Friday, March 25, 2016

Focusing on Today: Being a Bricklayer

I hate to admit it, but I have felt a little directionless. That is really hard for a PhD to admit because really the one thing you HAVE to have in order to finish a doctorate, is a plan.

I suppose you could call this my midlife crisis.  The Baby is entering 5-day a week preschool in the fall and the other kids are all in Go Mode.  Life is running along smoothly now that I have my surgery behind me (for that story click here) and my health is good. We have hit the reset button with home expectations (because we really really really let some things slide while I was recovering) and things are just fine now.

Which leads me to say "Okay, Lord what now?".  Now that we have closed the door on having more children, I am feeling a little lost.  I have spent this season reflecting on the best ways to use the talents the Lord has given me, while still really heeding His call to live out my vocation as wife and mother. This is the first time in a long time that I have found myself without a legit 'plan'.  

I am not so naive to think that the plans mean much in the long run, but plans give me some comfort.  I know it is a Illusion of Control, but a good plan makes me feel like I have direction... like all my hard work is moving towards some greatness.

And here I am with no plan.  Instead I have daily, weekly and monthly To Do lists.

Finally I went to adoration and had the chance to really talk with Jesus. 

"Jesus? What's the plan?"

"It is my plan not yours. I am constructing your spiritual house.  You are merely the bricklayer while I am the architect.  You place the bricks where I tell you to put them, but you don't need to know the Master Plan. Just put each brick in place, one at a time."

"Ugh.  Well how am I supposed to know where each brick goes?  We need windows, and support beams, and doors..."

"Prayer.  You come to me in prayer each day and I will tell you where to put that brick."

I know some of us (or maybe just me) get pretty caught up in the long term plan, and forget the holiness in the daily tasks that the Lord has given to us.  The day to day challenges frustrate us because they block us from achieving our larger goals.  Sometimes the lesson for the day is found in how we rise to those little (or big) challenges.  Those little challenges can give us pause and reason to raise our eyes to the Lord and send up a plea for help.  They cause us to stop and assess and reassess.

Sometimes we get caught up in the day to day and we forget the master plan.  But other times we get so focused on the master plan that we forget to grow in the day to day.  We get frustrated when things don't go according to plan.  We worry about the plan.  We fail to recognize that God is the one in control and sometimes Our Plan isn't the same as His Plan.  

Think of those thousands of people who worked to build those huge churches in Europe. They worked for generations, brick by brick, often never to see the end result.  But they knew where to put each brick.  That is what mattered.  Where does THIS brick go right NOW.  

In today's world, parenting is the one task where we work and work and work with the full knowledge that we will never (hopefully) see the end result.  We pour out time and energy and most importantly love - to a cause (our child) that will continue to grow and develop long after we are gone. We will send them away with a foundation for their own life, and they will learn to be their own bricklayers for The Master Builder and Architect. 

So today I taking it one brick at a time.  When God gives me time to write, I will write.  When God gives me time to read and study, I will read and study.  I will pray and try to listen more and talk less so that I can really hear Him when He tells me where to put that brick.  

Do you strive to be the Master Builder or are you content to be the Bricklayer?

Thanks for stopping by!

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