The Meaning of Life

Today marks the last weekday of my lazy, somewhat gluttonous, two-week spring break.  Back to the grindstone it will be for me come Monday, earlier if I want to be prepared for any of my classes next week (yet to be seen).

I made this Waldorf Doll for Mary Frances for Christmas this year.

Like many of my friends and colleagues who have families and go to school, I feel like I wear a number of different hats.  When I’m not replacing one with another between takes, I’m wearing them all at the same time in a one-woman circus where I’m the clown, the lion-tamer, and the lion.  Behind the type-A, ENTJ, theology nerd veneer that I wear in the ‘real world’ is a housewife and homemaker whose favorite smell is Murphy’s Oil Soap and would rather spend her day making granola and sewing clothes for her daughter’s doll (which I also made) than dining in fancy restaurants or traveling abroad.  Sigh.  How to find balance?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the question of balance has become the new “meaning of life” question in our busy, modern time.  We don’t want to know what our purpose in life is nearly as much as we want to know how to keep all the balls in the air.  Finding your destiny is something for kabalarians and new-age gurus, but work-life balance is the topic of serious inquiry on NRP and CNN.  

This is Noah’s very favorite dessert–a banana cream pie–that we made together on Tuesday.

Isn’t this odd?  What’s the point of finding balance in a life if it isn’t the life you are being called to live?  One of my favorite quotes is from Frederick Buechner, who said that you have found your true calling when your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.  Striving for balance before these are the poles that you are trying to keep aligned is folly, and probably not very fun.

In the last year I’ve realized that my true center is at the axis of food and faith.  While I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that I think I’ve found my purpose in life, I’ve come closer  to it in the last year than I ever have been before.  The seminarian and the homemaker are not two people trapped in one body, but rather, both are roles that together allow me to live a purposeful life.

This is Aristotle helping me whip up one of the many batches of cupcakes I made

The last two weeks have been wonderful.  I’ve been on dates with my husband and with each of my sons, I’ve made 6 batches of cupcakes, 2 pounds of caramel, banana bread, granola, and a few martinis, and I’ve written 10 blog posts and taken literally hundreds of pictures in my kitchen.  Life has been good.  And the good life continues on Monday when I climb out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning and hit the ground running, doing even more of the stuff I love.  Whether I spend my day cooking in the kitchen or studying at the library, I can truly say, “praise be to God, I have seen a new day!”

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