Friday, January 1, 2016
Faithfulness in the Mundane: A New Year's Reflection
Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday and that you were able to celebrate the ringing in of 2016 with those you hold dear.
As seems to be the norm every year, beginning the day after Christmas, I started seeing posts like these lighting up my newsfeed:
Make 2016 the BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!
This year is going to be AMAZING!!! 2016...I'm coming after ya!
BOOM! New year. New goals. New ME! Let's do this!!!
All of these thoughts make for fabulous mental pep rallies, but I have to admit that as a mother of three little ones, they leave me blinking at my screen a little perplexed. Sure, I have my own projects and passions: I am an actress and I run a photography business. Those represent major parts of who I am and what I love to do. My main job in life, though, is to keep these three little people alive and kicking! For me, that means a steady diet of cuddles, carpool runs, laundry loads, wiping noses, and showing off my culinary genius by microwaving the heck out of individual serving sizes of mac 'n' cheese bowls. In other words, it's a wonderful life, but it ain't exactly a glamorous one.
I recently had a really meaningful Facebook messenger exchange with an old friend, who is also an actress and also deep in the trenches of motherhood. As we caught up on each other's lives, she commented that one of the main life lessons she had been learning was to persevere in her faith and to be faithful in the mundane.
Faithful in the mundane. Those words continued to ring in my head for days and weeks after our conversation, precisely because they rang so true in my life. Motherhood, as awesome an experience as it is, seems to be (to quote Eugene Peterson) a long obedience in the same direction.
Do I have personal and artistic goals for 2016? YES! Big ones! Will it be the BEST. YEAR. EVER? Probably not. But that is just fine with me! Maybe being in my 40's now has taught me that life is dotted with moments (and seasons) of incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, but most of life is the normal rhythm of daily living. And it's okay to embrace that. For me, it is essential. The buzz of life's highs when a new goal is achieved is truly amazing, and the sting of life's lows during those inevitable hard times hurts more than I care to think about, but I believe that keeping my feet grounded in the present moment of all of that in between time is where personal contentment is found. That is where the bulk of life is lived. It is where the love of family, the intimacy of true friendship, and our deepest support systems thrive. It is also where God meets us and holds us and loves us, even if it doesn't seem like it. And if I can be faithful to Him and all that He has called me to in and through the mundane moments, the hum-drum days and even the long seasons of blessed normalcy that will surely be part of my 2016, I know it will be a wonderful year!