I sit here in a bit of a haze having rolled out of bed about thirty minutes ago :). I pondered writing later but life with a growing baby boy on the inside, a full of life nearly three year old boy on the outside, a big boy room to pull together and that ever lovin’ mysteriously disappearing thing called energy mean that if this moment presents itself to write – I had best write! So if this one doesn’t strike you well, blame it on my haziness :).
First, may I just tell you that I sit here a woman feeling mighty victorious this morning. Today is August 1 and therefore July is no more. Guess who’s husband was gone for the entire month except two weekends in July? This girl’s man was. Ohhhhhhhhh yeah. Cue ‘I’m a Survivor!’ More on that month later but let me just say – we made it through and are in one piece (mostly) but I am SO GLAD today is August 1. SO GLAD.
Second, I’d like to ask for as much grace as you can offer me as you read these thoughts today. They are the beginning of something in my heart but certainly not fully processed through. It’s a touchy topic that has been rolling around inside of me so if your’s are the toes that get stepped on, please know that my heart isn’t to offend anyone. Ahhhhhhh let’s just dive in, no more beating around the bush.
There are probably a lot of woman things that come to your mind with those words. Mine too. But in this case, there is one big fatty fat fat one that won’t leave me alone.
What is the role of a woman?
I don’t have anything near a succinct answer to that but I have some thoughts that I’d like to begin to process with you, if you’re willing.
I will say – I am a really bad writer and communicator when I am trying to filter too much – SO I am just going to put some honest and hopefully unfiltered thoughts out there. They’re on the raw side 🙂
You know that scene in ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ where Matthew and Kate are finally in their groove towards the end at his family’s house? And they’re playing that card game BS? I shall refrain from typing the words here but that is the exact thing (or phrase) that rises up in me when I think about women who say, “I don’t know….all I have ever wanted is to be a wife and a mom. That’s it. That’s my calling.’
Insert the phrase which shall remain nameless.
See, there is a part of me that GETS THAT! I really get that. In fact, it’s near ironic because I am one of those girls who got married, worked for eight years, had a precious baby boy and worked part time for another year, and then took the plunge when the opportunity presented itself for me to stop working outside of the home so I really focus on being mom. I mean, that’s me.
I have been given the opportunity to observe many women who have walked this path beautifully and many who have ached their way through the journey and met a major crisis when the intensity of momhood eases as that child turns 18. Eases in the sense that, they likely move out and go to school, and what mom spent her days doing is now simply not there for her to do any more.
But, I’ve had the honor of seeing women do it fairly well, too. I’ve seen my mom do it. She gave her all to raising us – truly. And yet, there was still a part of her engaged in things that were totally about who she was called to be aside from mom and wife. The older we became the more she was able to host those parts of herself. I’m watching Carrie do it. I’m watching Kim do it. I’m not sure any of them would say that they’re doing ‘it’ but they are.
So here’s the deal: I think the thing that the Holy Spirit has been prodding me the most about is this – are we kidding ourselves if we invest in the belief that wife and mom are our callings in life?
I’d like to propose that they ARE most definitely A calling. Wiving and mothering are holy callings and utterly beautiful to the Lord. Frankly, if we view them as anything less than a calling, it’s near impossible to do them at times.
But, I’d also like to propose that I was not born to become a wife and mom.
I do not exist on earth or have breath in my lungs for the sole purpose of marrying and supporting a great person (which HE IS!) and birthing and raising baby boys.
While both of these roles consume much of my heart, time and life and are roles that I DO feel called to, they are not my all encompassing calling in life. If that were true – my calling would be expiring with each day that Liam got closer to 18 and college/adulthood. If that were true – I’d be left without half of my purpose in life should any change ever come in my marriage. (Note: I don’t say that second part lightly. I cannot imagine my marriage falling apart. But sometimes you have let the worst case scenario be a part of the picture to let truth come to the top).
Not every woman who is working outside of the home has tapped into her purpose or calling in life. Not every woman who has devoted herself to being wife and mom has either. Some in each camp have. Some have not.
Now listen, I sincerely do not judge any woman who struggles through this. Because I struggle through this! This is, for the most part, a silent battle every single woman faces. We don’t talk about it. Some may assume that working women have tapped into their callings and stay at home moms have not. Or that stay at home moms have embraced the true and highest calling in life while working women have not.
There is a silence and quietness to this scenario that is the thing that really bothers me. It’s like there’s a silent invitation to me to slip into the proverbial back seat. There’s a lot of serving in being both wife and mom that is beautiful and right. And if we try to do either of those roles without a humble willingness to serve, it gets ugly fast.
But there is something in that role of servant that has the potential to silently invite us to step back from the plate and stop swinging the bat. Ahhhh I feel very vulnerable right now! I PRAY you know a bit of what I am talking about because these words are like peanut butter coming out of my fingers. Sticky and thick and jambled.
Is it possible to step back from swinging the bat in life, in destiny, in the Kingdom, with the Lord, all the while being a wonderful wife and mom? Or stepping back from the bat all the while having an impressive and stimulating career outside of the home? This is NOT about whether a woman works in a paying job or not.
There are so many more things that can be said. I’m going to delve into this again next week. Heck, I may cancel out half of what I’ve said this week – next week! I feel as though some of us will read these words and have a lot of disturbance after. Press into the Lord, girl. Ask Him to help you get rid of any of my words that were off and only grab onto what He wants you to. If it’s a scary and daunting question to ask yourself (as it is for me) – quietly allow Him to help you ask it anyways. Am I in touch with who I am called to be? Who am I aside from the roles I am filling?
THANK YOU for grace as you have read. Thank you for reading! This was a post I felt like I just needed to put out there – half baked – in order to get the ball rolling. Hopefully next week’s words will bring more refined and processed thoughts. If you feel something in your heart that you’d like to add in to the mix as I continue to pray and process this, please get it to me!
This one feels unfinished and unedited at best. May the Lord do with it what He wants. Yikes.