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Friday, May 15, 2009

False Peaks

Laundry. Mopping the floor. Fitness. Raising children. A balanced life.

I've found these things to be false peaks. No matter how much laundry I do, I still have another load to wash. Because just as sure I'm washing, folding and putting it all away those in my household, including me, are wearing clothes. Thus, soiling them.

The same is true with a freshly mopped floor or a bathroom. As many household chores as I accomplish or as quickly as I do them is of little concern because when you have to go, you have to go. Thus, soiling the potty! Just as walking soils the floor. Every day we make our beds. Every night we unmake them to sleep. Doing and re-doing everywhere with no end in sight.

My friends, life is a circle and I have been searching for its summit.

Just as I've been struggling to "get caught up" with laundry, organizing the house and to return to a regular exercise routine, I've been struggling to find balance in my hectic life. Work, play fun, devotion. How can we live, love and laugh while meeting our responsibilities? Since returning to the workforce part-time at Andrew's office two years ago, I've led, what seems to me, a mostly unbalanced life. For far too long I've blamed this on our need for me to be at his office and available to clients. "If I were only able to be home more..." has become the refrain in my train of thinking.

Ummmm, not proud to admit that. Trying desperately to change that. Step by step. Hence, the running.

Running has taught me that the steadiness, as well as the ups and downs of life, are changing me. Helping me to live better. Giving me deep joy, gratitude and endurance. Disciplining my character to become that of Christ's. Even reminding me that a Christlike attitude is not something gained, achieved or presented as a trophy. It's something to be worn, picked up and put on daily, a constant choosing that will not always prevail.

What is gained is ease in choosing to exercise it. Each time I humble myself makes the next time come a little sooner and the choice-making process a little easier. My hope is that I will learn to wear this attitude as a medal. Choosing to place it around my neck being ever aware of its weight so it will be a constant reminder to choose knowing it will not be fully acquired this side of heaven.

Shucks! I want to "arrive" in this lifetime so badly. Knowing that I have the power to be fully mature because I possess the Holy Spirit yet, failing is frustrating at best. Humbly I am reminded of the grace that chased me and thankfully caught up! When I forget or lose sight of that, I proudly think I have peaked and most certainly fall down again.

Take fitness for example. Here I am an almost-forty-pushing-a-weight-range-that-is-not-welcome-in-this-body ex-aerobics instructor. Seriously. Wake-up call.

I was the one who would not ever be physically weak or gasping for breath as I played soccer with my children. These legs who have not seen shorts in over three years were the legs that were gonna last. I was a runner. I was an avid gym goer. I love to exercise. I love to work up a good sweat.

Then all of a sudden, life snuck up on me. I started working, shuttle children to after school activities and I did not have time to complete my regular gym routine. I could not continue teaching aerobics because baby number four put some constraints on childcare. Then it happened. Wham! I was out of shape.

In a matter of two years I went from being in the best shape of my life to the worst. False peak. Prior fitness is of no use to me today.

And so I run.

I realized yesterday that I have this same tendency to think I have a destination to be found. When God has me walking in my calling, I'll be fulfilled. When God does X, I'll feel I've found my purpose. What lousiness that line of thinking has produced in my heart thus far!

I now realize that my purpose, my calling, my fulfillment is a destination.

And so I continue.

Walking to my destination.


Straight to my destination.

His heart.

"Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:18-19

I think I'll go fold some laundry.


B His Girl said...

False Peaks, I like that Lisa. Laundry is always a challenge for me. I think sometimes we just scatter ourselves too thin. I also think we have to do that at times or seasons in our life. I guess we have to let go of everything being clean at the same time. As long as mold is not growing...lol. Your children are still very young. It does get easier. My daughter is graduating high school this year. Last year I had my two oldest start doing their laundry. I help them some. Knowing my daughter will be away at college soon makes me want to do her laundry more and remember the blessing of her being home. (Me Wanting to do laundry is a miracle!) Our communication with God is too important for us
to slack. He is our destination. Keep your beautiful smile on your face and take care of yourself and your family. B

Ang baylis said...

WOW... I LOVE this post! I'm praying you find that balance. I'm going to think about this the next time I fold laundry and when I'm on my elliptical machine. Keep running after Him!
Have a great weekend!
Angie xoxo

Kathy S. said...

Great expression of something probably most girls deal with. ('specially the laundry & potty part!)

"Enjoy the one you are in" comes to mind.

Thinking we have to attain some "level" in order to have "arrived"...another common idea.

In Christ we have arrived, now we simply walk/follow Him wherever He leads...sometimes walk, sometimes run.

Blessings to you as you run w/ Jesus!

Joyful said...

With His heart as your destination, you can't lose Lisa.

So much of this post made me smile.
Love ya,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Running with you Lisa, both spiritually and literally. I can't tell you how many times I've let myself "go" on both counts. I'm a work in progress, a daily walk of grace and faith. I try and not grow discouraged when a day just walks like a day ... boring to most outsiders and to me. That's been the hardest thing to come to terms with in this pilgrimage with Jesus--acceptance of a daily grind.

Still and yet, at 43, I'm growing more content with the "daily."

Walk your Peace this week, friend. Run it too...