Use it or Lose it?

Clearly it has been awhile since my last post...although with good reason, and I can't wait to share the whole story of us potentially adopting a baby.  But not today.  (Cheer up, I'll have so much time to edit that story you will be thankful I had to delay writing it.)  

But today I've been thinking about living life to the fullest.  I feel somewhat hypocritical typing this right now; I've been feeling a little bit more drawn to security and comfort lately than to living recklessly abandoned to Jesus.  So let's just say this post is really just a note-to-self.  Hm.  Maybe I'll stick it on my fridge.

Anyway.  One day I bought a kids stepping stool online because my kids couldn't reach our sink to wash their hands by themselves.  I'm sure some moms so love any chance to cuddle with their child that they would be thrilled by the prospect of frequently scooping their child up to help them reach the sink.  Not this Mom.  It was annoying.  Although I told myself the real reason for the stool was to foster healthy independence in my kids.  When the "box of independence" arrived I found a promotional single pack of laundry detergent included with kids stool.  Apparently it is some kind of detergent/softener all-in-one gel capsule and you just pop it in with the laundry and go on your way.  Maybe your hands don't get sticky or it takes less time to use?  Either way, it somehow seems exciting to use!

But I was talking to a friend recently and admitted that I've had this single detergent gel pack for over a year now and still haven't used it.  And she said she's the same way, which of course gave me a reason to hope that I'm not crazy.  It  just seems so exciting- so convenient- so novel- but there is just one.  So I feel like I'm saving it for something special.  But a special load of laundry?  That is hard to qualify.  It certainly wouldn't be a sock and underwear load- maybe Easter outfits?  Or to pep up our regular-Joe clothes should we ever get a chance to meet the President?  

But really- I think I just don't want to use it because it will be gone once I do.  Right now I can enjoy the idea of it any time I want.  I can think about how wonderful it will be on that one load I do use it on.  

Sadly- it has absolutely no value sitting on my shelf.  And truth be told, it would be better used on my sock and underwear load that to melt on my shelf and never be used.  (Eh, I assume it melts.)

I think I live my life like that sometimes.  I think I am full of all of this potential.  There are a million and two things I want to do with my life- I soar with hopes for changing the world, loving people well every day, being an intentional and  patient mother to my kids, eradicating poverty and child trafficking, and bringing justice and equality to those who are oppressed and unable to fight for themselves.  

I have all these dreams but I'm content sometimes to let them sit there on my shelf.  And instead of running and jumping into those massive dreams, I guess I'm afraid or overwhelmed- and I'm so afraid I don't always even live truly alive in the little things.  The daily things.  The washing of socks things.  What if I try to use my life and fail?  What if I spend my potential and it doesn't add up to what I thought it would?

Mark 8:35
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it."  

It sounds upside down, but if I hold tightly to my life afraid to spend it on what matters- if I hope to just ride through life enjoying what little security or comfort I can control- or if I tell myself I won't act until I find juuuuust the right thing to spend my life on- then in the end I've done a lot of waiting.  I've lost a life, and gained nothing.  So maybe today I'll use my one-use gel detergent...  what about you?

(Side note: that the kids stool was not as tall as I had hoped and after all that I had to send it back.)