living an easy life is not the goal
I used to think making my life easier would make me happier. And in a sense, an easy life does make one happy. I'm all about "less is more." I don't like clutter, be it physical clutter or mental clutter. I do my best to minimize distractions and "stuff" in my life.
For a while, after I became a mom, I was overwhelmed. I didn't know how to handle it all, so I began to make changes in my life to make it easier. Changes like moving back home to Miami, buying a house down the street from my husband's work, cutting down on responsibilities. I wanted to deal only with the bare minimum. I also made it my goal to make sure my kids had an easy life. Everything revolved around their schedules and moods.
While I do think it's wise to eliminate distractions and focus on what's truly important, I no longer believe living an easy life is the goal. I don't want to always live beyond my capacity, but I do want to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Mostly, I want to be obedient to God's calling and, often, He calls us to the uncomfortable. He desires our sanctification and that process isn't easy. We go through the Refiner's fire and come out of it changed. Isaiah 48:10 says, "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction." And 1 Peter 5:10 says, "And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." It is necessary to go through trials, but we can take heart that God will restore and strengthen us.
I also don't want to raise my kids to believe life is all about being easy and safe. I want them to step outside of their own comfort zones. I want them to live beyond themselves. I want them to serve and love others, even if it's awkward at times.
I saw this video from Francis Chan about a year ago and it really hit home. I can remember a time when Alex and I were young(er) and sold out for the mission of God. Somewhere along the way we got scared and abandoned some of the ideals we held so closely. But I don't want to fall into that trap. I want to continue to live on mission and I want us to lead our kids to live on mission. Forget the easy life, I want to live the life God has called us to no matter where that takes us.
We are taking those steps. We're seeking God and following Him where He calls us. And we're taking our kids along for the ride. It's not always easy, but I'm praying to see fruit in the long run. I'm praying my kids will grow up to understand what's truly important in life; love, service, obedience, sacrifice, grace, mission - not the Christian version of the American dream.
I'm not saying we're doing this perfectly, I'm sure we aren't. We're trying, though. I have my hands open towards the heavens and everyday I'm dying a little more to self and clinging to Christ. I'm taking one step at a time and learning to live as Christ calls me to live, whether it's easy or not.