comes, this feeling of contentment leaves.
It is because I am looking for fulfillment in all of the wrong places.
Fulfillment can only be found in relationship. In the relationship with our spouse, with our children. Yet, only these relationships make sense and have any foundation when we enter more deeply in a relationship with God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit. From this realization has come a true peace and fulfillment.
I don’t NEED these other outlets. They bring me joy, yes. They bring others joy, too– I hope! Maybe one day I will open an Etsy shop. It is a decision I am prayerfully considering. Because, as is in my nature, I am too scatterbrained to figure out any sort of offerings or portfolio to begin another side project. Or maybe I will take up my pen and write a book (on which subject remains a total mystery).
Or should I perhaps first rest in this realization of contentment in relationship. And maybe all else will follow in due course, with the discernment I so desperately crave. And, just maybe, through discernment in Him will I grab ahold of that wild goose.