When I grow up

As a little girl I used to lay awake, after the whole house was asleep.. dreaming of what my husband would be like. How many children I would have, and where I would live.. I had only two desires in this life:

To be a wife. To be a Mom.

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I remember when I was 7 years old, my Dad took me out on a breakfast date before school for my Birthday. I felt so special and loved, as my large pink coat kept me warm in his old work van. I had him all to myself that morning, and I’ll never forget telling him how I wanted to be a Mom.

” What do you want to do when you grow up Rachel?”

” I just want to be a Mom.”

This trend continued even throughout High School. I became very withdrawn from school, and college was out of the question. In fact the ONLY class that I enjoyed was Early childhood education. Now THAT was something I didn’t ever skip out on. And I did a lot of skipping out of classes. So often that I really didn’t have many friends in High School ( attending my school ). I saw no need for it. The time I did spend in class was spent creating my first born’s name and picking out my wedding dress.

The years passed by and I did fulfill the dream I had wanted  my whole life. To be a wife, love my husband well and make babies. So we did.

So I am.

Then something snapped about three years ago. I was sitting in church one Sunday, when suddenly I felt out of place in my own life. I was in the back , alone…breastfeeding a baby when I felt that I was called to more than just Mothering. I pushed this thought aside, and allowed guilt to flood in it’s place.

In my mind and in my own set of rules for myself these things were not allowed:

Working. Working on anything at all. Doing anything that requires my time and effort that doesn’t require changing diapers or whipping my boob out for someone that’s hungry. If I did those things, it meant that I wasn’t a good enough Mother. As time went on , I began to blog. I justified this as a hobbie, not something that I had to “work” on. The desire to write grew, and in time the desire to write a book was birthed.

I’ve had to step away from some of the house work, the sibling fights and the gourmet meals to fulfill a dream. A dream that doesn’t involve my children. There I said it. I am doing something for myself.

And that is ok.

I want my girls to see the fruit of Mommy being home, and present. But I also want them to see that Mommy is happy when she writes. Mommy is happy when she gets to express herself doing something ELSE that she loves. Mommy is following her calling in this world, which is Mothering first, and second writing. I want them to feel free to follow what God has for them, whatever that may be. In the home, or outside the home.

While on a date with my husband a few weeks ago, we ran into a business associate of his. After going through the usual how are you’s and how many children do you have the man asked me:

” So what do you do?”

Matt chimed in and said-

” She stays at home with our three children, and she is a published writer.”

It was in that moment I knew that I could be both. I could do this. I am doing it. And the thing that held me back for years from doing it, that guilt nagging me and nagging me…. it’s gone now.

What remains is fulfillment. And So I encourage you today to do something for yourself, something God has been calling you to do for years, but you have put it off in the face of guilt. Stand up for what is in your heart, because it won’t fade. We were born with talents and gifts, and until we use them they just sit. They get bored, and so do we. But when we use them we come alive.

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