The Next Best Thing

I’m beginning to realize that grown up life feels a lot like groundhog’s day sometimes, yeah? We all wake up with the best intentions to tackle that big project, write the blog post, God forbid, get that workout in (because it’s on your monthly goals list and by golly you WILL lose all that baby weight.) And then all the sudden you find yourself eating dinner at 9:30pm and fully intending to crash upon finishing that last bite because you just know that child’s gonna wake up like five times tonight. When you’re in the thick of it, these days pass one by one…all a blur.

The days when I’m not shuffling around doing all the chores and projects with one hand, carrying a grabbing-everything baby in the other, sort of float around in my mind like a long lost best friend. Maybe in those days I’d be able to finish a whole cup of coffee while it’s still warm. Maybe I’d be able to make the “big things” happen.

I don’t want to go all carpe diem on you, but the idea of “just doing the next best thing” has been a bit of a mantra for me lately. Perhaps it’s a way of making those big things happen in the midst of what seems like an impossible season. For me, this motherhood thing is a lot like my stats at the driving range. Sometimes I hit it out of the park (wrong sport?), and sometimes I miss completely and kick up so much dirt I can practically see China. You realize that, like Mitchell says, “your parents made it up, their parents made it up, and now you’re making it up”. We never really have all the answers, right? These big things – our jobs, our marriages, our parenting, our relationships – these are the things we hold the tightest and the things we screw up the fastest.

I don’t have a clue how to make these “big things” happen in the midst of raising a small child. Heck, I don’t even really know how to raise a small child! But in both cases, I’m going with the next best thing. I’m chipping away at big goals and the whole parenting thing one next best thing at a time. Because at the end of it? At the end of it are goals being realized and good kids being raised. At the end of it is ultimately God’s glory being poured out of all the facets of this life.

I am so looking forward to slowing down this summer and really enjoying what we’ve got instead of chasing after the constant hustle. But I also want to continue chipping away at the big stuff because there are good things to come of it. Today my two foot sidekick and I are going on a hike. Why? Because exercise, sunshine, and the sheer idea of having a plan for the day are all things that I want more of in my life. They’re all things that make me feel content and they’re small steps towards my big goals of living a healthy lifestyle, being active with my children, and creating a structured, well-organized home life for our family. Also, if we're going to live in the great north woods, might as well enjoy it, right? So today we hike.

How about you? What are you chipping away at this season? What’s your next best thing?