Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Frustration and Faith in the Pursuit of Peace

It was one year ago this month that I said good bye to the non-profit. It was a bittersweet parting, but ultimately I chose to leave in search of balance and more time for myself in a life that had grown too chaotic. 

A whole lot has changed since then but as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Ironically I have simply traded one source of chaos for another and balance and time for myself are goals that continue to elude me. When I'm lucky the most "me time" I get is an hour alone with my coffee and the animals while I pack lunches and make breakfast before the kids wake up. The rest of my day is a marathon, run at the pace of a sprint.

When I first left the non-profit I wasn't sure what my next steps would be. Although I got involved in foster parenting I knew it wasn't going to be a long-term event. In the back of my mind the question of what comes next continued to percolate. It took a year, but I am happy to say I finally know now, with absolute certainty, what I want to do next in my life. The only problem is right now I simply cannot do it, not until I know what will be happening with the kids. It is a frustrating in-between kind of place to be in.

In the midst of the frustration is where faith comes in. Faith is what led me to take on the challenge of foster parenting. Faith is what sustains me when things are at their most chaotic. Faith is how I know that the in-between place we're in is only part of the journey, not the destination, and that someday soon the road forward will be made clear.

At church every week we say a prayer that we call the prayer of confession. It is actually St. Francis of Assisi's Prayer for Peace. I love it. It is a simple and beautiful road map for those wishing to emulate the peace and love of Christ. When I have to make a big decision I ask myself which choice is the one that most closely aligns with the values expressed in this prayer. The answer may not always be my first choice, or the easy choice, but if I'm being honest with myself it is almost always the right choice.

There are many days when I feel impatient, when I just want "someday" to hurry up and happen already. But underneath it all I know that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do. I'm putting my back into sowing light, faith, and hope, striving to live with joy in hot pursuit of peace, even though at times "peace" seems to be the adjective least likely to describe anything whatsoever about my life or my household.

How does your faith help you through difficult times and deal with frustration? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.


  1. It's good that faith helps you. I'm an Agnostic which means my beliefs don't help me through anything the way that yours do. For that reason, I'm quite envious of people who have such strong faith and a group of like-minded people who can help them through difficult times.

  2. Bless your heart Kelly! You have the strength I don't. I decided to give up on the dream of being a mother because at 44 I decided I don't have the energy or space. It would also mean giving up on many other dreams I have for myself because I am quite frankly old and tired. I know I can only do so much now. If it was ten years ago, I may have decided differently. I listened to a wonderful podcast this morning by Grace Bonney, the blogger behind Design*Sponge. Her podcast is called After the Jump and you can find it on iTunes. It is the 8/13th one. She talks about work/life balance (or hey just life balance, yeah) and how she started off with very small steps. Her situation (& mine) is very different from yours but it is still an inspiring talk. I am not religious but am spiritual and read many books on philosophy. Faith in life, karma and ourselves can get us through difficult times even if there is no specific god or church attached (I do feel it is all one god anyway but interpreted by different cultures).

    1. Hi Tania, I apologize that it has taken me so long to reply to your comment. Believe it or not, I only just figured out how to do it! Duh. I'm technologically impaired, so sorry about that.

      I'm 45 and having kids at this age is a whole other ballgame. When my son was the age these kids are I worked a double shift then still had enough energy to come home and play with him. With these guys I come home after eight hours and am ready to collapse. It has taken me the entire seven months they have been here to find a work/life/kid balance but it is still very precarious and any unexpected event can still throw us all out of whack.