I ATTEND A LADIES Bible study at church every Thursday morning. We are working through a book called Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman's Guide to Finding Contentment, by Linda Dillow. And I love it! (You should read it too!) Each week I walk away so encouraged, convicted, and motivated to grow in my God-given roles as wife and mother. It's so good. It just makes me want to do better, to know better, to be better. Have I mentioned that I love it?
This week's study was all about identifying your purpose. Not in a hokey way, like "what's the meaning of life?" or anything. But in a down-to-earth way like evaluating what we want our lives to look like in God's eyes, how we make changes to get there, and such.
Part of the homework included a little self-evaluation and deep thinking. She asked us to decide upon and write a mission statement, or purpose statement for this chapter in our lives. (Because as we grow our statements should evolve.)
This was really challenging for me. Partly because I'm not very good at self-evaluation. Partially because it required quite a bit of uninterrupted thinking time (which I rarely get). It's just that there are so many areas where I know I need to grow, it's near impossible to put my finger on one particular point, or set of scripture, or character trait. But I prayed for revelation and the Lord answered. I've come to understand that its ok for [God in] us to work on one or two things at a time. We aren't required to write out a list of every single issue and fix them all at once. How overwhelming and discouraging would that be? It's just one day at a time. And for me, more like one hour at a time. Praise God for progressive sanctification. Amen? and amen.
I've made the point for a while now of trying to really and truly appreciate and enjoy every day I've been given with my little guys. Some days are difficult with juggling work, home, and family responsibilities. Sometimes I get overloaded and feel like I need a break. But even when I want to pull my hair out, Elijah is being disobedient, or the baby is fussy I try to stop and remind myself how quickly they grow up.
This season in our lives will pass by so quickly. I don't want to wish it away or fly through it in a fog of busyness. I want to slow down enough to spend quality time with them. I want to hold my babies close, smell their hair, kiss their faces, engage with their every-day moments, play trains and work puzzles, make living room tents, hold hands as we walk, teach them about Jesus, sing silly songs, share peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and snuggle them for as long as they'll possibly let me. I count it my honor to be raising these two boys.
Mothering doesn't happen by accident. Nurturing little lives takes hard work and long hours. It's an exhausting job, but is filled with some of the greatest rewards this life can offer. That is why the purpose statement for this hour of my life revolves heavily around my family. It's where God has placed me right now. I want to make it my aim to improve upon my role as mother... living each day intentionally. To love intentionally. To teach intentionally. To discipline intentionally. To feed, clothe, bathe, encourage, and laugh with intentionally. And above all, to honor God in it. It's a tall order really. But I know the source of my strength, and thankfully it's not all up to me.
So, what's your purpose? Or had it even occurred to you that you have one? Well, I can tell you, you do!