I’m getting a bit more vulnerable here on the blog with today’s topic of life before kids – thanks for your openness in entering this discussion with me!
In Part 2 of this series, I delved deeper into the particular “heart things” I’m working on in this special season. I wanted to continue with that a bit in today’s post, talking specifically about dealing with perpetual striving.
I’m a striver. I’m a pusher and a wisher 🙂 I’ve ALWAYS struggled with wanting the future before it arrives…and this tendency has been something I’ve dealt with since I was a child!
One of my favorite meaningful short stories is the story of Peter And The Magic Thread (if you have the time, take a minute and read it here!). Basically, an impatient young boy receives a special ball of magic thread, and by pulling on it, he can speed time along to the next stage of life – something he finds he really regrets in the end!
I can relate to Peter in that story so well. Can you? Do you find yourself tugging at your life’s thread, fighting with the present because you feel that ache of striving for the next thing?
This perpetual striving is deeply connected to contentment. Contentment is such a present-moment thing. Contentment is something we have to be intentional about: at work, at home, in friendship, in parenting, and in marriage. And unfortunately, it’s not something I’m super strong in. But if I don’t learn to deal with perpetual striving (aka, fighting it and replacing it with true peace from Jesus), I will continually be striving for the next “even better” thing all my life!
How does this relate to our pre-parenthood stage of life? If I don’t keep a tight rein on my emotions and hopes, instead of leaning into God’s perfect timing, I could be setting up sticky thought-patterns for the rest of my life. If I’m no longer wishing to add a child to our family, then I could be wishing for our baby to smile, to crawl, to walk, to be potty trained…or, goodness, to get into that one particular college! That sort of thinking needs to stop now.
(This isn’t to say that we can’t look to the future, or we can’t push to accomplish our dreams! But that kind of goal-following is something we can do joyfully, with intention, hard work, and with prayer – not out of pure impatience!)
I want my husband and my future children to know me as someone who lived life fully and in the moment, not distracted by the next thing.
Do you find yourself tugging that “magic thread” at times? Are you dealing with perpetual striving right now? How do you find contentment in each life stage?