That’s the best way I can describe my life of late: full.
And by full, I don’t mean busy. Not at all. In fact, I wish I could properly convey how I despise the frantic pace, the unceasing rush, the gnawing stress of busyness.
That’s not what I mean by full.
Throughout the hot July, our lives were full of family and friends. We spent the 4th with my parents, and life was full of delicious food and luxurious, heavenly time with “Gaga and Granddad” and with dear friends-who-might-as-well-be-family. The next week, some of our cherished friends from South Carolina came and stayed all week, and life was full of long hours of “catch-up conversations,” daily adventures around Nashville, and the occasional “Mommy break,” which mainly consisted of eating and talking some more. The very day they left, the kids and I went on our own road trip, and that next week, life was full of the joy of an old friend’s wedding and awe over the Smoky Mountains and the beautiful Virginia countryside. It was also full of the excitement of arriving in our nation’s capital and seeing our cousins. It was then crammed full of all sorts of amazing sights: a giant, towering obelisk; magnificent, imposing memorials; and museums packed with the memorabilia of a mighty nation. There was also a trip to Baltimore that was full of water and war ships, full of picnics and coffee breaks at Barnes and Noble. There were nights that were full of young cousins giggling and playing. The whole week was just…full.
Then, we came home, started homeschooling, and started the fall program at our church. And life is now full in a different way. In the last month of summer, it was full of joy. Now, it is full of purpose. It is full of the things-I-was-made-to-do.
Here’s what I’ve realized about myself: I can’t be truly happy unless I am doing the things-I-was-made-to-do. I can’t really explain the difference between a thing-I-was-made-to-do, and a thing I just enjoy doing, except in terms of the difference in fulfillment. When I am doing the things-I-was-made-to-do, it’s like I am complete. Whole. Perfectly satisfied.
Writing is a thing-I-was-made-to-do, which is why I started this blog. I was made to think and to mull over ideas, and then to express my thoughts about them in writing. I just was. And it gives me a profound sense of meaning to do so…even on this tiny blog!
Isn’t that funny? My contentment of soul does not require that I get paid for the things-I-was-made-to-do, or that they be “big.” I just have to do them. And I will be full.
But in this last month, the one after our wonderful travels, I have been caught up in other things-I-was-made-to-do. See, I enjoy teaching college, I really do. But I was made to teach my kids. I’m not claiming that all parents are or that everyone should homeschool. I ‘m just saying that the profound sense of meaning and purpose–and yes, joy–that I get from teaching my own children shows me that I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
Because of our homeschooling schedule, I have also had more time to volunteer at our church and its co-laboring after-school program. These past few weeks, I have been up to my ears in curriculum: our homeschooling curriculum, the church’s Sunday school and Wednesday night curriculum, and also educational materials for the after school tutoring program. I have organized materials, taken classroom inventories, purchased tutoring manipulatives, met with teachers, toured other educational programs, and tried to teach first graders (my own, and the kids at the after school program) how to add and subtract fluently.
And every moment of it has filled my soul to the brim. Like writing, these are the things I was made to do.
I am very full right now.
And so ridiculously happy.
And oddly, that’s why I haven’t really been writing in this little spot. My heart and my mind are so full and satisfied with the current “work of my hands” that I don’t have that aching need to find meaning in the keys of the keyboard. That need was so real last winter and spring, when our lives were transitioning, when I was still trying to find my place in my new world.
I do still want to write here, and I plan to continue. I always want this space to be here because I have found that my need to write comes in seasons. It ebbs away, only to spurt abruptly back to life a few months down the road. It is also nice to have an organized repository for all my spiritual thoughts and theories…and to see how they evolve and shift!
So if you are still reading, I want you to know two things. One, I love talking to you in the comments and bouncing our thoughts off each other. Writing organizes my thoughts; discussing them with others refines and purifies them. And two, I (clearly) can’t guarantee the regularity with which I will write. In the past, I have felt the need to be a “regular poster.” I have no idea why. It’s not like I was trying to be some kind of big time blogger (in fact, whenever I read the comments on bigger blogs, I inevitably end up cringing and thanking God that I don’t have to deal with so many hostile strangers!). I guess part of me was so thankful for your feedback that I wanted to offer you my own consistency as a writer. Forced consistency, however, just leads to dry, forced thoughts. I now think it would be better simply to write when I have something to say.
So…that’s my “catch-up post.” I can’t really imagine anyone still reading and checking in, but if you are, I hope that all is well with you, and that you are tasting some of this magnificent fullness in your own life.
Speaking of which,
What makes you full? What are your things-that-you-were-made-to-do?