Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Does My Life Measure Up?


I don’t really have a master plan for my life. 

Maybe I should. I’ve always had general goals. Lots of plans and dreams. Things I'd like to do. 

But maybe I haven't engraved them in stone in an effort to make them come true. 

I have friends who set ten-year goals. Decide what they want and set out to do it. College, marriage, kids, house, retirement. 

It seems that their lives happen exactly according to their plans. Or does it just look that way? 

Now that I've lived half of my life I'm not so sure that I can really orchestrate my life according to my own plans.

What sends me swirling into a tizzy is when I start to measure my life against someone else's life. 

I’ve tried (again) to join the Facebook world. I want to feel hip. Or cool. Or whatever word means you’re part of the in-crowd nowadays. 

But when I look at all the perky photos and clever comments of my friends, I feel like I don’t fit in. I feel excluded. 

I don’t have photos to post that say I’m one-half of a captivating couple, cheerfully smiling at the camera. 

No photos of adorable kids to post. It’s just me. At this stage of my life. The husband, the kids should have happened long ago. I flopped at dating. Came up short. 

I think about what I would post. Maybe that I went to work today? I had dinner standing at my kitchen counter? I received yet another invitation in the mail addressed to Valerie and Guest?

I could believe that everyone on Facebook is having a marvelous time morning, noon and night and wants the whole world to know. 

I could think that they don’t have jobs that may be a little mundane. 

I could imagine that they don’t come home to a house in chaos that the adorable kids in the photos just managed to mess up. 

I could suppose that they don’t have pets that eat what’s in the garbage bag or appliances that break down. 

Or I could believe this: maybe they’re just like me. 

They want to put the best image of themselves out for everyone to see. 

But could we be brave and let our defenses down to reveal a little of the disorder of our lives? The heartache? The difficulties?

So I could post this update. 

I had coffee on my courtyard this morning. Just me. And God. Alone. 

It was awe-inspiring. 

To learn what God is saying to my soul. 

To listen to what God is whispering to my heart. 

To spend time with the one who knows and understands me better than anyone can. 

I could post that after working all day, I came home. To a blissfully quiet house. To grab a salad and head off to yoga class. 

I could post that I enjoy solitude. That I like the quiet spaces to read books. Write my thoughts in my journal. 

I could post that I do like to share status updates. But I like to connect with friends face to face. Over a cup of coffee. 

To listen to the funny way that only they can tell a story. To lean in to catch the traces of disappointment or frustration. To offer real-life encouragement and support.

For me, Facebook only highlights what I already wrestle with. Comparisons. That discourage and disgruntle. 

But God didn’t call me to live someone else’s life. I can’t possibly make my life measure up to someone else’s. 

If I believe that I am following the plan God has designed just for me, then I certainly don’t know better than God does what’s best for me. 

Instead, God has called me to measure my life according to his attributes. To live with integrity, passion and honesty. 

In truth, hope and faith. In quantities beyond measure.

 “ . . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:18-19

12 comments:

  1. Another awe-inspiring article! You seem so well centered, Val - I'm just amazed at your insight and take on so many avenues. Yes, you are where God would want you to be.....and you wouldn't want to be anywhere else! Comparisons lead to discouragement - you're wise not to go there! Gleaning tidbits from your articles, I'd say you do, indeed, have a great life, friends and family!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I definitely do have a great life and I'm grateful for it!

      Delete
  2. Valerie, you always inspire me. I always worry that I won't measure up to my friends, but you remind me to depend on the Lord for understanding, because he has a plan and path for my life. I truly feel that the Lord brought you into my life for a reason, and I appreciate your insight and wisdom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brittany,
      Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! But I am the lucky recipient of your talents and skills that you so generously share with me. I agree that God has people cross our paths at different seasons of our lives to enrich our life experiences! :)

      Delete
  3. So true about Facebook! It's 8th grade all over again! Not many people realize it's negative effects. Thanks for the insight.
    Love your photos. You have such delightful decor!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow this is the best blog entry yet!

    It's so true that people put mostly just their best out on facebook -- I do this too, and sometimes when my day isn't going the best, it can be hard to see all the only good news people seem to have. I really love, however, how fb allows me to better connect and keep in touch with friends and family who are far, far away (like Australia).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that Facebook can be a powerful way to connect -- on so many levels!

      Delete
  5. Another inspirational post!! (Sorry, but yes this deserves two exclamation points.) With all that has happened over the past two weeks, reading this post tonight has provided me with a new outlook on the challenges we are still overcoming. Sometimes you feel so alone in moments like this, and you read on Facebook that the world is moving on after just one post. But my own personal reflection and journey ahead does not go unnoticed by God. Thank you for providing some light during a darker moment in my life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bree,
      Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I was hesitant to share some of these thoughts but I was sure that others must experience similar sentiments, even though the situations may be vastly different. You have no idea what your words mean to me. I only know that God never leaves us in that hard place, but promises to walk alongside us as we carry on. Oh -- and despite my aversion to exclamation points, I am happy that this inspired two of them! :)

      Delete

Thanks for reading -- I love to hear your comments! To leave a comment, you can choose an ID in the "comment as" box or just choose anonymous. Choose your ID first, write your comment in the box and hit publish. Your comment will be visible just as soon as I can post it!