by Katie Smylie
February 6, 2019
One night at the dinner table, our kids started asking fun questions. The rules were that everyone had to answer and no commentary was necessary. What is your favorite song? Where is the best place you have visited? What is one thing you would like to do before you die? We made our way around the table for all of the questions. Claire sweetly repeated, “Okay Dad, your turn. What is one thing you would like to do before. . .” She hardly had time to state the question before my husband blurted out, “Go on a rad vacation with your mom. Somewhere tropical. Or maybe Italy.” The kids sat in a stunned kind of silence. His intensity was a bit much. (I might add it was obvious they were not invited on said rad vacation. Wow, Dad. Thanks a lot.)
There is not much to say about those kinds of daydreams resting on the tip of your tongue. Usually, “someday” seems appropriate. Yes, someday we will go on an amazing trip. Someday the kids will be big enough to drive themselves to practice. Someday we will not have peeling cabinets. Someday we will actually miss these days.
Where does your mind go when you wonder about the thing you most want to do before you die? What is involved in your Someday? Perhaps having a child or a owning a home. Maybe to finish a degree or have some free time. You might make space for a Bible Study or to read more, go on an exotic trip or exercise regularly.
Recently, a coworker shared how he encourages people to embrace the story God has given them. Freedom and joy come in embracing what IS and moving forward with their actual lives, not what they wish their lives were. The Holy Spirit whispered to my heart, “You can relate. You get this.” And as the Spirit so often does, He brought a keen awareness of the areas in which I fight against my actual life instead of moving freely into acceptance. The deep places where the vague idea of someday tarnishes what God would like to do today.
When my quiet-loving mind is overwhelmed with activity and noise, I can be certain that God sees me and will give me what I need to breathe. He is in the noise and will use it to rub off my rough edges. He is helping me raise strong kids who, by faith, will know how to walk with Jesus in the noise of this world.
In the stormy days when my anxiety rears its head and tells me someday will never come and this hard circumstance will always be hard . . . or when an emergency strikes and a wave of “I can’t” threatens to wipe me out . . . it is enough to know God made the wind and the waves. He longs to walk with me in the shock of it all. May the Spirit show me His presence and open my hands to what is in front of me.
Today, there is an early wake up call from a child who can’t sleep. A lot of lunches to make and a medical test for mom. Today, there is the potential to meet a friend, but if more time is needed for that test—then there is more precious time with family. There will be kid fights to break up and adult conflicts to mediate, even fights with a copy machine. There will be talking to myself and breath prayers to Jesus. And many, many unexpected things. Although I don’t want all of those things (doesn’t a rad vacation sound better?), I will take them all. What good will fighting against it do, except to heap up bitterness and resentment in my heart? Today I will purpose to trust that God will give me what I need to ride the waves of life.
Will you join me?
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)
Katie dreams of Italian vacations with her husband, yet embraces the miles driven in her minivan with four beautiful kids. She is a story-teller and Bible teacher who bakes to release the chaos of today.