Remember how I dreamed of being a wife and mom and thought it was my only calling?
Well, obviously, there is plenty of blog evidence that I got my wife/mom dream-come-true.
I want to talk about that. About the expectations. Disappointments. Realities. And most crucial, the dreams.
Even though there are wonderful moments throughout each day and I wouldn't trade them for anything, a good many, MANY hours are spent totally sucking. Truth.
The position is overrated in all its glowing descriptions. (Which is why I absolutely cannot live without those mommy bloggers who put it all out there. Anyone who knocks them can kiss my... oh, where was I?)
It's not all fun and games. It might be 10% fun and games. Don't make me make a pie chart.
Hear me out. I love my life; I really do. I could clip dirty fingernails all. day.
When I was a teen taking care of my younger siblings, and investing huge amounts of time taking care of other people's young children- (I'm not knocking the ministry and I don't regret enriching other lives by cutting them a break; though I do wish that I believed "what goes around comes around" because I could use that help myself now)- people would come up to me and say with assurance, "You're going to be a great mom someday."
Because life could only happen in the future. At least, that's what I managed to internalize. I got this idea that being that great mom was going to be my purpose and that as soon as it happened I would be fulfilled. Forever.
Everyone claims its such a noble job. Please tell me how; there's not much that smacks of
nobility about it. It's gritty-in-the-trenches chaos. Gentle and quiet
sometimes happens- when I'm too tired to be a referee anymore. When talking results in a drunken-sounding slur. There is nothing
that feels dignified about this job.
Sure, we try to assign dignity to it because of the significance of providing
a safe and loving environment for the vulnerable among us. NEVER underestimate the IMPORTANCE of that! (No sarcasm here. I really do mean it.)
there is the wiping of noses and rears, the acceptance of spit-up and
drool running down places into other places like you could not imagine, and the frustration of the mess that multiplies even while we are still
cleaning. It's exhausting. I always have bags under my eyes. This is reality.
I could fuss about it on social media and probably garner a lot of solidarity. If attention is what I wanted. (Sometimes it is. Being a stay-at-home parent is also among the loneliest jobs.)
I remind myself that Jesus did
not have a very dignified ministry, either. I'm pretty sure in a
religious order that centered so much around being pure and clean he was
frowned upon for always being up to his elbows in the dust and stench
of outcasts. For those who followed his teaching there were very few
moments of glory and little to no prestige.
I can identify with him in a way I hadn't thought of
before entering the heaven and hell that is motherhood.
But there is still this longing for dignity that reaches out beyond
this role; that there is more to life and I can be more than I am.
Some would call this "the lie of Satan!" DUN DUN DUN
I don't think so. In fact, I know it is not so. I am not discontent; I do not hate my life or the season I am going
I think rather, this nudging to do and be more? It is the urging of the Holy Spirit in my life
that constantly reminds me not to "settle" but to be pro-active in
seeking the kingdom of God. A kingdom that extends beyond my sweet family circle.
I know I need more.
I need to train up the areas my heart and soul
long to partake in and contribute to.
I need a place to commune with
others, not always of like faith or like mind. I need to listen to the stories that differ vastly from my
own but are no more or less significant.
I am breaking out of the bonds
that held me captive to fear of myself and my gifts and the
responsibility that goes with them.
I am not going to hide behind my
calling as a mother to excuse myself from following my calling as a
musician, writer, and embodiment of gospel hope. Or whatever else may capture my imagination.
What a fearful me had seen in the past as a devil's temptation, the present woman recognizes as an invitation of participation in Jesus' commission. A hand is extended to me, entreating, beckoning: "Make time for this. Make room in your heart for this."
I'm not sure what it all means yet. What all the actions will be. I might be taking some mighty slow steps.
A weary mom, taking baby steps, eyes mostly on the ground. But forward.
And introvert that I may be, I will strive to talk to strangers that we may become friends that we may become family that we may build home. Together. Let's do this!
Oh, hang on, though. I might need a nap first.