My whole life I thought I would be a stay-at-home-mom. There was no other option in my head. I even picked a degree where a successful freelance career was a viable option so that I could stay at home and make a little side cash.
And then I grew up.
When Marc and I got married and moved to Maryland, I was disappointingly unemployed and had no job prospects in sight. Those first few months of being at home I had nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no answer to the nondescript call I felt in my soul. This sunk me into a depression where the most impressive accomplishment I could claim was pounding several seasons of Hoarders on Netflix. (Why did I even do that to myself?) This was my first indication that stay-at-home life might not be for me. I quickly dismissed the doubt to not having a baby around to keep me busy and binged the next season of Hoarders.
Fast-forward to August 2016. My pastors kept saying to me "if you decide to come back after the baby comes," and I was laughing in their faces and saying, "You're going to have to try harder than that to get rid of me." So what changed in those 5 years? Confidence in my call.
God has clearly called me into the role I'm in professionally. And God has called me to be a mother (sooner than I was planning to be...but that's another story for another time).
I don't think God calls us to be one-trick ponies. I think he calls us to seasons of slowing, seasons of minimizing, seasons of intense focus on one thing, but they are just that, seasons.
Hang on, before you stomp of in a hissy because you think I'm attacking SAHM status, chill out and finish reading.
God calls each of us in different ways. For me, I can confidently leave my son with his sitter day-in and day-out because I know he's calling me to be Caleb's mom and a full-time leader at Severn Run. Some of my friends are rocking part-time job status. Others are totally rocking full-time SAHM status. But I also see lots of moms losing track of their call, and suddenly they can't find their "and" anymore. Why is that? What distracts us from discerning our divine callings?
It has to do with who is at the center of your universe. Discernment of your call only comes one way:
In order to have a clear understanding of your call, you need to have God's Spirit in you, driving you. This means Jesus needs to be the center of your universe, always.
For most of us it's probably way easier to keep Jesus at the center of our universe pre-baby, because the only one you're kicking out of that center spot is yourself. (Let's be honest, you were the only other person you were letting into the center spot, sorry hubs). Enter baby. Those cute eyes, chubby cheeks, and gummy gums wriggle their way right into the center of your universe before you even know what's going on. That's when everything changes. That's when you dismiss your "and." That's where insecurity, discontentment, judgement, and a host of other things sneak in and try to take over. Suddenly you're in a whirlwind of feedings, poo diapers, emotions, and tears and you can't see anything else...because your baby is at the center of your universe. No wonder we forget our “ands."
If your kid is at the center of your universe, you aren't keeping your eyes on Jesus. If you aren't keeping your eyes on Jesus, you're going to start missing out on your call.
😱 "But if I don't make sure that my kid gets everything he needs to be successful, who will?!" 😱
Jesus will! And Jesus will through you. And he will equip you with the resources you need at the times you need them in order to ensure you successfully be mom and ________ .
You cannot ignore your call to be God's daughter, to keep Jesus at the center of your universe. If you're reading this and noticing that your kid is the center of your universe, take a step out of the whirlwind and shift your center. Pray. Fast. Read. Ask your friends to join you in the journey as you rediscover your call, your "and." Once you do, you can confidently take steps knowing that you are living your call and that your child is well-loved and cared for, not just by you, but by your Father in Heaven as well. Take the time to discern your calling, and then act! Your calling may not be a career calling. Stay-at-home-mom is very much a calling, and most of the SAHMs living in their call will tell you that they also have "ands." Maybe it's baller church finance volunteer, or go-to babysitter, or a volunteer mentor at an inner-city women's program. Our calls are going to look different and come in varying sizes, shapes, and colors. Remember the end of 2 Corinthians 2:15: "Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others." Know your call, and confidently walk in it! Imagine what the Church of the Living God can do if we, mothers, make sure that we aren't getting sucked up into the crazy of kids and instead gloriously live out our "ands" in Jesus' name.
What "and" have you been ignoring? It's time to readjust your universe, sister, you got this.