Friday, January 04, 2008

Fulfillment...

I've been a bit blah for a couple of days. And I think it has something to do with the fact that all my normal activities have been suspended for the Christmas break, and they haven't started up again. Seth has gotten his morning nap just about every day now for weeks. Something is wrong in my universe... =)

When things are slow, it's tempting for me to question the worthiness of my calling. Playing with a baby who still can't even crawl seems less fulfilling than doing something to help pay our bills or accomplishing tasks that have clear beginnings and endings. I listen to my husband talk about the many ways that he goes out and saves the world, and I think, "It'd be more interesting to do that. That would make me feel fulfilled." And the restlessness creeps up... Sometimes when he says "Well, today, I did X and Y, and a drug dealer will be off the streets by the end of the week. What did you do today, sweetie?," I'd like to say, "Well, today I used my supersonic vision ray to see a tree branch 2 miles away that was about to fall on a small child, and then I flew at the speed of light to her, and I shoved her out of the way," instead of, "Well, um, I did some laundry. And Seth rolled all the way across the floor into a table, and bonked his head, and it looks a little red..."

Maybe I should create a posse of mommies with strollers, and instead of meeting at the mall for Strollercise, we could put on our capes and eye masks, fill our stroller baskets with food, drink, gifts, and, for the ex-nurses, first aid kits, and we could roll through the rough parts of town, dispensing Robin Hood-like aid in between pit stops at the playground and the bathroom. I bet we'd feel more fulfilled at the end of the day than we do currently on some days. Sometimes a stay at home mom wants to save the world in a different way than through raising kids for God. Sometimes she'd like to do it in a more interesting way that involves a satisfying checked off list and good adult conversation, and throw a little bit of altruism in for extra spice.

I guess I need to remember that this really is what I believe God wants me to be doing right now. My lack of contentment sometimes isn't because I really doubt the value of finding Jesus in the dirty diapers. I know that this is valuable, and the problem doesn't lie in the value of what I do. The problem lies in the fact that I want to feel more valued and appreciated by the rest of the world. I want pats on the back from others around me, and that goal sometimes takes the place of God's goal for me. Ouch. I know the question I'm asking is not, "How can I serve God better?" I may ask that out loud to sound pious in my quest for self fulfillment, but I know that's not the real question. The real question I'm asking is, "How can I find something to do that makes ME feel better about myself at the end of the day?" Now, how to find my way back to the first question and really mean it? Hmm, maybe I should seek contentment where I am first, and then maybe I'll be able to ask again and be able to mean it...

2 comments:

Herb of Grace said...

I think every single SAH mom feels this way on a regular basis. I know I do. I try to remember the lasting value of pouring out my life for my family as Christ did for the church. I think it's also important that we band together as sisters in Christ to remind and encourage one another in our goals. Especially those of us with young kids-- burn-out is easy. We need each other's re-enforcement. Although the capes and Robin Hood deal sounds pretty cool, too....

andrea c. said...

I'd have to agree you're not alone in feeling this way. I, too, would like that pat on the back from the world for what I believe is a noble calling. But alas, I remind myself, or the Lord reminds me, I'll never impress the world if I live the way God calls me... And if they're in awe ever, I guess it should be in awe of my Creator rather than of any thing I do... Oh...that dying to self thing...not so much fun.

Your role is important, Ellen. How blessed we gals are that we get to be the ones raising our children, even if that includes mountains of laundry, dirty diapers, and the neverending sink load of dirty dishes. ; )

Praying the Lord will bless you with JOY throughout your day, even in the mundane moments.