when i was little i used to dream of being a mommy. a working mommy. it never occurred to me that i would be a stay-at-home mom. never. well, not until i got married and the prospect of children became so close to my heart and the thought of handing them over to a stranger seemed like a non-option.
you know, three years ago i was working at a big corporation. i had health insurance that cost less than $100 for our whole family. i had a beautiful gym, at work, to exercise in. i had awesome friends to chat with. i got paid well. i was affirmed with a job well-done. raises and promotions. paid days of vacation.
and now. now i work a 24 hour shift. sometimes i work in the middle of the night for hours. and i wake at the crack of dawn. i don't get days off, let alone paid days off. our insurance payments have more than quadrupled. and the days of a solo workout are gone.
my wardrobe went from dress pants and cute shirts to bluejeans and tshirts...and sometimes just jammies. showers are optional. so is makeup.
i wipe boogers and gooey snot. i dry tears and wash dirty hands. i change diapers. i vacuum dog-hair covered floors several times a week. i cook three meals a day and make snacks in between. i explain right from wrong. i hand out discipline and praises. i teach the a,b,c's and silly rhyming songs. i listen to "why" questions constantly and am constantly required to give an answer. i talk non-stop about jesus and who he is and how to love like him. and i have to constantly give out love. and explain why i'm frustrated for having to do the third load of laundry in one day and can see three more on the horizon and then explain why being frustrated is an emotion that can be good and bad...and explain why laundry is a necessity and why we should be thankful for laundry...and for food and for sisters and friends and dogs and even dog hair.
i have more conversations, in a day, than i did in a week. and my conversations are more intimate and deep than ever before - even the ones about why play-doh should be returned to its correct container.
everything has a purpose. a meaning. everything.
and while we pay an arm and a leg for health insurance and i can't take a quick run to go out to lunch with a girlfriend, and i coupon like a mad lady and make more trips to harris teeter than i'd rather make, and haven't had a private poop in ages, and haven't been able to finish a phone call or an email without saying "please be patient while mommy finishes...", and i...i wouldn't trade any of it for anything.
because my life is not my own. and it's beautiful.
i snuggle with two beautiful girls all day long. and while i'm on the phone, i have a three year old climbing on my back singing "our God is greater. our God is stronger..." and i smile. letting go and letting God work through me is producing a beautiful fruit. i have a three year old whose heart is tender and sensitive and she actually cares about the needs of others. at three. and she has manners and kindness...and when she errs, i get to correct her. i get to explain to her why i'm correcting her. and she gets to see her daddy working to provide for her. she sees jesus in him.
my life was made to serve. and it's not easy.
but it is worth it. and it is good. and i am without doubt that God purposed me for this.
children have sharpened me and molded me into a person i would have never been had i stayed in a comfortable job. and todd wouldn't be the provider he is if i had kept working. i say this not to say that i'm right and you're wrong. but to say that there is something amazing when we do what God is calling us to. it's not always easy, but it is worth it.
my life isn't perfect, but it is blessed.
the Lord knew that i didn't dream of this kind of life. but He did. and when i followed Him, i fell in love with what His dream of my life was.
these faces. these giggles. these snuggles. these lives. they are worth more than silver and gold.