the lives we choose

“I wouldn’t have ever thought you’d be canning applesauce”, says this woman who knows me, a mother who’s watched my growing up and out into the world beyond home.

“And five kids!”  She chuckles under her breath while reaching for more apples to chop.

I’ve heard this line of joking and teasing before, from my entire family really.  I was the one who wanted to live in the Big City, in a high-rise somewhere, doing something important…on my own.

Maybe a concert violinist with a traveling orchestra?  Or a nurse across the ocean?  Deciding was difficult, and early college days reflected the turmoil inside as I flip-flopped course work before landing and finishing.  I didn’t have much direction or motivating vision at the start.

But I knew one thing — the life I’m living now wasn’t on the radar screen.

Yet, this is the life I chose. I did. And it fits me so perfectly, I cannot imagine pursuing anything differently.

Now I squeak out nursery tunes instead of Bach and Beethoven…

sing lullabies instead of Handel’s Hallelujah chorus with a group (oh, how I sometimes miss choral singing!),

and as for aspiring towards that nursing degree?  Well, I’ve gained quite a huge bank of knowledge simply caring for our children and meeting their individual medical needs!

It’s a good life.  My goal is not to spend time in comparison or judgment.  We all have different callings and missions — thankfully, God is not interested in cloning us all!

I simply want to wholeheartedly and intentionally live this life.  My life.

You know, I’ve been thinking…

Sometimes we keep ourselves busy dreaming,

instead of actually living the life we want.

We watch others (or read their blogs) and wistfully think ‘I wish my life were like that.’ We pin away new ideas and bookmark delicious recipes, exercise regimes, business possibilities, get-out-of-debt articles, home projects…

but we don’t pursue them.  We simply dream.

While this is a vital step, this identifying of where we see ourselves,  the next step is even more crucial.  We must make a plan (this post offers a few suggestions).

Because really, do we want to waste days and perhaps years longing for and yet not moving towards?

I speak from experience — from reflections on time spent thinking, dreaming, but not actually doing.

It’s painful.

And yes, I know that life does not always afford us the occasion to choose our circumstances.  Some things have been and remain outside of our control.  But for the realms of life that we can touch,

for the opportunities, the possibilities, the God-inspired DREAMS within our grasp —

refuse to allow fear to choke you.

rise above rejection and past mistakes,

require of yourself improvement,

and remember Whose you are.

And live the life of your dreams.



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