Friends, can I publicly admit once and for all what I have only recently been able to say out loud?
I love Austin. I love it a whole lot. I think it might be the best city in America, and I don't care what kind of an Aggie it makes me to think that. Urban living meets cattle ranching. Texas barbecue meets taco trucks meets locally-grown everything. Outdoor adventure FOR DAYZZZ meets live music capital of the world.
Y'all, there is a microbrewery + dog park here. I cannot get over it. It is so wonderfully weird, and I'm completely smitten.
Every time the Army decides to move us anywhere, I go into research mode. Normal people research houses and schools--and I do my share of that too--but the one thing I really get into is trying to figure out where the adventure is in a new place. What are the must-trys? Where do the locals go? What's the main schtick for getting tourists to come visit? I'm pretty sure that I searched for five days before my brain BROKE from all the choices here. I was so excited. We were going to do all the things! We would never be bored! Adventure forever!!!
You know what I forgot, friends? Life is full of like 98% have-to-get-done's and 2% adventure. My kids have to go to school, my husband has to go to work, and I am NOT good at driving in traffic.
For the sake of transparency, here is Liz's real life schedule:
(Adventure erryday, folks!)
Friends, can I publicly admit once and for all what my brain has only been allowed to think just recently?
I love my life, but I thought it would be more. Do you ever feel that way? I honestly believed that if I worked hard enough at school and did the right extracurricular activities and checked off the right boxes and achieved enough that the doors to success were just going to magically open up for me. I didn't know what job I wanted, but I didn't think it was going to be a housewife. I didn't know what I wanted my Thursdays to look like, but I didn't think they were going to be "mopping days."
I've been talking to God a lot lately, asking Him to show me where He wants me to be and how He wants me to work. My prayers are something along the lines of: God, I know you moved me here for a reason, and I know you have opportunities for me here. Point me where you want me to go. Show me. Open up those doors.
And meanwhile, as I wait on those doors to open...
He keeps putting dust on the furniture. He keeps putting laundry in the basket. He keeps putting dirt on the floors.
Has God ever answered a prayer in a way that didn't feel "grand enough" for you?
A few days ago I was reading a story in the Bible where an enemy soldier who had leprosy went to the Israelites looking for mercy through a miracle of God. The prophet Elisha sent him a messenger telling him to dip himself in a river so he'd be cured, and the soldier became angry. He said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?"
I thought surely God would have a position for me in Austin. Are not there more opportunities here than there were in any of the other cities He has sent me? Isn't there something that I'm supposed to be doing outside of this house? Is there not some bigger adventure I am supposed to be living here?
After the soldier's ungrateful, self-important temper tantrum, his servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!"
You guys, if someone would have offered me a job last month--any job at all--I would have taken it and thought that I was doing a better thing somehow.
I'm here to tell you that sometimes God tells you your job is to mop the floors.
Don't misunderstand me. Sometimes the door that opens is grand and glorious for sure, but more often than not, the door that opens seems very humble and small. It is just God's style.
It looks like a woman who won't leave her mother-in-law to suffer and gleans scrap from a field.
I looks like a red ribbon tied in a window.
It looks like a shepherd boy's sling and stone.
It looks like walking circles around a wall playing a trumpet.
It looks like an outcast family and a baby in a barn.
Who am I to say that it doesn't look like mopping floors?
In light of eternity, in the very small corner of God's story that I get to be a part of, there is no telling what my job is and what it means. I am just too finite to ever know. God simply tells us to be faithful with what we're given.
And today He has given me dirty floors, in a house that I share with the most wonderful family anyone could wish for, in the most amazing city in America.
Adventure erryday, indeed!