I spend ridiculous amounts of time these days reflecting on the meaning of life and my purpose(s) here and the irony of it all. I used to believe we all had a purpose, and it was my goal to find this purpose quickly, excel at it, and then hopefully move on to another purpose and another, like a bucket list of completed accomplishments. Isn’t that what society tells us to do, after all?
Nowadays, however, I find myself bent over the kitchen sink, head pounding and back aching from too many all-week-long chores and errands, added to the constant lifting of babies up and down and up and dow… Up! No, down. No… *facepalm*
Let’s start over… When (or rather, if) I finally get the kids settled into a TV show or game or preferably naps, I try my best to sit a few minutes and read something, anything before starting chores, so that (during chores) I have something on which to ponder. Lately, I prefer mom-blogs or inspirational articles combined with beautiful photos; something short and simple, but meaningful.
Last week, I started reading For The Love of Christian Homemaking borrowed from my mom. I was skeptical that I’d even like it, because I “home-make” all day. I sure don’t need to read about it, too. But I quickly fell in love with it, surprised by how often it makes me stop and almost meditate on this full-time homemaking gig and how profound it really is. At this point in my life, I can’t express how wonderful it feels to truly connect with someone else’s stories and emotions and even prayers; to wholly understand what a person is saying and how he/she is feeling, because I feel it too.
The irony? My purpose in life is still a mystery to me. Yes, I am a wife and mother, so my purpose could be and probably mostly is to raise a good, faithful family who will go out and set the world on fire. (By “fire” I mean a miraculous blaze of glory; not actually burn it to smithereens.) Or perhaps I am meant to be my husband’s rock, his glue, the guiding light that helps him find his purpose. Wouldn’t that be truly ironic – a purpose to help someone else find his purpose? Or maybe I am yet to cure cancer or build the world’s tallest skyscraper or, heck, I’d settle for taking a Pulitzer Prize winning photo.
I don’t know. I may never know. The thing is… I don’t really care anymore. I don’t spend chore time – or driving time or those pesky, long hours in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep because the toddler is shoving me out of my own bed – wondering specifically about my purpose in life. Instead, I find myself seeking peace and humility in the little, mundane tasks that I do all day every day. I want to be sincerely happy with all that I have and all that I do, even when I don’t want to deal with it.
I try hard every day to be as entertained by and in love with my kids as I am annoyed and exhausted. Likewise, I try hard to look at my husband like I did fourteen years ago when we were dating, except with a much better understanding of him and far deeper respect for all he does and all he is and all he has become. I want to be grateful; to see the glass half full or, better yet, all the way full. But it’s never easy. Far from easy, in fact.
(As I write this, the baby is waking up from a nap and the toddler is standing on my chair, hugging my neck so sweetly, and asking me repeatedly to restart his TV program and “play cowboys.”)
Yes, I have to TRY to be grateful, because I am tired. I am frustrated. I am human. Grace does not come all on it’s own. We have to want it, need it, and be open to it. I am learning to be open while also learning (so slowly, but surely) to close other doors that overload and complicate the good things.
Lord knows I don’t deserve anything I have. Nevertheless, I’m here for some reason or maybe no reason. But God made me, so here I am and here I’ll stay until… Until I am not. In the meantime, I don’t feel the need for a purpose anymore. Rather, I am learning and growing and praying more than ever and not without mistakes. I am simply becoming.