Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Rabbit Trail of Motherhood

Awhile back a friend and I were having an email conversation on motherhood.  She is similar to me in some ways in that she had a job she loved before having kids.  But she chose to let go of that job in order to stay home with her boys.  She is glad she made that choice and would not take it back but sometimes finds herself wandering down the rabbit trail of motherhood, wondering just how far away she will get from the person she used to be and the passions she still has but are unfulfilled due to the demands of being a mom.

I know those feelings well.  With motherhood comes an intense shift in our identities.  Sometimes it's an amazing God filled shift where we come to find purpose in our lives in a a way we have never found purpose before.  But when you are someone who has had a strong sense of purpose previously, that shift feels almost like walking away from your original purpose in order to exchange it for the daily tasks of motherhood.  For some people, they are able to meld those things together into something that fulfills many of the longings of their hearts.  And for others, those things seem incongruous.  In my case, I long to be more involved in Haiti, to be invested in a way that seems meaningful and connected rather than my current state which feels more like an observer.  I would love to teach summer school at Conleigh's orphanage, I would love to be involved with a group that trains nannies, I would just love to be in the thick of something that seems worthwhile there.  But as a pregnant mom to 3 soon to be 4 kids under the age of 7, it just doesn't seem practical.  And there are definitely times where my heart yearns to be back at school, teaching, being creative, being mentally stimulated by the challenges, being a part of kids' lives.

I often remind myself that motherhood is a season, and I do think that is true.  Then, I was reminded of something during a recent Beth Moore Bible study.  Beth spoke about how she initially felt called to ministry when she was 18.  However, she did not see that all develop until she was in her mid 30's.  She did all sorts of stuff while she was waiting from teaching poise classes to aerobics.  I think her words reminded me that we are often anxious to see God seamlessly put together the pieces of our life in such a way that we just zip right from point a to point b.  We assume that we are at point a and we have all the wisdom and experience we need to be what God needs us to be so we do not need to wander.  We forget that those moments that seem to be directing us away from our original purpose might actually be moments that will serve to make us better as we live out that purpose later on.

So for my friend, your conversation was not lost on me.   I will choose to believe that this season is preparing me for another season, in ways I have not yet even imagined.

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