“Flexibility yields happiness or at least that is what I have come to believe at the ripe age of 18.”
This sentence was the opening line of a college essay that earned me a scholarship to the journalism school at K-State.
For some reason, I was thinking about this line yesterday as the boys and I got hailed on during our morning walk. Yeah. You heard me right. The sweet raindrops that I thought might calm and comfort us on a short morning walk turned into sharp little ice pellets falling into our faces.
Luckily, the boys were shielded by their stroller shades and blankets, but I wasn’t as lucky. On the bright side, it only lasted 10 minutes. And despite the pain, I found it somewhat funny even as I watched cars drive by staring at us out of pity.
And something about the hail really got me thinking about the best way to approach the unideal moments of life. (Since let’s be real, that moment was rather unideal. )
I think a lot of times, life goes differently than we expected it would. And if we’re not careful, it is easy to get caught up thinking, “This isn’t the way it is supposed to be. I envisioned this differently.”
- I thought I would have a different job by now.
- I thought my house would be bigger.
- I thought my kids would be calmer.
- I thought I would be married by now.
- I thought I would be thinner by Spring.
- I thought I would have a master’s degree by 35.
- I didn’t think this job would be stressful.
- I thought kids were supposed to be happy on Easter…(oh, wait that one was just me on Sunday.)
Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to live in a world of ideals. And I’ve certainly done it. But recently, I just haven’t found it very beneficial.
Because the truth is, we don’t live in a world of ideals. We live in a world of reality.
And whatever your reality is…it sets the tone for your everyday that eventually turns into your twenties. Your thirties. Your forties. Your life.
To wake up to a toddler developing a will of his or her own and repeatedly think, “I wasn’t expecting this from you. I thought we’d bypass this phase.” And then be continually frustrated you have to deal with it is kind of stupid. Because the reality is, no matter what you thought, reality is staring you in the face. And saying NO!
So instead of being frustrated or surprised, flexibly lean into it. And adapt. And laugh a little. If you can.
My new prayer for motherhood goes like this: “Lord, today, give me godliness, love, creativity, flexibility, joy and humor. “
Those traits are my survival tools for making the most out of the moments I am in.
And this is key for me. And I think for many. Because if I don’t learn that chaos is the new normal for my life. That noise, energy, strong little boy preferences are my new normal as are hugs, kisses and sweet moments. I will be bitter. Frustrated. Wanting for more.
But the truth is. The ideal moments go with the unideal. It all goes together.
Life is too short to wait for the ideal.
So make the ideal your reality by the way you deal with your circumstances.
I don’t mean that you will like or love every moment (that’s impossible), but that you will have the strength to deal with it and move on.
The beauty of it is. Your life doesn’t have to change to enjoy it. Just your attitude. God can help you find joy in unideal moments. Really, really. HE CAN.
You know… like when you are out for a morning walk and you end up getting hailed on. And for some reason, you find it funny. That is God doing His work.
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