I couldn’t fall asleep last night. That is a rare occurrence for me. I usually lay my head on the pillow around 11 p.m. and I’m asleep within seconds. Yet at 1 a.m. I still had too many thoughts in my head and too many feelings in my heart for sleep to come.
The problem is a new year. The problem is looking forward. The problem is in the possibilities, plans, and changes 2013 will bring. The problem is that I don’t have a plan. I HATE not having a plan. (Where should we look for work? Where should #1 go to middle school? Should #4 start school? Should I keep working as much as I am? Should I get a different job? Maybe I shouldn’t be working at all and instead focus on something else?)
And the problem is I’m sad. I miss my family. Many of my friends are going through big changes and challenges. Sometimes when I take the Christmas decorations down it feels clean and refreshing. This year it made me feel like my home was darker and sterile. I was sick and in a daze for weeks and I’m waking up to a life that feels overwhelming and unfamiliar. And busy—very busy.
Years ago there was a Church talk that focused on the concept of choosing between what is good, what is better, and what is BEST. As I lay in bed for hours last night, trying to distract myself with a harmless, entertaining TV show, I realized at the root of it all I just want to be able to discern what is BEST. I think good choices are easy. I fill our days with good. Swimming, piano lessons, volunteering, cub scouts, girl scouts, family game night, orchestra, violin, date night, book club, making a quilt, visits with friends, art class, teaching, helping, cooking, movies, choir, fun, yard work, cleaning the house, going to Church…but when you are so full of good, sometimes there is no room for better or best.
Better choices require thought and sacrifice. Giving up a “good” experience for your child for the “better” time together as a family. Giving up the “good” housework for the “better” service opportunity. I think in the past five years or so that I have gotten better at “better”. I think I am more thoughtful. I try to be more prayerful. I have more confidence to not do what everyone else is doing if it isn’t right for our family.
But BEST is out there. I slipped to my knees about 1:15 and started to pray. Will you help me find what is BEST? Will you help me be humble enough to act? I immediately felt some peace and I climbed back into bed. But the last thought I had as I went to sleep was that BEST might not be easy. BEST may look a lot different than better. BEST may not be what I want. BEST may require heart-breaking sacrifice. But, it will be BEST. In that regard, I hope 2013 is my BEST year yet.