There was a blog post hitting up my news-feed recently. It was about a mom who wrote about her desire for a simple, “mediocre” life. In the post, she posed questions about her ability, her body, her mothering, her marriage, her faith, and asked, “Aren’t I enough?” In the end, she decided that she was. Mothers all over my circle of friends and acquaintances were reposting, liking, and commenting about the post—hence, its prominent display on my feed. They loved the sentiment, and were excited to see their own feelings put into words. I was excited for them—hey, I love anything that supports another member of my mommy tribe. I know how difficult and often isolating motherhood can feel, and anything that encourages another mother, whether found in a motivating post, a funny meme, a glass of wine, or eight uninterrupted minutes on the toilet (you go, girl!), I’m all for it! However, I began to feel slightly odd at my own personal response to the content of the post. Why didn’t I feel solace in the idea that the simple life is better? Why wouldn’t the thought of cutting the stress of striving, struggling, and finding the motivation for the endless pursuit of improving be met with anything less than relief?
Because I want more.
I can’t help it. Every fiber of my being aches for something I cannot name, and yet I constantly search. To stop would be to become stagnant. It’s like my very soul is trapped in the cage of my worthless body, fueling it to be ever restless to accomplish something it never can. I’ve always been honored to be considered a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, and I can’t imagine where He wants me to go, so I just keep traveling until I get the sign that I’ve arrived. The struggle is real—I am only constantly failing. Always falling short of the person I wish I could be. Every accomplishment is offset by an experience of humility, reminding me nothing I do is of my own accord. But I always regroup and try again; I apply, I start, I hit enter, I press play, I leap…
Because I want more.
I desire it. I remember the day I sat in church and heard the pastor read what is now my favorite passage, my motto, my theme song. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6 ESV). That was my moment, like He was speaking directly to me. He never said I would get it right. But that I will be satisfied in the end. When I was young, I would picture the result of a would-be decision being played on a big screen on my day of judgement. Even at an early age, I just wanted on that day for Him to say He was proud of me. That feeling was enough to keep me out of even the smallest of trouble. I just want to do what’s right, what’s good, what’s best. Even when it is hard. Even when it is inconvenient, or leaves me feeling exhausted. I just keep waiting for it to all make sense…
Because I want more.
Some people won’t understand how my upbringing adds to this exponentially, but it does. As a black woman, my father thought it was imperative I learn to always do my best. He used to tell me I would have to be better and try harder to get still less. Whether or not you agree with this idea, this was my fight song as I grew up. He was a basketball coach, and competition was coded in my DNA. I have to win everything. I have to always be the best, and yet, I am constantly aware that there will always be someone better. Imagine the turmoil that causes in the pit of your belly. It is there even now. I am hard-wired this way. I feel as though I have a calling that I have yet to understand, that all of my skills, experiences, and circumstances are leading up to one grand moment where I might change even one life—matter to someone—make the small difference I was created to make in this world.
To the mothers craving the simple life, I feel you. I understand your struggle because I live it every day. I often think that the irony will be, that at the end of this life we will both look back, you and I, and see that our paths were mostly the same. We will have made a difference primarily to those that love us, and the print we leave behind will be roughly the same size. At that moment, I can only pray that time will have made me wise, that my eyes will see my value, that my soul will be satisfied.
Because I wanted more.