. . . for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. (Philippians 4:11 AMP)
I’m awake at 4am. We leave in a few hours for a long awaited family vacation. In a couple days a vortex of longing and expectation will be fulfilled. We will celebrate life together. Seventy years for mom. Thirteen for one of the nieces. And other non-age celebrations like just being together on our favorite beach watching the sun set each night.
To be able to say “just being together” is enough comes through many years of high expectations and pressuring myself and others to have certain memorable experiences together. I would pack everything under the sun and create little welcome gifts. And drive, at least my husband, just a little bit crazy.
Over the years, I am learning less is more. But I can be content with abundance as well.
Earlier this week, I was having a classic meltdown. Surprising in a way because this level of self-doubt has long been erased from my daily life. I was crying one morning to my husband that I didn’t have the inspiration or energy to bring gifts and plan like I used to. I got up that morning very discouraged and not believing in much of anything.
I went to my porch swing to drink coffee and fume. But as the breeze touched my cheek and the coffee warmed my heart, these two words surfaced: Give vs. Share.
Over the years, my gifts have been welcomed and enjoyed, but I often get quite a bit of personal worth from these responses. In a way, I was hiding behind the gifts.
I was afraid, if I didn’t bring gifts, my family wouldn’t want me.
Later that morning, I shared my fears and tears with trusted friends. They prayed peace and expectation back into me. Good expectations. And just last night, my sister said the most affirming things, how she likes me, as well as enjoys my gifts and creative ideas. And she is looking forward to being together. (Her words were more eloquent, but I felt like she had seen me crying earlier in the week, she didn’t know how I had been feeling, yet she spoke words of healing and affirmation into my life.) What peace. What joy. To just be. To see one another and like what we see.
Were my earlier thoughts foolish? Sure, but I needed to work through these messed up perceptions to see that I am enough. And that more than giving, I want to share. Share the time together. Reminisce. Dream. Hope. Laugh. Divide our stories and multiply our joys!
How do you see yourself?