Motherhood started young for me. Grayson was born twelve days before I turned 21. I knew I wanted to stay home with him from the start but my other half just wasn’t convinced.
See, Zach and I married at 19, while we were still in college. Before we found out we were pregnant, the plan was always to graduate and get jobs. I guess he didn’t see a reason why that needed to change just because we had a baby on the way. I mean, most families have two incomes, right? How would we possibly make it work on just one?
All these questions were only amplified by the fact that we were basically babies ourselves with no real world experience. We were clueless!
Let me tell you, I wasn’t the type of girl who grew up surrounded by babies… you know, a natural “kid person.” Even so, I always knew I wanted to be an unconventional mother in today’s working society. (Isn’t it funny how much times change?) God charged me with the upbringing of my babies and I simply didn’t want someone else raising my kids. (I hold no judgement for working moms… this is just my story from my life’s perspective!)
Well, as my due date approached, Zach and I both realized how INSANE the cost of childcare was and, by default, I got my wish to become a stay at home mom. Even though I arranged my life to focus on raising my children, I still found it hard to accept it as my purpose. You know, that magical epiphany everyone gets when they discover exactly the reason they were put on this earth? Oh, you haven’t had that either…
Since my journey into motherhood began, I have started and grown tired of quite a few “hobbies.” I have dabbled in sewing, vinyl creations, digital lettering and a few other smaller, failed endeavors. All of these things began as an idea sparked by the desire to be successful at something. I felt like I needed more than just motherhood. Wiping food off the floor and cleaning little faces just wasn’t filling my cup the way I felt I needed. I needed someone outside of my home to see that I was doing something successful. Relatively, at least.
But it as I got more into each of these projects, none of them ever gave me the satisfaction I was craving. I became overwhelmed with making my hobby bigger and better and I lost the joy I had creating in the first place. It became all about how to make it better; how to sell more. I was discontent and I didn’t even know it.
I shut things down and evolved my endeavors over time just to try and keep myself interested. In 2017 I shut down my Etsy shop for good. It wasn’t until then that I saw how unfocused my life had been.
I asked God for this life and I wasn’t appreciating it. I was focused on the lack of acknowledgment, the never ending hours and the overall glamor-less life that motherhood is at times. I have been so blessed to have the ability to stay home. God granted me the life I desired most and I was taking it all for granted. I was seeking a purpose outside the walls of my home and I couldn’t find it. I wanted worldly satisfaction. I wanted success and I wanted to build something with my name on it, no matter how small it was. Truth is, I was neglecting my motherly duties in the process.
Now I see how misguided I was. I was looking for purpose because I had not accepted the purpose God gave to me in my family and my children. It just didn’t seem like enough for me. Society wants us to be successful monetarily and with lots of self-satisfaction and praise. I wanted to contribute something to our bank account because that is what society tells women they have to do now. We pat each other on the back for jobs well done instead of pointing each other to the purpose instilled in us by our creator. Often times, just like I was, we miss our purpose all together.
I’m not at all saying a woman cannot have a purpose outside of the home; we absolutely can! In fact, I have come to feel even more fulfilled by this creating this blog and encouraging other moms to balance self/ home/ kids. Not every woman is in a position to stay home full time nor does every woman desire to and that does not make them less of a mother. I think the important thing to figure out is where we are finding our purpose. Is it rooted in worldly accolades and recognition or is it a submission to God to further his kingdom?
The truth is, my purpose is much smaller in the eyes of the world but much bigger in the eyes of the Lord. My purpose, at this point in my life, is in my children and my family. The role God has given me right now is to lead my children to Him and to exemplify a life devoted to His service. Being a millennial, I still struggle with such a long- term purpose. (Remember that instant gratification thing…) I like to see things completed. Maybe this is a way for God to teach me patience and contentment; and if you know me at all, you know these are not my strong points! I still desire to create and dream and I know, if I allow Him to, God will direct those desires to use me to further His kingdom. It is my job to pray for guidance and wait until he shows me how.
Purpose is something I struggle with daily. I am ashamed of the things I let distract me! Social media is on the top of the list. I fall into the comparison trap far too often and I let discontentment seep into daily life until I finally feel completely overwhelmed by it. It’s then I realize the truths God speaks into my heart. He created me to be right where I am and he has equipped me entirely for the purpose. I should want no more and no less that that.
One day, I pray, those faces that I wiped clean a thousand times and those feet I tickled again and again will be serving other people in the name of Jesus and my purpose won’t seem so mundane after all. Until then, let’s press on and encourage each other through the trenches, reminding one another, as weary mothers, of God’s truth when the world gets too noisy trying to pull us away.
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