Did I condition my hair ? Where’s the vanilla extract? I’m late. Do my children have socks on? Did I even eat anything today? There’s no way my blood pressure is as high as the doctor said. *Take blood pressure myself* Really?! Why is my blood pressure so high? Do I have the address? “Take the dogs out and get in the truck, girls!” Where am I going? Do I have my list? Oh, yeah, the address. Did I remember the baby? *Count children inside truck* Why do I feel so stressed? *Pray* My life is so, so blessed. Thank you for so many gifts, God. No, we cannot shop for your birthday yet, Mia. I cannot believe I am not tired. Why is my blood pressure so high?! Daddy’s was, too. Wow. I miss him. I guess long distance running every day of my life for the past 10 years wasn’t enough. Oh well, it was fun.
That’s five minutes in Loriland. How are you doing? I bet your internal dialogue is just as busy. I call them trains. The tracks are like oodles and noodles all crossed and overlapping. I ask the mechanic, “Are the trains running?” when he accidentally forgets to listen to the words he hears me speaking. I know they are. Maybe I should ask myself, though.
What is life? A bunch of random events joined together by the day to day urgencies meant to distract us from said events? What’s the point? Where’s the break? What really matters and why am I moving at such a high rate of don’t stop, get it, get it… All. The. Time?
My t-shirt says #1 Mom. I bought it at Walmart for five dollars and fifty cents. My oldest daughter chided me complete with eye roll and smart mouth tween tone disbelief. “I can’t believe you bought that for yourself.”
“Daddy wears t-shirts with his business name on them doesn’t he? This is my business.”
My business. My busyness. My babies. My best blessings.
Our small group Bible study talked about what is unique about how we interact personally with the world. How do you present different than those who do not believe the gospel?
I’ve thought on it. I’ve thought and thought. I believe I have it.
Answer: I go to the grocery store.
I go to the grocery store, mid-day, with four kids – three in tow and one strapped to my chest.
“No school today?”
Cue sweet smile.
“Yes. We are done already. We home school.”
“I could never do that. I don’t have the patience!”
Child 1 runs away while child 2 cries for candy. I send child 3 to retrieve child 1 as child 4 is awakened by child 2’s crying. I now have exactly three minutes to finish shopping, get through the checkout line, and feed her before she follows suit.
“Neither do I.”
“What made you decide to do that?”
“When I was young and people asked me what I wanted to be, I would say, ‘Not a school teacher.’ This was God’s idea – not mine. It’s a calling. I think I would miss them too much if I sent them to school anyway.”
“How long will you do it? Until they graduate or just a few years?”
Shrug shoulders. “Until the Lord releases me from doing it.”
Smile sweetly. Finish shopping. Resume internal dialogue.
God! How is that at all building your kingdom? How am I? Am I? I am. You are I AM. I am because you are- the God who “is.” You are the living, the life, the now, the necessary, the needed. You are what is happening. You are in the moment, the market, the mundane, the mom who is musing at the mom who is an ecclesiastical mess – that is, me.
You are in me. I am surrendered to you. My shirt reminds me. That is why I bought it. #1 Mom. That is my business. My calling is in the cradle and my purpose is to be a blessing to my family in such a way that God’s glory is seen in the grocery store.
I do not feel like #1 anything. I do not understand how what you have called me to do amounts to much of anything on a day to day basis. I do not see fruit…yet. I do not “feel” accomplished, acknowledged, adequate, or amused. I do not know why this is what I am to do. But I do know that it is because I know your voice. And I am content.
I think of these things as I sit on the couch feeling (and looking) more than momish in my mom shirt on the eve of a women’s retreat where a friend I greatly love and admire will speak on a book I greatly love and admire. She is living the dream I always thought I was made for – the calling I wanted. Wasn’t I made for…more? I was. And this is it. Yep. The mom gig. The “more” is what I hadn’t imagined and the less is what I had. Ironic. That is the title of her book: “Made for More.”
Who knew I would want what I did not want? Who knew I was made for a lot more than what I did? I still have to remind myself to stop pressing my face to the window and turn around sometimes. Inside the home is where the wisdom of God has called my gaze to rest. I do not know why I did not get to be that teacher. I am just thankful that I get to be this one. Herein lies my purpose and all that God has for me to do. I will rejoice and be glad in it.