I woke up at my normal 6 am time this morning. I decided to get up and grab a few moments before our kiddos’ internal alarms brought them downstairs at 7 am. I seemed to be pretty alert and started to think about the day ahead…
I needed to leave for a class at 7:30, so first things first, I grabbed a bowl of cereal (Frosted Cherrios with a cut up banana inside – my favorite!), and cracked open my Chronolgical Bible, which forever reminds me of the year reaching it’s end – always amazing.
Why this continues to surprise me, I’m not sure, but every day that I use my actions in putting the Lord first, right heart-attitudes always seem to follow. I read about Paul’s amazing journeys, and his current situation in prison – always a perspective grabber. The moment I finished, the first set of eyeballs appeared. And I had an idea. I started the girls on a project (traditional name card holders for our family gathering on Friday), and I challenged Austin to a game of ping pong (an early Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa!) The girls and I gathered supplies, started an example, and Austin crushed me in”table tennis” – so fun. And then it was time for me to leave…
And 9 hours later, I was sitting in “The Hoop”. I arrived just in time to see the tip off of our 12-year-old’s 2nd game of 4, opening 2012-13 basketball season. And I loved being there. I scanned the crowds and found our “usual bunch” of fans. You see, our boys have been playing together for four years now, and it’s a marvelous sight to watch. They have not only grown physically, they have grown stronger mentally, are more agile, and their speed and intensity in this series was crazy good. And after their second win, Austin walked over to me with a big smile. He’s not one to show tons of expression, so I knew what this smile meant. He knew I watching, he knew I was yelling, and he knew a big hug was coming.
One of my biggest joys in life is to be a mom. I write this with wetness in my eyes, I do. The power of that one word is something that reaches down to the depths of my soul. It has rooted meaning to me. It grabs me because there was a time when I didn’t necessarily consider it a joy. Becoming a mom changed my life in more ways than one. Before children, I was intensely dedicated to my career. I knew my direction early on in life, and I never deterred from my focus. I enjoyed my career, I found satisfaction in my role, and I even placed my identity in this title. I thought that was I do is who I am. Then, I became a Mom, and my soul continued to be satisfied in my working role during the day, and my Mommy role early evening and into the night. And then I became a Mommy again, and something different happened… I fell apart. Every day.
And I knew, a new season was upon me. My husband and I followed our hearts and I “hung up” my career, my work clothes, and part of my brain. 🙂 I dove into unknown territory, a bit anxious and honestly afraid. Who would I become? A looney-bin lady with the vocabulary of a three-year old who never showered and always had food stains on her clothes? Or would I become something else…
And here we are 9 years later, and I’m sitting at a basketball game, and one of the Moms asks me, “How’s it going now that you’re back to teaching?” And I can answer honestly. After having an opportunity to share my heart with my husband just the evening before, my heart continues to be drawn to my home. Really, such an amazing conviction to truly know who I am in Christ, not apart from Him, and my role in the powerful gift of motherhood. I do see the perfect provision in the current position God has provided, and I know in my head that this is the season the Lord has for me to be a part of the campus I visit for 40 hours a week, yet my family trumps my career every time. I know this now. What a great learning opportunity to solidify this conviction.
And then our conversation continued. I am experiencing a new found appreciation for the art of balancing. Every day I experience a sense that someone gets slighted, to some degree. Between my students, my husband, and my children, someone doesn’t receive my best. I try my best to use the moments I am given with my family in the midst of these adjustments, but some days I just end up short, and tired. I’m learning to let go – of expectations I place on myself, of my desire to be in five places at one time, of a “plan” to change my circumstances to fit my needs. I’m learning to let go, because I want to rest. In Him. I want to allow my actions to follow my head, and in my heart, trust.
And I am once again reminded that this decision many mothers face of going to work or staying home, and what that looks likes, and how to provide, is one that is never easy. We doubt. We question. We have guilt. And this other Mother and I, sitting at a basketball game, both uttered the same words at the same time…
No simple solutions. Not cute quips. Just two women desiring to be nothing else but children of God, seeking His will for our lives, in this season of life. And in this state, I draw from truth.
[ Life Through the Spirit ] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Thank you Jesus. Amen.