I don’t think I am alone in saying, I have often wondered if I should be doing something else with my life.
“You missed your calling.”
Those are the words that often fell upon my ears.
Eventually, you begin to wonder if they are right.
Art, design, gardening, and a desire to help others have been a deep part of my life for well, most of my life. To the outside world, it would appear as though I did miss my calling. Should I have become a chef, landscaper, graphic designer, master gardener? Maybe I should have opened up my own greenhouse, become a great leader of some well-known company? Should I have become a counselor or at least something the world deemed… something.
Instead, I decided to spend my days at home with my kids. During those years, the ones filled with diaper changes, clothes washing, dish washing, toilet scrubbing, argument solving, meal providing, tantrum throwing, please someone come save me from this exhaustive never-ending sleep deprived life, there were many times when I wondered…. did I miss my calling? Maybe I should be doing something more.
Tonight, listening to music while doing yet another round of dishes I began wondering if those statements were true, yet again. Is it too late for me? Have I missed too many opportunities? A smile crept its way across my face as a new revelation filled my mind.
You see in the midst of being “just a stay at home mom”, I managed to somehow do all the things everyone thought I was missing. The things I believed were missing.
Through it all, my art and design skills have been honed with a fine chisel, developing more with each passing day. My life became a blank canvas and photography became a way to capture all the simple moments that make it beautiful.
The foodie in me has found ways to make every day, mundane food unique and exciting. My love for food expanded into the garden, transforming traditional landscaping into bounty for the kitchen. Which in turn, transformed my garage into a nursery for baby plants waiting to find their homes outside.
The ability to develop my own schedule (well as much as being a mom of four kids allows) gave me time to really invest in other women who were figuring out their own answers to the same questions I was asking. Sometimes the time invested really helped, and sometimes their life still fell apart.
Random moments here and there gave me opportunities to invest time into continuing my education. Washing dishes, folding laundry, and pulling weeds became moments I could absorb countless podcasts and crash courses in various areas, inspiring creative ways to improve my business, gardens and those darn sweet potato plants. Which by the way, I’m quite certain I have tried every possible way you can grow an Irish potato and have come to the conclusion that potatoes are still best grown in the ground, hilled slightly, and covered in a thick layer of straw. Just take my word for it.
The point is somewhere, sometime, I made the conscious decision to be very present and intentional with my time. And, while I couldn’t see it then, what seemed like the sacrifice of my own desires, passions, and life ambitions, was ultimately what brought such fulfillment to my life.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. The daily dying to oneself in order to develop into something new. Fourteen years of daily dying. Yeah, that kind of hard.
So, did I miss my calling? I don’t think so. In fact, I would say the exact opposite.
Somehow, in the middle of the chaos that is being a stay at home mom, I became a skilled:
chef, artist, graphic designer, website builder, master gardener, landscaper, mentor, ministry leader, bible study developer, baby plant grower, expert multitasker, deeply grateful, extremely tired, passionate, always improving, seeker of beauty, wife, and mother.
I guess what I’m saying is, maybe what seems like something that’s holding you back, is actually what you need to develop into the person you are to become.
Because nothing worthwhile is ever easily obtained. Except for maybe the gift of eternal life, in which you simply need to believe in Christ Jesus. Although, I believe even the road to the cross is often a hard and broken one. So, may you live a life of intention with eyes open to the beauty that’s already around you.
It is worth the sacrifice.