I am reading The Resolution for Women, by Priscilla Shirer. I am taking my time, because this book is full of knowledge and thoughtful provocation. I came across a passage today and it struck me in the wake of Thanksgiving:
I recognized that by rushing through life, I’d been subtly devaluing those around me and the experiences I was involved in, not appreciating the importance and significance they bring to my life at this very moment, not grasping my responsibility for holding dear and treating well these gifts God has entrusted to me.
This rang true to me; often we get caught up in the bustle of Thanksgiving, but once it’s over, we go back to our normal lives and anticipation of the next thing. It has been pleasant to see the trend of thanksgiving continuing in places like a facebook wall, but that is just the beginning of what most of us could be doing to lead a more purposeful, gracious life.
Instead of embracing the privilege of being a blessing to my husband, my children, my friends, and others, I’d been quietly communicating that I wanted them to change and speed up, to get busy being somebody else, someone who’s more in line with what I want and need, to hurry along to a place where they could make me happier than they currently do.
What a terrible revelation to feel this way from someone else – why would I ever subject someone I care about to that feeling intentionally? But it takes careful reflection to achieve a purposeful, more caring demeanor that is not artificial. People often mention the “fake” version of a person they encounter, or use the phrase “she just doesn’t seem genuine to me.” This is almost the same result as the first. Cultivation of intentional care for others takes a strong motivation from inside of you. I have this naturally, but sometimes I get caught up in the obligations and the frustrations and become impatient with those too close to me. It is my goal for the next month to stop this madness.
And finally, to finish the quote, the piece on discontentment:
I realized this feeling had a name: discontentment. He shows up at your doorstep just like mine, eager to step inside and make himself at home. But instead of coming only for short visits on rare occasions, he refuses to leave, spreading his baggage everywhere, filling up the corners of your space that you thought you’d locked up to this odious intruder. He comes. He lingers. He robs you of your years. Then before you know it, you’ve missed out on the joys in the journey, the growth that comes from battling through the difficulties, the sweet and savory experience of creating the memories.
Not on my watch.