My “gottas” are taking over my life.

I just gotta do so much stuff! I gotta do the laundry. I gotta do my devotion. I gotta do homework with my kids. I gotta go to church. I gotta write. I gotta cook dinner. I gotta go to Bible Study. I gotta tweet. I gotta update facebook. I gotta spend time with so and so. I gotta make sure my kids are lice-free (that’s a blog for another day). I gotta get it together! Suddenly, the other day I threw my hands up in surrender and yelled, “I don’t wanna!” And there was a moment of silence.

The words “wanna” became music to my heart so I had a dialogue with it. (David had a habit of that, too.) “Heart. Why don’t I wanna?” And it came back so clear, “Because I gotta.” Ever been there? And then my heart whispered back, “Remember the freedom of just wanting to?” And I did. It washed over me like a montage of memories. SItting at my computer, smiling, writing out a novel to my daughters and other daughters of the King not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to make a difference. That picture was replaced with me sitting at the table with my daughter, laughing while we worked on homework, not because it was a chore but because it was a moment that we had to share. Then, I watched as that picture folded into another picture of me newly married, humming as I folded my precious husband’s pants, careful not to slant the seams. Then there was a vision of me joyfully pouring over cook books so that I could find something new and adventurous so that my kids would have an advanced pallet of taste, not because I felt they had to but because I wanted to introduce them to a world bigger than Mac-n-Cheese and hotdogs. And I enjoyed each moment.

I wanna feel that again.
I don’t wanna gotta.

So, I asked my heart, “How do I get back to that?” Then slowly it dawned on me…by removing the “gotta”. Sounds easier than it is, actually. Just replace a word or a feeling, but maybe it really is that easy. Maybe it is enough to simply say, “I don’t wanna gotta!” Instead I remind myself that I want to because I realize what a gift, pleasure, joy, service it is! “Gotta” sounds like a chore, a hardship, a task. But “wanna” implies a gift, a privilege, a fullfillment. So that is my challenge to myself this week: “Let go of the gotta and embrace the wanna.” It might be easier said than done, but I have a feeling that it’s gonna feel a lot more productive! Like now for instance, I needed to blog…but I didn’t have to do it in my house at my desk…that’s why God invented laptops. So, I’m doing what I gotta do where I wanna do it, in the sun on my porch as I watch my dog scamper around the yard. Sighhhhh. Now, THIS is something I wanna do again!

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