Questions. Or not. {#wholemama}

I want to have all the answers.

I love certainty. And I love plans.

Whenever I had a Spanish presentation in college I would prepare every slide and write down every word I wanted to say. Even when we weren’t supposed to do that. I wanted to know what I was going to say so I wouldn’t be caught stuttering for words in front of 20 classmates. But at the end of every presentation I had to ask “tienen preguntas” and solicit questions in Spanish which I would then have to answer. In Spanish. No diccionarios. (On the bright side this made presenting in English five times easier since I didn’t have to worry about missing vocabulary and impossible conjugations, because “hey, I’m fluent! Why are you guys so worried? This is easy!”)

Somehow I graduated with a degree in Spanish so I guess I managed ok, but I still like to have control of situations. I like to know how to speak. I like to know the answers. And I like to learn the answers if I don’t know them.

College aside… life isn’t so much about having the answers anymore.

I can search in books all day long for how to best deal with my tantrumming toddler and still not find the answer. And even if I did one right guaranteed-to-work answer, I’d still have to live it out. Somehow.

Which becomes less of an answer and more just one more expectation to place on my head.

And as a mom, I have so many questions.

What I am supposed to do with my spare time? work? stay at home? write? only gaze in awe at my children? Who am I kidding? Who am I? How do I deal with this [stage, step, setback, issue]?  Why? What world am I raising this kid in? What in the world happened here? WHO. MADE. THIS. BIG. MESS?? How do we build our marriage even after the intervening small things arrive? Where does my peace come from?

The answers are sometimes linear change, sometimes non-linear change, every now and then something easier.

But often it’s just admitting I don’t have the answers.

And maybe it’s not about having all the answers.

Maybe it’s more leaning into the questions.

More seeing in shades rather than absolutes.

More waiting and seeing.

More guessing and praying.

More hoping and trusting.

More trying again.

Less getting it right the first time.

Less relying on my own brain.

Less focus on me.

Less and more and more and less.

The nitty gritty details of living well questions are so much harder than the big picture (what school do I go to, who should I hang out with, what should I major in) questions.

In the beginning I knew this is where I wanted to be, this stay at home motherhood… I just didn’t know how many questions I’d still have.

And how normal those questions are.

So I’m just telling myself:

It’s ok to have questions.

It’s ok not to have all the answers.

It’s ok to change your mind.

It’s ok to live with a choice you made and still not be sure it’s the right one.

It’s ok to have questions.

And to just live in questions instead of answering the questions.

And then it’s ok to ignore the questions altogether.

Mainly, It’s ok.

Questions or not. Answers or no.

Just live.

And that is all I have today, complete or not.

I hope it gives a little peace from the foreverness of questions.  I can’t wait to see what you write this week.


wholemamaWrite on the word “question” this week and see where it takes you! Link up here:

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7 thoughts on “Questions. Or not. {#wholemama}

  1. And I really don’t think the questions ever go away. I’m sort of a half-nester right now, but I talk to empty-nesters all the time who wonder about their role and their ministry, etc. Have you ever run into Rainer Maria Rilke? He talks about “Living the questions.” He says to “be patient toward all that is unsettled in your heart and try to love the questions.” It’s not scripture, but it’s very encouraging to hear someone say that living in that unsolved space may be part of living our way into an answer later.
    Thanks for all you do!


  2. It’s ok to have questions.

    It’s ok not to have all the answers.

    It’s ok to change your mind.

    May I repeat these words to myself often. Well done!


  3. So glad you wrote this because I could not get it out the way I wanted to. Lovely and inspiring! As much as I tell myself “questions are ok,” and “it’s ok to change my mind,” I need people to remind me. Thanks for being that person today!


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