Something next

something next I remember thinking a few years ago, “If only Billy could get hired at that job we want so badly, we’ll feel relieved, and we can relax.” Finally, he got the job. Then, it was, “When this baby comes out, it’ll be so great, and my hips won’t hurt anymore.” Then, “When Liam sleeps through the night, I’ll feel normal again.” And, more recently, “When I figure out my schedule and get organized, I won’t feel lonely so often, and my house will be cleaner, and I’ll never feel frazzled again.” Ha!

There is always, always, always something.

There’s always something next. Even if I’ve gotten to that “place” I’ve been anxious to reach, something else comes along that we’re waiting on, looking forward to, some spot in the distance toward which we are striving so intently. Of course, that’s the way things are supposed to go. Progress, success, anything in motion has a destination. It’s good stuff.

Except. The something next often does backflips and jumping jacks for my attention. And why shouldn’t it? It’s lovely and spotless and the end to all of my right-now problems. It gets my heart pumping to think about all of the exciting possibilities.

It’s easy to forget that today holds lots of yesterday’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed possibilities. I stay home with two little kids. Billy’s got a job he loves. The boys nap for a couple of hours together every day. Parenting two is getting easier every day, and I’m finding our new normal to be rather nice.

Of course, there have been seasons that were perfectly reasonable to dislike. Billy’s lung collapsing, a different recovery after Asher’s birth, etc. We prayed for patience, but we also prayed that those negative things would come to an end, and they have. I’m sure we’ll have more of those days and months and years. But also, I am realizing that even in the thick of it (and especially in the good times), there are nuggets of goodness, answered prayers to my requests in the past. I am realizing that God is doing something in the today, and today is the only one of those I’m going to get. Sometimes, in this season of little people, we take things one day at a time. Sometimes, I make big goals and they make the butterflies flit all around my midsection.

I just don’t want to be so focused on the something next that I miss today’s goodness. Because it. is. there.
It’s there in the way Asher’s head just smells so good I want to not put him down.
It’s there in the way Liam says, “It’s ok, Asher. It’s ok,” in the back seat on the way home.
It’s there in the way the light streams through all of the windows in the back of our house, making it warm and bright and crisp in a way only sunshine can.
It’s there when I cling and sob to Billy for lots of reasons and none at all, thankful that he has seen me at my worst and loves me through it.
It’s there because God is there. It’s there because he is good. It’s there because he is bigger than the way I feel and bigger than what I see, and all things work toward his plan. There is goodness in today.


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