I hate unfinished business. If I start something, I want to finish it. I can't stand letting it sit, unfinished, for days, weeks, or months at a time. I am a checklist girl. I like to set goals. I plan my time so that I can achieve the goals I set. Problem? That doesn't leave room for God to alter my plans. That doesn't leave time for God's perfect timing.
God took me on a wild goose chase a few years back and altered every plan I ever made for my life. He led me to set new goals and reach higher than my dreams. He took me down a path I couldn't control or plan for in any way. Nothing more exhilarating. Nothing more exhausting. Following that path may have led to great accomplishment, but it meant leaving a lot of unfinished business in other areas of life.
I so desperately wanted a summer to rest and recuperate from the adventure of the last five years, to tend to all that unfinished business. I wanted to duplicate a summer I experienced seven years ago, one where nothing dominated my schedule for two months but a daily morning date with God on my front porch and a five year old who wanted to ride bikes, play games, and read books.
There lies the other problem. I couldn't duplicate such a summer because I no longer have a five year old who only wants to ride bikes, play games, and read books. I have a twelve year old who's testing his independence and a sixteen year old who, to no fault of his own, struggles to entertain himself in the absence of 27 other boys. If I don't keep them active and busy, they bore easily and get pulled in the wrong direction. I also have more on my own plate now as a writer and Bible study teacher. Both have consumed quite a bit of my time this summer.
With only a few weeks left of freedom before heading back to the classroom, plus two weeks full of all our normal summer appointments at the dentist and doctor, I sadly look around my house to see just as much unfinished business as we started with. At least the boys' rooms got painted, but the floors aren't done yet due to running out of flooring and an air conditioner leak that already ruined some of them.
We thought we'd come home from our last amazing camping trip feeling rested and rejuvenated, ready to tackle those projects. Now our poor camper sits with all the rest of our unfinished business, waiting for us to figure out what we're supposed to do with it now that it's destroyed and unfixable. We can feel the disappointment take over every time we glance that way. It definitely stole our drive and our joy to get back on track with life.
I hate the thought of starting a new school year with so much unfinished business lingering at home. But I wonder if my perspective is all wrong. Maybe me seeing "unfinished" business is just another way of defining a lack of contentment in my life. A lack of gratitude for what is already finished and what has been completed. How can I claim so much unfinished business when my sixteen year old sits on the couch at home this year rather than where he spent the last fifteen summers away from me, or when he talks about all the new friends he made at church camp, or when he speaks better English every day? When my twelve year old begged to go on a mission trip to work with kids less fortunate than us? When my husband displayed such a humble heart in the midst of a recent disappointment, exemplifying a godly attitude to everyone around him?
Life is never void of problems, disappointments, or unfinished business. We live through one problem only to experience another, moving from grace to grace. We won't see our business finished until we meet God on the other side. I hope God sees me as His unfinished business so I never stop learning, growing, and maturing until I meet Him face to face.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.