We want to provide ideas, inspiration, and information for moms everywhere as we look at the world around us through MomColoredGlasses...
Lately I’ve been struggling. This inner battle between contentment and resentment, joy and envy, worth and worthlessness has consumed me the last few months. Becoming a mother was the best gift I’ve ever received, but making the choice to stay at home with my son has been harder than I imagined. My busy, interactive, and multitasking life has come to a grinding halt. Instead of using my head to analyze and solve situations, I find my mind blanking at the simplest of questions. Instead of having a deep discussion regarding different teaching methodologies, I now find myself longing for adult interaction in any form, even if it’s centered on my child’s constipation (you’ve been there, I know!). In short, I feel stupid, and I no longer feel like my work is all that important. After all, it’s hard to compare raising achievement goals with getting dinner ready with one hand.
This struggle is always at the back of my mind because I want my work to have worth. I want my life to feel full and enriched, and I want to serve others in a deep and meaningful way.
And this is when I realize that I’m at a pivotal moment; the battle line needs to be drawn. The cultivation of a meaningful life boils down to purpose. In this fast-paced, goal-driven culture we live in, I tend to attach purpose to being busy, to meeting a quota, and to checking things off my list. It’s no wonder that at the end of the day I’m left feeling like my life is lacking.
A year ago I watched a documentary about a former pastor who was dealing with a slow and eventual death from ALS. While he was dying, he was busy trying to live. Through this, he was able to discover his purpose or as he referred to it as “his garden”. He found that after his career was over and done, that his true garden was best cultivated with one-on-one relationships with others as opposed to weekly ministry to hundreds.
I really thought a lot about this film which made me question my own garden. What was it? What’s my purpose? What’s all of our purposes, because aren’t they linked? Shouldn’t they be linked?
After a lot of reflection, I believe that developing a “garden” has a lot to do with being faithful to what is right in front of you. Whether you are rushing the kids to daycare before yet another day of work or dealing with the sobering reality that your kids are watching every.single.thing you do throughout the day, it’s coming humbly before the Lord each morning for strength and wisdom to notice him throughout. When I stop and think about days when that struggle seems so loud that it’s almost debilitating, I need to stop, think about, and surrender my garden. My garden that includes the opportunity to stay at home with Benn, to meet the sunrise unrushed, and to savor quiet blessings. My garden that allows me the time to learn more about God and who He is in a new and different way through motherhood. My garden that can be as rich and as meaningful as any other garden and is often squandered in search of something more. These are the times that I realize that I don’t tend my garden nearly as well as I should.
So going into this week, I’m focused on what is set before me. Whether it’s dirty diapers, lunch with a friend, or a opportunity to serve, I want to slow it down a little. I want to notice God better. And I need to remember that though my garden is small right now, that the seeds I plant are important. With gentle care and dilligent prayer, seeds become sprouts, sprouts become plants, and good plants bare much fruit.
I think it’s true – our gardens are right in front of us. And you aren’t necessarily suppose to do this one thing, be this one person, live out these certain ideals; you’re just suppose to bloom where you’re planted. Right now, in the present. And make your life something beautiful for God (Mother Teresa).