As I type this, I am currently sitting on my couch with my three year old. She’s feverish, not feeling well, and only wants to be near mom. She napped late in the afternoon and she hardly ever naps anymore. So I know it was going to be a late night, and here I am at 10:00pm and she is STILL UP. I had big plans for this particular evening, as in, I was going to get SO much work done. Instead, I’ve wiped her forehead with washcloths, checked her temperature, filled her water bottle and listened to her say, “I just wanna lay on you” more times than I can count.
But it’s exactly where I am supposed to be.
It has been one of the biggest disciplines of my entire life to put my career on “hold” a little bit for my children and for my family. That sounds terrible, but allow me to explain. When my husband Jason and I started our business back in 2009, I fell in love with working from home. I loved that I could balance work and mom life, make a living, have my own dreams to chase, and do it all from my phone at the park while my kids ran circles around me. It was a dream come true and I feel incredibly blessed and thankful that I live in a time when these sort of options are available to us. But in the first four years, I fought internally with my business as it tried to run me, consume me, take over my life and bypass my children and family.
Four years ago, Jason and I decided to put up some serious boundaries in our business where we could put our family first. Ways to where we could make sacrifices, but that those sacrifices would never be our children. And it changed the landscape of what we do and what motivates us. I am a better mother because of this and I wake up every morning remembering how much I love my career, but how it comes SECOND every single time, all day long. God has honored our choices and blessed us in ways unimaginable. But it hasn’t been easy, it’s not perfect, and it’s still a struggle.
I think Satan wants us as moms to wish we were doing anything other than raising our children. And I think it’s amazingly wonderful for moms to want and to have other aspirations in addition to mothering. I love that I haven’t lost myself in the process of raising kids and that they have watched me live passionately about life. They are the center of my world but aren’t the center of my attention all the time, and I really love the balance that we’ve found.
But it’s far from perfect.
The shiny temptations of the world still sparkle and try to distract me from where I am actually at. And where I am actually at is I am a mother, with careers, callings, passions and ministries to run and things to do. But I have heard the Lord time and time again remind me that I can have my career and professions now, but not full time. My kids are my focus full time and so unfortunately, that means work has to wait a lot. It means I sacrifice sleep a lot more than I’d like to admit. It means that when Bravery has a fever and wants to lay all over me because it’s the only thing that makes her feel better, that is my priority- even if my work is piling up and even if it interferes with an evening where my plans were to get a lot accomplished.
I have been reminded time and time again to embrace where I am at. It’s not always glamorous, it’s not always fun, and it’s not always rewarding to be a mom. There are never, ever days that I regret being a mom for I know that it is my true heart and love. It’s something I have always wanted and I never take it for granted. But during the sleepless nights or the days where you only eat cold food at the kitchen sink, a career in an office beckons to me. But the Lord reminds me again, this is exactly where he has me. My career will always be there, these children will not. They are a gift from him and I am to embrace this season of raising them with my entire heart. I believe the Lord has allowed me to maintain my career on the side so long as I keep my focus.
What season of your life should you be embracing? We are all different and the Lord is always going to ask each of us different things. Is there something or someone in your life that you should be embracing more than you already do? Accepting wholeheartedly where you are for this season can be really powerful. Working with your full heart at the tasks right in front of you, no matter how small or mundane they might be, might be exactly the ways that the Lord is asking you to obey. For when we are faithful with a little, then we can be faithful with a lot. It’s not always easy to wait, as I often find for myself. But a big office job of my own will come someday. And in the meantime, I remember that I am not to miss where I am at. With my kids, my husband, serving our home, watching them grow, and raising them up. It’s not always easy, but it will be so worth it- and already is in many ways!
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3