I never

A month or so ago, a friend encouraged me to enter a writing contest with this prompt. I ignored her. Then my writing group picked it as their assignment for the month. I planned on skipping. At the last minute I decided to give it a shot. I wasn't sure what it was about the prompt that bothered me....until I started writing.

I never thought I’d….

That is the prompt.
And I considered skipping the assignment entirely.
Even though I always do my homework.
Because I really didn’t know the answer.

A first I just didn’t think I had anything exciting to add.
I haven’t been or done anything amazing.
I have traveled less than I’d like.
And I’m grateful that tragedy hasn’t touched me too closely.

And I told someone else that I hadn’t written my response because I never really had my life all mapped out to begin with.
Not really.
But I did follow the typical path.
College. Marriage. Career. More college. Baby. Another baby.
And I don’t really know that the next step is.

But the honest truth is that my life has been pretty predictable.
I am boring.
Not willing to take enough risks.
Not quite passionate enough.

Which may sound confusing if you know me. I don’t get accused of boring very often.
I have a few tattoos. And even pierced my nose for a season.
I just spend a week being a counselor with teenagers living in area shelters.
I have a heart for justice. And would much rather feed homeless people than work in the church nursery. Sometimes I shop at Goodwill instead of the mall.
But there is nothing radical about me. And I read a lot of books instead of watching the Real Housewives of whatever county they are in these days.
And sometimes that makes me feel different. In bad-alone kind of ways, and also in prideful-I-need-to-work-on-that kind of ways.
But I am not really that different.

But I am still living an incredibly safe and predictable life.

I am 32. Have 2 kids. In the suburbs. With a dog and a 2 car garage.
I go to work Monday-Friday and church on Sundays.
I go to Target, the gym, soccer practice, Starbucks and lots of birthday parties.

I have dreams that don’t fit into this ideal suburban world.
I want to write instead of teach science.
I want to visit third world countries.
I want to help the people down my own street.
I occasionally toy with the idea of seminary.
Even though I don’t know what comes next.
I want to love recklessly. Where I don’t care if they love me back or what people think or what kind of recognition it will get me.

Instead I make dinner.
I do laundry.
I save for my kids college fund.
I put away more for retirement.
And still less than 10% into the offering plate.

And this boring life is a very good life.
My husband is amazing and supportive and laughs at my jokes.
My kids make me laugh and teach me how to love better everyday.
And I even like my day job.
I have very patient friends.
My cup is full.
I can’t complain, I have it so good.

But maybe there is more.

Maybe God wants me to look around and say
“I never thought I’d……”

Because for the first time.
I didn’t.
And He did.

photo credit


Margie said...

I really, really love this post. I've been thinking about it ever since you read it.

Stephanie Flaa said...

Here's the difference between you and 99.9% percent of us housewives...YOUR WRITING IS GREAT! Enter the contest. :)
You know how they tell great singers that "if you sang the phone-book, it would still be great."....It doesn't really make much sense, But if you WROTE the phone book, it would be great. Love you girl!