intensely trivial


One of the things I love Dan for is the way he has systematically removed real or imagined limits from my life. I tell people I wouldn’t have chosen him as my husband, but God knew I needed someone like him. He has taught me how to dream and made space for me to get excited about possibility. Either he is very sacrificially loving, or he is a very brave man — because once I got going, there was no telling where I would end up.
So many days and weeks, my exhilaration at the very Potential of life nearly burst my heart and robbed me of whole nights of sleep — not that I minded at all. Possibility almost became a religion to me — a most American religion, I might point out, uneasy as I am with my citizenship. So I filled and filled my life with exciting things, determined not to waste a minute or an ounce of energy. I don’t think it was wrong; I just think the expansion had to stop at some point.
That point may have been reached in the last few months. With my relational obligations to Dan and our kids, my doula work, church-related things, friendships, and now work on an advanced degree, it feels like there is no more room.
In a way, it’s disappointing to me and, I imagine, to other people. I don’t really have time to socialize with people outside my household as I once did. I have to be intentional about reading fiction and poetry (if I get any read at all), and my running has to fit into a very narrow window in the mornings. And, of all things, I’m about to set my phone to remind me of three daily prayer times, because, in all this max-capacity living, I want most of all to be intentional about knowing God.
It seems something is always getting shortchanged. I’ve failed a lot. Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” in Matthew 5-7, which I’ve been reading lately, exposes me as judgmental, easily angered, self-centered, hypocritical. I have made the mistake of letting myself want to be God to everyone. This happens when I try to live without limits these days. (Not that I’d have it together otherwise, but my current situation really exposes all the ugliness.)
In his (very good) book The Emotionally Healthy Church (2010), Peter Scazzero says “maturity in life is when someone is living joyfully within their God-given limits” (149). My current God-given limits include harder work than I’ve ever done in my life: more miles, more thinking, more weeping, more problem-solving, and less sleep. There’s more reconciliation to happen, more wounds to be healed, more truth to be spoken. To do this much “work” wrings me out. I’m at my limit and desperate for the infinite ability of God. If I sound weak and needy, I guess that’s OK; I am.
Meanwhile, I’m learning to trust God with the to-do list that is impossible to complete and all the people it is impossible to connect with. And I am full of gratitude, because I love every minute of the work that comes to hand. (Except maybe cleaning toilets where pee inexplicably goes WAAAAAAY out of the lines.) Ancient Art Midwifery Institute is perfect for me, and I love it! I love the dialogues the kids and I have over the stories we’re reading right now in II Kings. Dan continues to be all rockish for me — so I guess that makes him a rock star. My clients are the most beautiful people in the world, my friends the best listeners.
I am learning to live joyfully, albeit weakly, within my limits — unanswered questions, disappointments, and all.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Myra says:

    Thank you for writing this, Rachel! I needed this challenge. Lately, I told Jared that I feel like I’ve been running really hard (not physically, sadly) and not really going anywhere or getting anything done. Kinda like a treadmill in dreams or something. This post and His prompting me has really opened my eyes. Now, if I’ll just change. Thanks, Rachel!

    Posted 7 years, 4 months ago
  2. * frenchgirl says:

    Just read your last two posts and I just think you’re amazing! Keep pressing on…

    Posted 7 years, 4 months ago

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