There is much in my life that I can't share with the world yet, but it's just the same old stuff that my friends could predict from what they've known of our lives for years. When one sets out on a certain trajectory, one ends up that direction and not some other. Same old, same old.
But some of that is really really satisfying! My boys - Mike, Josh, Noah & Brooks - are SO precious to me! There is all the "bragging" stuff we moms do to each other, but that's not what I mean here. I mean that my main goals in parenting are accomplished now, and much of what remains is just to enjoy the relationships and to enjoy the show. Whether anyone else approves of them or not, I DO approve of each of my boys, and I'm grateful to God and to them and to the others who cared for them and shaped them to here.
So I'm in my 50th year on this planet, and life is good! I have been given the things I wanted the most: responsible, generous, and kind children; daughters-in-law who add real beauty to being equally responsible, generous, and kind; parents who are great role models for "doing life" with joy and motivation; a growing sense of actually seeing Jesus' face next to me whether in contemplative prayer or on the phone with someone who is angry at me; and a growing sense of genuine shalom and joy and real attachment to community even as I have backed away from many of my old ideas about community involvement.
Tomorrow I fly to see Josh & Julie. I know Steven and Brooks and Noah will be fine here while I'm gone. I know my responsibilities will be here waiting for me when I get back. And I know I'm at a stage where I can trust God with all the possibilities of healing or of unhealed brokenness and sorrow in all the dramas of our lives.
I am acutely aware of the relationships that encircle me these days ... from those I've already mentioned in the little community of my own children and parents, to the wider circle that includes Dan & Laura and their families, to each precious member of my extended family, to childhood friends, to college friends, to coworkers who accepted and helped me, to church friends and twitter friends and Second-Life friends, to even my neighbors who continue to be friendly despite our years of failure to give them any real time or attention.
We focus so much on our limits and our problems, but today I'm focusing very squarely upon all that's right and all that satisfies ...
Whether we talk about Jesus or the Triune God, God's best gift to any of us (which salvation & sanctification made once again possible when we were enmeshed in all that kept us separated from the things we were made to be and to enjoy) is to bring us to a place where we can actually SEE and enjoy what we have.
Today I see it all in a way that makes me feel like I've had what I most wanted whether life ends tomorrow or in 70 years.
May you feel that deep Shalom as well, even if your life doesn't look that way on the surface.