Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Who Am I?

Here I am again, knee deep in laundry, diapers, and chaos.  It is days like this that make me miss teaching.  Sure, I am still working with kids, but there is a beginning to each day, and an ending.  Not like here.

Here my day starts with a loud "Mom!" alarming over the baby monitor and end??  It never really ends.  Oh I fall into bed sometime between 10:30 and midnight.  I am always exhausted by the time I hit the pillow but my brain doesn't shut off as easily as my body wishes it would!  I mull over the day, the things I have accomplished, the things I was suppose to accomplish. I think about tomorrow, what will need to be done and make a mental checklist.  This is usually the time I beat myself up for all my shortcomings as well.  If only I had....  But eventually slumber finds me and long before I am ready, the day begins again.

I really don't mind it most days, I truly cherish the opportunity I have to stay at home with my kids.  But, if I am honest, there are times I feel a bit lost in it all.  I have been doing this parenting thing a long time, in fact my oldest is 18.  But, I also have a long way to go, as my youngest isn't quite 9 months old yet!  Maybe lost isn't the right word...forgotten?  Maybe that is a better way to put it.  What I mean is, I am not sure who I am...oh I am a momma and pastor's wife, a daughter and sister, but beyond that.  I use to say that I was a teacher, and I guess I still am, but the pay (at least monetarily speaking) is significantly less than it use to be!  No, maybe lost was the right word.  It seems that I have somehow lost my purpose.  I had big dreams, I was going to be somebody....someday, but here I am in my 40's already and I am still not sure who I am. 

When I was young, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.  By the time I graduated high school, I had a plan.  I worked 40 hours a week in college, plus took a full class load, to pay my way through.  After 5 years, a little behind schedule, I did it!  I graduated from WIU with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education.  I even managed to graduate "Cum laude," which was no small feat considering I was 9 months pregnant with Jeremiah!  I was off and running, full steam ahead toward my goal!  I landed the first job I interviewed for and Jerry and I settled down in Galesburg, Illinois to start the life I had planned. 

There was just one problem kept getting in the way of my plan.  I only taught two years before my plan was unraveling and I had more questions than I had answers about what lie ahead for us.  As I look back now, I can clearly see the hand of God moving in all of the circumstances that went against what I thought should be happening.  Funny thing I realize now is that I never once, not one time, stopped to ask God what His plan was for me.  Oh I asked Him to bless my plan, to move the obstacles that popped up obstructing me from what I had in mind, but I never even paused to seek His face. Time marched on, my older four children grew, and I once again entered the working world.  It seemed to finally all be making sense and and my plan was back on track.

Then four years ago this past July, my plan began to crumble again.  Long story short, I became a momma again to a 9 month old baby girl, and then 2 years ago, to a brand new baby boy, and then 8 months ago, another baby boy blessed our home.  These precious babies, were not a part of Jerry and I's plan.  Thankfully we were a little smarter by now though and able to realize that they were a part of what God had planned for us.  The words of Proverbs 16:9 resonate deep within my heart, "In his heart, a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his step."

Still, from time to time when the diapers threatened to overtake me, I again find myself struggling with the question, who am I?  A master diaperer? Chef? Laundry specialist? "Just" a stay at home mom?  I forget to ask God what His plan in all of this is.  I know He has a plan for me, Jeremiah 29:11 promises me that. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." I know I am His child, a daughter of the King of Kings, but somehow in the day to day chaos that doesn't feel like enough.  Then yesterday I was at the park with my 5 year old.  It was her birthday and we were enjoying a few minutes of play. She began to chatter, all about how Jesus loves her and died on the cross for her sins.  How Jesus is God's son, and on and on about true Scriptural things.  My friend, Julie, was with me and had been listening to me wrestle through the who am I question.  She repeated back some of the things my sweet girl had just said, and then reminded me that being her mommy, was exactly enough.  Exactly what God had planned for me at this time and suddenly I knew the answer.   Who am I??  I am the momma to 7 sweet blessing that God will use to change the world, after all they will take after their momma (and Dad!)