Yes, that's a diplomatic way of communicating the idea that even though we may have argued a bit, we were able to reunite on common ground. Sometimes you have to fight for peace. I'm grateful for a husband who feels I'm worth the effort.
As I was pouring my heart out to him about some of the struggles I face as a stay at home mom, he interrupted me to encourage me to blog this one. So he gets the credit. Or maybe the criticism. Depending on how this one resonates. ;) Either way, it was eye opening for him & cathartic for me to share with him, so I'll take his advice & put this one out there. Thanks for listening, Bryce, and also for understanding.
As a mom of littles, something I've grown accustomed to is drive by advice from other women (sometimes women who have never had children) to which I have learned to respond with an interested nod, a bit of a smile, and some sort of canned response that usually sounds like "I may look in to that" or "you just might have a point there" or "Hmmmm. You know, that's interesting". I'm not talking about the people who have invested into our relationship and genuinely have my family's best interests at heart. I think most every mom knows exactly what I mean when I say 'drive-by mentoring.'
One of the pieces of advice I hear over and over and over again is how, as a wife and mom, I should make the effort to not lose myself raising my children or get too wrapped up in my husband.
I should remain true to who I am, maintaining my identity totally separate from my husband and children.
"Don't get lost in being a mom and wife," they'll say, "because one day those children will leave you and you won't know who you are anymore...."
"....and besides, a wife who is all wrapped up in her husband eventually grows boring to him. You know, an accomplished woman is sexy & exciting...."
Am I the only one who can relate to receiving similar advice?
Is there actually an implication here that men cheat or leave because they get bored?
Oh, goodness....I mean, maybe...there may be some truth there, but...
It's as though the concepts of sowing & multiplication don't apply to pouring all that we are into the calling God has placed on our lives in this season. As though the rewards of launching our adult children into all that God has for them and enabling our spouse to chase their God-given heart dreams should somehow not be enough. As though, as the seasons change from Full-time-Mom-Mode into Empty Nester we need to have some sort of alternate accomplishment under our belts so we won't feel like child-rearing was a depletion of ourselves rather than a multiplication of ourselves. As though laying down our lives and pouring ourselves into the successes of those around us isn't a life's work from which we can experience fulfillment.
It's almost as though there are parts of ourselves we should withhold from what I would consider the most important work at hand.
But as an imitator of Christ I know that it's no longer I who live, but Christ who lives within me. This Christ who withheld no part of himself from those He loved; pouring out even the blood from His veins to give me life abundant. He loved me & gave Himself for me.
All of Himself.
He came to die. How's that for self-actualization?
He had no other identity from which He operated outside of who God said He was.
And maybe this is where we miss the mark ever so slightly; this whole concept of identity and self-actualization.
If we allow our identities to be wrapped up in self-actualization, no matter what we accomplish at the end of our lives it will amount to a relatively small, insignificant package.
In any and all questions pertaining to identity, the answer must be rooted not in what we do but who we are in Christ. The moment we start viewing ourselves through any other lens or trying to extract an ounce of self-worth through any other means we create a deficit in our souls that no amount of self-actualization can fill. Or anything else, for that matter. No, not even the love of a good (and interested!) man.
Conversely, a soul that allows itself to be filled with Christ and is satisfied with Him alone will never give to empty.
Because I'm filled with Christ and find my identity solely in who He says I am,
it is my joy to "lose myself" in loving my spouse and children well.
Because my soul is satisfied with nothing less than Christ Himself, it is my life's work to enable them to walk out every step of their calling.
Because of Jesus, I find life in laying mine down for them.
So please, Mamas, let this be encouraging to you when you're faced with opinions about what you should be accomplishing. There's no implication on my part that God will never have more for us.
But if 'Wife' and 'Mom' are the only titles associated with my name at the end of my life & I've done it with everything in me; that isn't just enough. That's everything.
"You surround me
You chase me down
You seek me out
How can I be lost
When You have called me found?"