We were born for this. This journey, this life adventure. This journey on which we travel in and out of days and weeks and months and years. In and out of seasons. We were born for this quest. Were born for the highs and lows, the twists and turns. The bends. The forks in the road. Were born for travelling up hill and down. We were born for the good times and the bad times.
We were born for the ride.
And it is a ride. At times a roller-coaster. At times a meander. And at more times than I would like to admit: a tedious crawl- face to the ground.
I’ve always liked to think that my exciting, real life is going to happen sometime soon. Like maybe today. Or tomorrow. Or sometime in the not-so-far-away future. Because this business of crawling: of living in reality. Of working 9-5, of making meals, of chauffeuring, of settling spats amongst children. Of living the daily grind. This business is for the birds, really. And it cannot possibly be what I was born for.
I was born for more.
And the real life I am so desperately waiting for looks more like this: quiet mornings sipping coffee. Uninterrupted writing time. Long, invigorating walks. Deep, meaningful conversations. Face-time with my spouse. My head stuck in a good book. Exotic travel. Rewarding humanitarian work. Service to country and fellow human beings: brothers and sisters both here and abroad.
And to cap it all off, maybe just a little more time to follow my dreams. In other words, time to pursue what I have always believed I was born for: something more.
Something more than crawling.
And there are times I wonder, “Why this?” Why the noise and confusion and chaos and trouble and hurt and heartache and pain and sacrifice? It wasn’t part of the dream.
Or was it?
To be sure, life is a ride. A ride full of fearful unknowns and weary treks as much as it is a ride full of adventure. And so it is that I will hold to the belief that I was born for the trip in its entirety. And although the ride is not what I always envisioned the real journey to look like-this stuff of everyday living slows my travelling down. It is this- the stuff of everyday living that has truly taught me the most. About self. About others. And about God. About life.
I was born for this. Was born for mothering. For teaching. For service. I was born to live this life that I am living now.
I was born to these callings. Was born for such a time as this, for such a time as now. For such a time as are a mother’s hours: 24/7, 365 days a year. And added to that, I was born for teaching five days a week, from 9-4. Was born for such a time as even more than those boxed-in hours. For late nights at the computer and early mornings, my hands busy folding laundry.
I was born for this. For these crazy moments spent slogging away.
But I was also born for this: I was born to be that friendly, cheerful face by the classroom doors- greeting children of all ages with a welcoming smile. A warm hug. An inquiring question. A thoughtful comment or two. Was born to hold chubby little hands, to look intently into blue-eyed baby faces. To hear sweet and innocent stories. To hear stories not so simple, of lives more complicated than my own. To hear stories told that bring me to my knees, that haunt me in my waking hours. Stories that propel me to advocate for change.
I was born for this too. For opening up milk cartons. Cutting yogurt packages into a slit at the top. Passing out pizza slices. Issuing band-aids. Umpteen-dozen band-aids each and every day. I was born to look at ‘owies’- with a professional’s eye.
Was born to read books- piles and piles of glorious books. To read them with expression, passion and joie de vivre! To saturate the room with them. To buy them by the dozen! To relish children’s laughter as I read favorites again and again.
I was born for even this.
I was born to find joy in everyday pleasures. To find joy in the mundane, the ordinary. Joy. In reciting the alphabet, counting to twenty and playing with play-doh. In watching the weather and growing bean plants and using scented markers. In playing with puppets and using brand-new crayons. In practicing piano. In bouncing balls.
I was born for all this.
Was born to fight for the underdog, to defend the rights of the under-privileged. To hear the hard stories and not turn away. To look into hearts and ask difficult questions. To put a face to the data.
I was born for this. What joy!
I was born to do hard things. To make tough calls. To follow through. To see a story through to its ending. To never give up.
To always hope. To always protect. To always believe.
I was born for this. For all of this.
I was born to not go down quietly. To be a loud voice, if need be. To shout it from the roof-tops or whisper it in the quiet of a room. I was born for even this.
I was born to be a builder of blocks, a builder of lives. A mender of hearts- a champion of dreams.
I was born to be a mother. Was born to teach. To be the teacher and the learner. To make room in my heart. Always enough room for one more. And true. It has not always been the easiest space I’ve ever inhabited, nor has it always been the most pleasant. It is exhausting work- all of it. But these acts of service have been the most rewarding of my journey thus far. The most worthwhile. Because the joy I have found in giving and receiving love, in knowing and in learning about people and the world we live in. In understanding the stories connected to the lives. This privilege. It is unmatched in nearly any other act of service I have ever done. And these acts of unconditional love in service to the four precious children I have borne as well as the caring and compassion I freely give to the children I have found room for in my heart. Whom I teach inside classroom walls. Whom teach me that life is more. So much more. These lives, these stories are what make the ride worthwhile.
It’s about the people. It’s about humanity. And it’s about the children.
Because I was born for much, not the least of which- to nurture, love and care. I was born to do the grueling work of care-giving as much as I was born to inspire, challenge and motivate. And above all, I was born to give back. For in my life I have been given much. And so much is required.
I was born for this, this life I am living. I was born for all of it.