Saturday, September 3

Big Dreams, Small Tasks

Earlier this week I found out that a friend, of a friend, of a friend (basically someone I've met before, but don't really know), published her first book.


Yup, that's what I thought to myself. Literally. Grrrrrrrrr.

It was the very same day that I had drawn the world's longest and largest, hop scotch board that started in front of our next door neighbor's house and made it all the way up our driveway.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself. The smile on my daughter's face and the delight she had shown as we drew the hop scotch board together were a much welcomed change of attitude from the sometimes moody, contentious, four-year old she could be lately....especially when her little sister gets in her way (or after she eggs her little sister to get in her way, and then pounces on her for being there).

I was pretty proud of myself until I found out that that friend of a friend of a friend published her book that is. Then I got kind of peevish, introspective, and started questioning my own worth, goals, and successes on a day to day basis.

Now, perhaps you don't go Grrrrrrrr when you hear that someone has published a could probably care less, but perhaps you go Grrrrrrrr when someone you know gets new furniture, the very style and color and type of furniture that you had been eyeing for centuries, and trying to save responsibly for and then they just go out and get it.


Or perhaps, someone's kid is walking before yours, talking before yours, or adding and subtracting complex numbers by the age of 3 1/2.....Grrrrrrrr. 

Or someone you know gets a really fancy new car...shiny....bright....leather seats....not as "momish" as they car you're driving....Grrrrrrrr.

How about the mom that shows up at the pool with her three kids in ....gasp....a BIKINI!!!!

Grrrrrr.....Grrrrrrr......double and triple Grrrrrrrr to that!

See, I like to pride myself in not being super materialistic. I drive a pretty old car, and I'm o.k. with hand me down furniture. I like to go shopping, but am not enamored with name brands....I just like to find a good deal. Juicy? What's that? A new fruit shake? A brand of gum?

But you go and publish a book on me...with three kids under your belt....and I just melt with....


Alright....there it is. We all have a vice, right?

I'm not super materialistic, but I have a bent towards jealousy. For me it's the book/publishing thing....for other mom's I know it's the stage their kid is in, or the school they're going to, or the types of clothing they're wearing.

At the end of the day...God has been telling me a few things...

No, unfortunately for my jealous self he's not saying, Lisa, jealousy is a good thing. It's what keeps you going, keeps you motivated, helps you to get your own goals accomplished.

Nope. That would be our culture's take on jealousy.

God is saying....with raised eyebrows...."Lisa...."' I can hear his booming a mother yelling to her children hiding in an upstairs bathroom playing with water. She knows exactly what they are up to even though they think she does not.

"Are you her?"


"Are those the plans I have for you?"

Apparently not (sarcastically, until I feel guilty)....ok...Not right now anyway.

And, not to get all strange and start comparing God to a woman...but I can literally see him, like a well-intentioned mother, with his hands on his hips, his eyebrows raised, saying more to me in that the silence, than even needs to be conveyed with words.

He's also been telling me, showing me, that jealousy is a joy stealer. You're feeling all good and content that you engaged well with your daughter, or made a good meal for your kids, or you're feeling completely o.k. with your crappy old car, and then wham...

...the little weed of jealousy sprouts up over the beautiful little flower you had been admiring and you find your joy the ugliness of jealousy.

And so...I resolve myself to go on and be content with where I am. Blogging. Journaling. The occasional freelance piece here and there. I jot ideas down for books and essays and stories...all in tattered notebooks and post it notes and random scraps of paper and then I go on my way.

I draw another hop scotch board. I color another picture with my daughter at the kitchen table. I complete the tasks set before me.

And I live...with big dreams....while I complete my small tasks.

And each day I resolve myself to trust, again and again and again. I resolve and I trust, over and over, day by day....that God knows exactly what He's doing with me.


  1. Yes, envy is such a thief of joy! But trusting God to lead you, even out of the jealousy, is a great move on your part. :)

  2. Even though we know better we cannot always control those feelings, we only control how we deal with them, and who we give them to. You seem to be doing just fine. Take pride in the way you draw that hop scotch board! Your daughter will remember it...long after you publish your book.


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