I hate waiting. I will go without if it means waiting in a long line. I would rather be 2 minutes late than be early and have to wait. I don’t do amusement parks. lol I hated being pregnant because I felt like I was stuck in limbo waiting for the real event to start. But the biggest adventure of my life happened while I was waiting.
Jeff Goins is releasing his newest book this week called The In-Between. Think he might have had me in mind when he wrote this. Dying to read it. I read his first book Wrecked and loved it. I’m waiting to buy a physical book this time. I bought the e-version of his last book and was frustrated that I couldn’t underline or highlight stuff on my Kobo.
Perhaps, the abundant life we’ve been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.
Real life doesn’t always happen like we see stories unfold in books or on the big screen. It doesn’t feel like an adventure most of the time. In fact, it can sometimes seem rather boring.
As a mom with young children (3 in 3years) my life was all about waiting. In particular there was a short season where the hubs worked nights out of town. While we waited for this season to end, I would put the youngest two together in the stroller (against manufacturer’s warnings) and the oldest walked. We didn’t go anywhere fast.
I couldn’t get upset with a three year old because she couldn’t keep up to me. I couldn’t be upset that a two year old got distracted by caterpillars and birds and construction workers, or that a 1year old fell asleep at the wrong time and threw off my whole afternoon plans. I just wanted them all to grow up faster so we could do exciting stuff. Go places.
I escaped one afternoon for an hour to walk in the woods. I prayed for an adventure. Any adventure. I felt I was slowly withering from the inside out, trapped in a world of simple sentences, The Wiggles, and diapers. My prayer seemed to bounce off the sky and back down to me.
I’m not sure how much time went by, a few hours, a day — but I started to see things through the eyes of my 3year old. We would pause and examine the way the caterpillar moved across the sidewalk. We made up stories about the people we saw waiting for the bus. We took shovels to the park and dug for buried treasure (feathers counted as treasure). I would declare that it was time for an adventure (which was code for Mommy needs to find some air conditioning) and we’d end up at the library, or see what a toonie could buy at the grocery store.
And I’m not sure when it happened, but I stopped waiting for them to grow up and simply enjoyed them day to day. I realized each day could be an adventure all by itself, if I chose to see it that way.
At bedtime I created the character Mimi – a red-haired, skinny, book-worm girl with glasses living in a foster home with her younger brother and a bunch of other kids. Mimi found a secret world in the attic. It was an oral choose your own adventure story where my kids named the characters and decided the direction of the story. We had talking dinosaurs and pirates and an evil little brother who, it turned out, just wanted his big sister to play with him. It was very silly.
We had so much fun that summer adventuring waiting for that season where Daddy was gone to end. Nine years later my kids can tell you all about Mimi. It left an indelible impression on their young minds, and I saw that God had answered my prayer for adventure.
It was in the In-Between that I found adventure, and learned one of the most valuable lessons of my entire life. To enjoy the here and now.