Lost, Found or Somewhere in Between

Someone said something recently that keeps replaying in my mind…and it seems everywhere I turn I have been hearing or reading some variation of it…and thinking about it…and feeling the tension.

One woman described it as having a “mid-life crisis” of sorts… another expressed feelings of being “lost in motherhood”… trying to recapture pieces of themselves…old hobbies…revisiting forgotten skills… pining for a career that had been paused. I don’t know if it’s just something in the air or what. But i feel it. My list is ever-growing…. books to read, topics to study, flute to practice, tinkering in the kitchen, taking up knitting, finishing an old crotchet project, pining for exercise, desiring to blog….dreaming about rock climbing again…wanting to spend the weekend on the couch with a book, tea, chocolate & yarn…. ya know…what weekends meant before children. I get it.

At the same time, i don’t. While I understand the sentiment, I don’t fall into the “lost in motherhood” category…at least not in a negative sense. I commented to Ryan recently that I feel “found” in it. For so long I floundered lost, wondering what the heck i was supposed to “do when i grow up”. A week into motherhood & I knew..at least for the time they’re in our home…THAT was my “career”. Though even that isn’t always a good thing… finding my IDENTITY in them..i certainly don’t want to end up being so singly focused that i find myself empty-handed and broken hearted when they do what they’re supposed to do — grow up & move out. My identity of course lies in Christ…as a Child of God…serving in Joy… which sounds wonderfully romantic but sure is hard to pin down. It’s easier to say, “I’m a mom” or “I’m a flute player” or…

Anyhow, that being said, I’ve been pondering lately what my expectations should be. Is it reasonable to attempt a new hobby right now? IS this a stage of life… will I someday be able to join a community orchestra (how cool am i? i would like to join a community orchestra…or band…even nerdier)? I mean, I’d like to “someday” but i DON’T want to now…not only because it’s not logistically possible, but it would stretch me too thin…i honestly don’t WANT to yet…but I do want to eventually. Again, at the same time it seems a shame to let such a thick layer of dust gather on that gift. For now I’ll just make an effort to practice…

That’s just one small example. I’m not sure the answer…I’m just thinking about it lately. Especially in regards to: Do we have more children? If so, when? Am I ready to give up another piece of myself? Is Ryan? How does this work? The spirit is willing…and sometimes the flesh is too…but not always. I’ve noticed when my mind is focused more closely on “Heavenly matters” I am aware of an acute lack…someone is missing from the family. I get excited at the prospect of the kids with another sibling, of another small person Ryan and I get to share our love and life with…that we get to see grow in the ‘knowledge and admonition of the Lord’. Then…the other times (& even sometimes at THE SAME TIME)…it feels like i may not be able to ‘handle’ another moment in “small people depending on me for 98-100% of everything they do & need” land. It seems we’re on the cusp of some independence…even tiny things like Asher can go upstairs & get himself dressed entirely by himself…wow. Imagine…all of us just getting dressed at the same time instead of in shifts. I know it’s a stage. But the flesh is weak.

In the women’s bible study I’ve been attending we’re going through the book, “Stepping Heavenward“. This past week was the first i’ve read any (they’re almost done, and I just started attending)…and the following quote resounded so strongly for me. It’s exactly what I occasionally feel & always desire to feel. This is where I am…and I’m so happy for it. I’m so grateful for it. What a blessing that I have the opportunity to hang some non-eternal leisure and pursuits on the shelf..whether temporarily or permanently, in order to gain a “friend” more dearer than them all….to whom I get to minister in Christ’s name. I apologize it’s such a long quote, but I promise well worth the time to read:

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!

And by the way, thanks mom…for the investment of YOUR youth in me. It’s an example I am so grateful to have had. Ultimately, as with everything else…it’s NOT about me. I know God will unfold His plan in His time. In the meantime…I ponder.

9 thoughts on “Lost, Found or Somewhere in Between

  1. This is a GREAT post. I’ve been waiting to “read” from you this week…and it was worth the wait. It’s amazing how on time this is for me and my friends right now. I went to Barnes and Noble after church with a girlfriend on Sunday (she needed to “get out of the house”) and this is the discussion we were having. She just had her second baby a few months ago. Anyway, it is something to ponder. I believe i’m more on the “found” end as well, but I must admit, I vascillate between the extremes at times. Thanks for this!!!

  2. Wow, Jenn, what a great post. I was re-energized just by reading that. I find that I totally lose sight of my mission/ministry in being a mom when I focus on the nitty gritties of the day. Thanks for the boost and the gentle nudge to start looking more in Christ’s direction rather than my own.

  3. This is great!! And to think I was just telling Amy last week that I think I’m good with just one!! Here we go numbers 2, 3, and 4!!

  4. The quote gives me chills – so true. I think I will never tire of kissing her warm little face and neck when she wakes from a nap. Sometimes when I was doing dumb things in my teens/twenties, I would wonder why my parents still seemed to adore me so much. Now I know. Great post Jenn. :)

  5. It was my pleasure :) it was what I lived for, taking care of three presous bundles from God. Although at times I wonder if God himself should get most of the credit since I many a time felt overwelmed with the task. I am thankfull and proud of all three of you. God did bless me well, of course I could not have made it through many a time without his help. At times I think he looked down at me shook his head and said “women! what are you doing now!” But I guess I did ok :), now I pass the paton on to you three and I get to enjoy the frutes of your labor, and the de’savoes of “yea I remember those days”. :)

  6. I wish I could have just one more, but every time I mention it, hubby say, “go talk to your new husband”. I’m too old anyway!

    I also think that my kids will be forever grateful for their siblings. Occasionally when I am booking holidays, plane tickets and hotel rooms I think of how much cheaper and easier life is for the family of four, but I’d rather have the kids than the stuff.

  7. It is so funny because just recently me and a friend were talking about this same subject. I love being a mom and seeing the feats that each of my girls come up against and finally on their own climb over. But at the same time I have moments where I wish I had a job, or wished I had something more. I think once Kat goes to school (hopefully next school year) and I can volunteer at the school for the girls again or even get a part time job if I want it’ll take that itch away. I loved being able to go help out with Jenna’s class before I had Kat or going and helping out in Halei’s class and going on field trips.

  8. So, so, so true! Just the other day, I was talking with someone about someday, when the kids are much older and out of the house, wanting to do something . . . but I realized my thought fell flat because I’m doing exactly what I was made to do right now, and I can’t imagine anything else ever being a better “fit”! There are days when I wonder, like you said, if I should spend some of this time at home on an old/new talent, or volunteering, or more schooling (there, that’s my weirdness!) . . . but then my two precious boys give me a hug, or give each other a hug, and I know I’m exactly where I need to be doing what I need to – and was made to – do.