My last post was about 3 months ago and it talked about how I moved to a new town, Santa Cruz, and started a new chapter in my life. In OUR life, I should say, as really it was a move more about family than it was about me.
So how are things going? How is this new chapter’s first few pages?
That’s what this post is all about.
Things are good. The family is healthy. We are living next door to Robin’s parents which gives us lots of freedom, breaks, and financial relief. Not to mention it’s just nice to have family near-by to go to dinner with, to come over and share a laugh or a memory with. It’s healthy. Robin is pregnant and we are having another girl, which, I am excited about. The girls are growing up so fast, and they are really enjoying being here and playing in the sun. We go to the park on a weekly basis (sometimes on a daily basis) and it is nice living so close to the beach. I’ve had a few projects around the house, so I have been working on those which has kept me busy and active. I joined a band. (-:
Life is good.
I’ve been working as much as I can, and work has been coming in steadily. Robin has been working and we have been sharing the parenting responsibility like we did when I was a youth pastor.
I guess I should say, life is fairly easy; comfortable.
I’m not sure.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, my girls are absolutely wonderful. My wife is supportive, loving, and a really great mom. I have no complaints or regrets when it comes to my family. That part of life, is perfect. (and I am beyond thankful for that)
But good? Like… if I died I would be satisfied good? I’m not sure.
See, my entire belief system, my entire paradox has shifted the last few years – and is still shifting. It’s unnerving. It’s terrible. It’s hard. And I wouldn’t change anything. I’m so glad that I have escaped the chains of the past; of conservative religion and dogmatic beliefs. The part of me that kept me from me – kept me from others – and kept me from experiencing most of what life has to offer. I am happy that I am not closed to different cultures and people. I am happy that I am not working in a church, expected to tell people what to think and how to act. But it’s not easy… it’s a long, dark, cold, lonely corridor. It feels like you’re a lone leaf blowing across the open sea with no land in sight, and wondering how long the wind will carry you, and unsure where it is headed. You just hold on and enjoy the ride. And if the ride ends in the middle of the open sea and there is nothing there to save me, so be it.
But, something is missing.
Charity is missing. But charity will surface again.
See, before, I think I did charity to feel good about myself. Which sounds crazy, because what I am essentially saying is that I am excited to get back into charity and giving to others so that I feel better – but it’s different now. Now, I know it feels good to give back to others – but that is NOT the reason I will do it. I will do it because I care about others. It’s a subtle difference, and most people do not even begin to think about it… but the last 4 years have been about refocusing on the heart of others, and not on the feeling helping them brings to me.
It’s hard right now, because most (if not all) of my charity goes to my kids right now. They have my hands and feet and heart and soul. They have my everything. I work – for them. I play – with them. And in my free time, I try to take care of myself so I don’t lose it on them. There feels like such little room for charity right now. But that’s ok. I think that’s ok. I’m living with the emptiness of not serving out there in the world – not building houses anymore, not feeding the hungry, not teaching kids to look past themselves – but it won’t always be this way. There will be a day when I reemerge and I – with my family – server the world again. The big and the small worlds.
This year I turn 30. 30! I will have three daughters. It’s a whole new world. A world I hope lasts for a few more seasons. I still have so much to learn and to experience.