Thursday, April 15, 2010

stepping back to look at the big picture

I've been thinking lately about what I'm doing in life. I mean, it seems like just yesterday that I was in university, falling in love, making plans for my future, and then our future. And now here I am, a mother of three ... one I never knew, two that occupy so much of my time and wondering - what is it that I'm doing? Was this what I saw for myself; does this life mean anything beyond the day by day journey of just getting through and trying for excellence?

I know the answers, and sometimes they even make sense and I see the worth in it all. Other days I wonder what it was that possessed me when I envisioned being a mother. One thing I do know, that looking back on what I've done before kids and had planned to do without kids, was not that life shattering. I planned on time spent with friends, without the hassle of children needing to go to bed at home. I planned on more education, that way I could help and shape lives that were in turmoil. Women who had unplanned pregnancies, people with mental illnesses. Well, it turned out that I didn't need the education after all to help and shape lives. I've been given a crash course in being the number one helper and shaper of two lives ... except I don't clock out at 5pm ... it's more of a round the clock thing.
I planned on selfish things really. Things that I wanted, not necessarily things that would make me more Christ-like, more available to others.

The thing I don't like (that very un-Christlike part of me) is that motherhood, the role where I've been placed isn't at all glamorous. I try ... but somehow have not achieved that dream of clean children, dressed in all the latest baby fashions, with a gorgeous house and gourmet foods, with time to spend doing all sorts of interesting things. My body doesn't look like I've never had two kids. I want to be intellectual ... and I still try to stretch my mind, but frankly if I had to pick a book or a nap, I'd go for the nap.

Maybe what I'm realizing is that though the big picture of my job - raising of children - is of more significance than the vast majority of jobs in this world, it has many downsides. It has consequences that alter your life forever. But when I think about it, I'd much rather be chasing a 2 year old upstairs to change his diaper then be child-less working a job that just pays bills and choosing to not have children because it suits my selfish desires more. Because I never realized how selfish I was until I was given a baby who needed me all the time. I wanted me time, I wanted to run the show, and I couldn't anymore. And as much as I still want that freedom, I think I'm learning that it isn't really that important for me to have it. One day the big picture will be easier to see ... right now it's blurred in the haze of all that needs to be done. But the big picture is still there and it makes life a little sweeter when I realize that my plans for life, though they seemed so important, are nothing compared to what God is doing with my life in the mundane and crazy role of motherhood.

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