Maybe it's just me, but it seems that when I take the time to ask someone how they're doing or am catching up with friends, everyone is in a process. They've just started the process or are right in the middle of it or are nearing the end.
I've been thinking over the past few weeks that life is one process after another. Sure, there are moments in life that happen and are instantaneously over like a sneeze, a snap, or eating a piece of chocolate. But for the rest of life, it's a process!
Trying to get into a certain school/university
Finding a job
Finding a place to live
Waiting for the person you will marry
Waiting to get pregnant
The first three months with a newborn
Teaching your child to ride a bike
Establishing routine/setting boundaries
Staying healthy or trying to be healthier
Then, the more simple processes, right?
Grocery lists/Couponing/Grocery shopping
Getting kids ready for bed (why do I really not like this one!?!?)
What else would we add?
Webster defines process as: (1) : a natural phenomenon marked by gradual changes that lead toward a particular result
(2) : a continuing natural or biological activity or function es as breathing> b : a series of actions or operations conducing to an end; especially : a continuous operation or treatment especially in manufacture
I'm not a fan of the word, gradual, on most days. Yet, I'm learning that in the midst of the processes, in the midst of the gradual, there lies the determination, the decision, the stretching, and the changing. Process is what makes a story great or tragic. A book is not enjoyable if you read the first chapter and the last. It's all the in-between that give it clarity and character.
The same with the process. It's being up at 3 am with a newborn or taking the toddler to the potty for the 4th time in 15 minutes with no results. It's making a mistake along the way and learning from it. It's asking a friend to hold you up and walk with you. It's being still or taking a risk.
We're in the process of moving to San Francisco, starting a church, raising 3 boys, strengthening our marriage. When I'm asked, "How are you doing?" The honest answer would depend upon where I'm at in the process because my 'doing' is based upon such a thing. My emotions and my heart are tied directly to where I'm at in the process. And the beautiful and intricate part of all of this is how our process affects others. It can encourage or discourage. It can challenge and burden.
So, I ask myself, "Where am I at in each process?" and "What am I learning? How am I growing?" and "How is what I'm learning in the process affecting others?"
My conclusion: Life is full of processes and I want my processes to be full of life!