Disowned Desire

One of my favorite questions to ask people is what they would do with their days if money wasn’t an issue. If you woke up tomorrow and didn’t have to worry about paying for anything and knew your basic needs (food, shelter, etc) would be met, how would you spend your days for the rest of your life?

I truly believe that’s whatever you say is your passion, and God made it your passion, your desire, for a reason.

It took me until I was in my 20’s to realize how truly good I felt inside when I was creating art. I knew I loved my art classes in middle and high school, that I was good at yearbook, but instead of pursuing these, I let my rational brain convince me that was a terrible idea–that there is no way I could make a living doing either of these, no matter how much I loved them. So I went to nursing school instead.

I love spending time with patients, but in my heart of hearts I know nursing isn’t my calling, and that’s okay. I think everything happens for a reason, and I would love to be able to use my nursing skills someday on mission trips. For now, I know I’m where I’m supposed to be, in a job with an amazing supervisor and co-workers who see and value me as a person, and not just a warm body.

Going into the summer, I added up how much of my paycheck would be going to pay for daycare for Dillon & Logan. I looked at my house, the stress of the daily 2 hour long morning rush to get to work, followed by an hour rush to get home to help Nate get dinner on the table, followed by getting the boys to bed, to maybe get an hour to relax before bed.

But I didn’t see any other way. This was my duty as a wife, and mom. Being ill recently gave me time at home with my boys, and made me realize this is where I belong. I adore our daycare provider, but *I want to be the one to raise my boys*. So why was I jeopardizing my mental health to pay someone else to raise my boys when I want to?

So I added up how many of my hours were going to daycare, I sat down with Nate and told him my thoughts. Wanting to be able to take care of my boys, to be able to do more to keep our house in order instead of trying to do it all on the weekends, to help my mental health by not having to race here and there to get to work every day.

It’s scary, the idea of dropping my hours, but once Nate gave me the okay, I knew it’s the right step. I talked to my boss, praying everything would work out. It was a win win for both of us. My hospital is being proactive with the concern over Medicaid budget cuts, and looking to trim their expenses as much as possible. By going from 40 hours a week to 24 hours a week, it helps my supervisor trim her budget to make them happy, and it lets me be home with my boys by working three afternoons a week, Monday through Friday, based on when our Medicare reports are due.

I’ve been asking everyone what they would do if they didn’t have to worry about money. But what would I do?

I would keep up these hours, working as an RN, because I love the idea of doing mission trips when the boys aren’t so little, and being a nurse is an added bonus.

I would spend time with my boys, enjoying and capturing the little moments that make up life–the lazy summer evenings, the morning giggles, and trying to catch all the firsts while keeping in mind I never know when their last time doing such and such will be…the last time I pick Dillon up in my arms, the last time Logan sleeps in his crib, the last time I change Logan’s diaper (that one I won’t mind so much!).

I would keep getting up early to see the sunrise over the Highwoods and spending my quiet time with God to start my day.

I want to plant more flowers–to have a greenhouse to grow vegetables without worrying about the crazy Montana wind, and to plant a shelter belt with lilacs and honeysuckle. With bird houses and sunflowers everywhere.

Nate graciously let Dillon and I have one of the downstairs bedrooms as our craft room. I would create art to my heart’s content, while learning how to create art on the iPad as well. I would keep filming and sharing my process with others, because I love watching other peoples’ videos and learning from them.

I’m getting there. After reading an article about wasting your life living for Fridays and thinking about it, I realized I agree. I don’t believe God wants us to live a mediocre, unfulfilling life to just get by. I think there’ s a reason we have a desire to do certain things, and when we ignore those desires, we start looking for ways to numb that feeling of discontentment. For me it was drinking wine and zoning out playing Candy Crush. But when I’m on my death bed looking back on my life, the thought of wasting all this time in this way is terrible!

Society ingrains in us that we need to be ‘good’ and ‘nice’ and do whatever we can to fit in. But when I think about it, I don’t want to be thought of as ‘nice’. How boring! I want to be known as being passionate about my faith, about people, about my art. Why are we doing things we don’t really want to because that’s what we think society wants us to do?

John Eldredge writes in his book, Desire,

Christianity has come to the point where we believe that there is no higher aspiration for the human soul than to be nice. We are producing a generation of men and women whose greatest virtue is that they don’t offend anyone. Then we wonder why there is not more passion for Christ. How can we hunger and thirst after righteousness if we have ceased hungering and thirsting altogether? As C.S. Lewis said, “We castrate the gelding and bid him be fruitful.”

Wow. He continues,

“Duty reduces the dance [of desire] to a drill. It’s as if you showed up with a bouquet of flowers for your anniversary. Your wife is delighted, but then you say, “Think nothing of it, my dear. It’s my obligation.” … A woman doesn’t want to be an object of duty, she wants to be desired, and so does God!

To be Christian isn’t about being ‘nice’. It’s about desiring God so badly you can’t stand it, and what’s beautiful is He promises us if we draw near to Him He will be right there. He wants us to desire Him…after all, isn’t this why He created us to begin with? And what better way to bless us than by giving us a desire to pursue the very gifts He gave us to begin with?

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