Monday, April 8, 2013

Finding Purpose...what is your mission statement?

How often do we as mothers, in the midst of tantrums, teething, diaper changes, and the daily grind blessing of being a mother do we forget that motherhood IS our purpose? I know I forget it daily. This truth is one that we all know, we all believe, but is so hard (I think) to live out.

Lately I've been struggling with finding or feeling what my purpose is in this stage of life. We've moved states, joined a new church, are slowly finding new friends, and trying to put down new roots when all my roots crave is salt water (ocean!!)!!! I knew what my purpose was before, but when we uproot ourselves, how do we find it again, or a new one? Since moving here, this is the first time I've never worked. I've been teaching in one capacity or another since I was 14, and now to no longer be working to bring in a paycheck there's definitely a different feel to my sense of purpose.

Now, it's not like I've suddenly realized my purpose as a mother, or had an epiphany, but more like I'm feeling capable of embracing my role. In the middle of a toddler tantrum when trying to make dinner or pick up the tornado zone mess, motherhood sure doesn't feel like a glamorous calling. it's not. It's HARD! I'm not going to lie, there have been a few moments that I truly didn't believe I could carry on. But thanks to my big sister and a couple good friends, they prayed me through those horrible tough few days. It's cheesy but I have to remind myself that on the other side of all the rain and stormy weather there is sunshine. :)

Within my role of motherhood, I need a mission statement. Why am I a mother? Why did I want the tremendous responsibility of raising this little human? What is my goal? What will my mission statement be? How can I resolve to be the best parent I can be?

I've been reading a couple good parenting books to help me navigate these waves, and having God as my source of wisdom and direction definitely helps! These day's once my Little Miss is down for her afternoon nap, you'll find me with my Bible, notebook & current parenting book. I'm taking notes and making lists.

A beautiful word picture was shared with me at Bible study this past week. It was speaking of the changing seasons and how trees must let go of their leaves before winter's snow comes otherwise the snow clings to the leaves and puts too much weight on the tree branches and the branches then break. How often do I hang on to expectations or past experiences or purposes, instead of letting go and embracing where I am right here and now? The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was trying to re-create something that was familiar, not the new that was right here in front of me.

So I resolve to be the intentional mom I've always said I want to be, but this time, I'm taking it one day, sometimes a moment at a time. I'm great with setting goals and looking at the big picture, but not so much with living in it day by day. I want to see results! But with two year olds....results take a looooong time! :) and lots of repetition! So now I plan my weeks out, with Karis friendly activities and if the weather is nice, adventures around where we live (often the fields and pastures near our house), and teaching her as much as I can about the world around us, our Creator, and the basics of obedience and respect! :)

I think that the biggest stunter of motherhood (if that's such a term!) is feeling alone. I've struggled with this since moving away from what was supposed to be our group of friends we all raised our kids together with. Seeing how others parent and discipline their children, comparing notes, and walking through motherhood together is an amazing gift!  While visiting CA a few weeks ago, in the matter of just one week, I learned so many more parenting skills and tools than in the months of trying to translate what I was reading in books into real life! But what about when we don't have that? Usually it leads to feeling alone, leads to insecurity, which leads to feeling inadequate and overwhelmed.  Who do you turn to when you're feeling like the "looser mom" in that moment when your child is throwing the tantrum of a lifetime in the middle of the frozen food aisle of the grocery store? The old adage of "It takes a village" doesn't mean that everyone else raises our kids for us or co-parents, but that we need others in our lives to help us along as we strive to be the best parents for our kids. I've decided (because I really don't have another option yet!), that my village doesn't have to be here physically, daily surrounding me. It can be friends & mothers who, no matter where we live, encourage each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, let the other cry on our virtual shoulder, speak wisdom to them, and live motherhood together!

When I was feeling alone and overwhelmed, this Blog post spoke to me. I realized I'm not alone! And I CAN do this!

So now....I'm in search of my new "village"!!!!! :) Care to join me?!