I’m from New York. I’ve lived there for twenty-somewhat years. It’s the city that never sleeps. Never stops. For better or for worse, that’s ingrained in me. So though, I’ve been living in the sanctity of peaceful Maryland for the last 4.5 years, that New- York- work-now-rest-never spirit still lives in me. And I’m working on it. I’m working on it because for most of my adult life, (and I’m only 26) I have silently struggled with anxiety and hypertension. My mental and physical well-being depends on me finding rest often and consistently. I’m working on it.
I work a full time job at a high school, and often times working a full time teaching load between three local Universities and Community Colleges. I’m at work at 7:30 am, and usually just getting home about 9:30 pm (on a good day). I work long days, often 6 days a week. On top of that, I have recently written and released my first Christian book, “The Last Pew.” I’ve been busy. And I’ve been very tired. The last few months, I really realized how I have been at work, and at church, and everywhere else, but I haven’t actually shown up. Not mentally at least.
Therefore, I have found myself praying: for some time, a vacation, a break, a change in scenery, something! But silently, I’ve been praying for the day where I can be a full-time mother, and full- time wife, first and foremost. Be a homemaker. Yes, that’s right. A homemaker. This Christian gal still wants that old school thing. I want to be and do these things while writing and ministering, maybe teaching an English class here and there, all the while traveling the world. That is my quiet dream.
As I envision the life I want, I have also been reflecting on the life I already live. One word that has been jarring to me is: GROWTH.
In thinking about “growth”, I thought about when I purchased my first car on my own. It was a grey 2012 Honda Civic. I walked into the dealer literally not caring what kind of car I bought. Totally indifferent. I just needed something that worked. I had no specific requirements. No pressing need to test drive or have a mechanic check it out. I didn’t care if it was a two door or four. I didn’t care if it had leather seats or not. I just needed something that got me around. Because that’s where I was in my life. And I was content with just that. As long as I could make the monthly payments, it didn’t matter how much I was paying in interests. That’s just where I was.
In thinking about “growth”, I thought about how I furnished the rooms and apartments that I shared with other people over the last few years as I was merely trying to make ends meet. In the past, I didn’t care if my furniture matched or not. Or if my bed-sets were complete. As long as my space was clean and I had a place to lay my head, I was good. I was content. Because that’s just where I was in my life at that point. And that was okay.
Oh, but growth.
Now, it matters. This summer, I walked into the Nissan dealership and said. I need a white car. Four door. Leather seats. Bluetooth. Sun roof. Back up camera. Oh. And I’m not paying over x amount in monthly payments. I knew what I wanted. And I got what I prayed for. It wasn’t about being materialistic. It was about conditioning myself to think higher. To want more for myself. To receive what I put out. To no longer deal with mediocrity or be satisfied that something merely functions. To dream a little.
Last January, as I moved into my new home, I said: I need to live closer to work. I need a spot with a gym and a pool to serve as my relaxation quarters. I want an all white bedroom with a bookcase as a headboard to facilitate my reading. I’m ditching my old school-big-back-television- set and getting a flat screen. I need a tub for my hot lavender baths. And a spacious kitchen to learn and play in. I knew what I wanted. And I got precisely what I prayed for.
Full-time mother, and full- time wife, first and foremost. Be a homemaker. While writing and ministering, maybe teaching an English class here and there. While traveling the world. But this. Why is this my “quiet prayer” and my “quiet dream?” Is it because it may sound ludicrous and bizarre to some? Is it because I don’t have enough faith in actually obtaining this life? Is it because I am so close to this life that it scares me? Or is it because I have absolutely no clue on how I should go about getting this life? Perhaps a little bit of all the above?
Why is it that we confidently pray about the THINGS we want, but we shyly pray about the LIFE we want? It is time to refashion ourselves to dream and pray beyond our own imagined boundaries and have faith that God is truly concerned with gifting us the desires of our hearts.
Thank you for being a God that hears our wildest dreams and makes them come true, according to Your will. I don’t want a lukewarm life. I want a life where I get to touch every single huge and tiny thing that You have for me. Help me to be courageous enough to pray specific, wild, lavish, loud, vivid prayers. I pray that You order my steps in such a way that brings me closer to the life I want. I want the love, the husband, the children, the home, the career, ministry, and the capacity to see the world. Remind me that You can do all things. So I can have and be all things through You.
In Jesus’ name I pray.