Can you make no use of your discontent?

Thursday, December 21, 2023

I have on my pink winter socks. My feet are propped up on a coffee table in a room that I didn't even own this time last year. I can look beyond the computer screen and see seven blue and green knit stockings hung beside my fireplace. Seven. There have been several times over the last few years that I wondered if that would ever be. It feels like a Christmas miracle that we're even here together trying to create a place of rest in my hometown amid a chaotic, messy, beautiful life. This year was hard, the year before it was hard, and the holidays can be a difficult reminder of some of the hurts we carry around. Thinking back to last Christmas, I was barely dragging my one hundred pounds out of bed. Barely eating, wasting away but trying to smile for the camera and pretend as we do. I was very depressed and not for the first time in my life. I had decided to come home from Colorado and reground. I needed help and the only place I felt I could turn to was the comfort of Tennessee, my family and friends, and the community I grew up in that maybe, just maybe I could send the kids to public school in. It was a scary thought. Much of my identity was tied up in titles or others over the years. Military spouse. Mrs. Stay at Home Mom. Special Needs Mom. Adoptive Mom. Homeschool Mom. Looking back, I wish I could tell the twenty something year old Kacy so much. Towards the top of that list would be to "know thyself" without letting others, circumstances, or traumas shape my thoughts on who I am. Now, I understand it's the God of the Universe who tells me who I am and I was created in His image. I lack nothing. He doesn't look at me and see my mistakes and shortcomings and He never, ever leaves. I felt forgotten, though in so many ways. This past year has woven in me a kindness and grace towards myself that I've never allowed before. I'm not pretending or hiding anymore. You know us homeschool mamas like teaching Shakespeare, right? Well, I've really been pondering over the last few months the quote from Much Ado About Nothing...

"...let me be that I am and seek not to alter me. Can you make no use of your discontent? I make all use of it for I use it only."

There have been so many books, podcasts, prayers, vent sessions, therapy appointments, medicines, and sermons I've consumed on the idea of happiness over the years. But when I read the above - Can you make no use of your discontent- those words stuck. So I've been given a lot of hard. I'm still here. What am I going to do with it? The thought was healing. Freeing. 

This cold Christmas, I'm focused on enduring, creating, loving, living, and worrying less about what wasn't perfect about my life before or now. The picture of Christmas I'm focused on today is the example of Jesus, born into humanity, willing to walk through this scary world bearing all our hardships and sin because of Love. I'm not in relationship with a god who sits on an unreachable throne. I'm in relationship with a God who is approachable, loving, all-knowing, and so much more. He knows me and yet loves me. 

Joy to the world.

And Heaven and Nature (and Kacy) sing.

Repeat the sounding joy.

This year is different. I have a warm and cheery home although still wild and loud. The kids are on break from school- we made it to Christmas which is all I asked of them when I finally decided to enroll them. We did it, kids! Jordan has a job closer to home now and it allows him much more time to be around. We are adjusting to this big family squeezed into a small house that we've transformed room by room and we're trusting Him to do the same with our hearts- opening doors, airing out the hurts in each dark room, and reminding us He is with us in each one.  

Happy Christmas to you all.

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