Can I bring you on a journey with me? I hope some of you moms can relate because lately I have sure felt like an odd ball in my thoughts and life!
I am an adventurer at heart, and a wanderer. I like change and new things, too much. When it was time to choose between missions, a job, school or settling down for marriage 8 years ago God gave me a clear answer. He brought my husband at a timely manner to my life and took away a vocation that I was sure would be there for the rest of my life. Settling? "Ugh" was my first reaction and honestly, at times, still is. The marriage part is awesome. The man God brought to me is my best friend, leader, and many strengths to my weaknesses. God not only gave me a husband to build a family with, but God gave me a husband that does not travel well. (We could have gone to mission school together. Marriage does not need to ground you to one place.) But that wasn't the good plan. :)
The little girl in me dreamed of being a wife and mommy. I used to have dreams of fun adventures with a little 2 year old boy of my own, but parenting has not been everything I dreamed it would be and I have learned that raising a family abroad would not be roses either.
Motherhood is my mission trip. What do mission trips do? They stretch us outside of our comfort zones, they cause us to think outside of ourselves, and they mold us into a new perspective on life while communicating the gospel to others. Well, motherhood sure is all those things for me and I suspect that if I begin to think of it as an adventure and a spiritual goal rather than a duty it will be much more fulfilling.
Here are some obstacles on my journey of motherhood that have taught me a little about being still, steadfast, and waiting on the Lord's timing, being thankful.
Finances - See, something I've learned is that you need money to live. "Thank you, Captain Obvious", right? In what reality can you just vacation all the time without working? Finances have been a means to ground me and settle me. They also have shown me how imperative it is for us to depend on God all the time financially, not just in the hard times.
Depression - What I don't intend to communicate is that being settled equals depression, this is not true. What I am saying is that sometimes, when our comfort is challenged depression is a likely trial that will creep its way in unnoticed. Down deep you begin to harbor a bitterness toward God and the way He has orchestrated your life events. Each season of life is a gift and my expectations should not dictate my feelings toward the outcome. Praise God for that! It's important to see depression for what it is... an attempt to make you feel as if you failed or are defeated. Reality is that, In Christ we are able to see victory. God's victories are all around us, even in us as believers of Christ.
Opposing views - There will always be the critic or opposing views and personalities that will say that you are wrong in your struggle. That you should not be dealing with this if you are a Christian. Not only that, but there's the same lesson for me vise versa. I should not expect the same things of others because their struggles are completely different. And accusing someone of something makes us just like THE Accuser... you know who that is, right? This is a very important thing to remember in motherhood....
Motherhood - The Biggy and the reason for this post. Nothing else in my life has made me feel more tied down to a particular place. Not only that, but also the fact of being alone. Children are such a blessing, but can be so much work and sometimes you have no help! Sometimes I get together with other moms in order to make sure I don't go loony for lack of social interaction, not just the children. (selfish maybe? LOL) Motherhood is a lonely mission and it is training my co-dependence issues. I have to consider what God has given me to use for His glory, without depending or tapping into any other person's abilities, often times, not even my husband when he is working or tied up for days.
Comparison - The above brings me along to this obstacle of comparison. I do it with other moms and I do it a lot. Envy is a sneaky bugger and when you are interested in being a friend you will find things that friend has that you want. Something that I have struggled with lately is watching friends and family go on mission trips or vacation away from their everyday lives. I have not had a vacation in a long time and its hard for me. Getting away from the norm is something I feel like I need. Apparently what I really need is to just sit and be still, calm, and rest in Christ, making Him my vacation.
I am thankful for each obstacle, for what it is, and for what God is using it for in his plan of glory.
May Christ be the center, wherever you are!