We had a wedding, then a marriage, then a baby, then a family… all of it spread out over time, but passing me by in a blur, simply because I let it be that way. Living intentionally as a wife and mother was something I assumed would come naturally, like singing harmonies or delivering punch-lines at parties. And when it didn’t come naturally – when I saw how hard it was just trying to look like I was keeping it all together, let alone actually succeeding at it – I preferred to close my eyes and let it all happen around me. I allowed the surge of domestic life to draw me in beneath the waves, coming up for air only when I hit the shore of my pillow.
Years went by, the children began to grow, and the only evidence of my drowsiness was the cracking of my soul. I may be over-dramatizing here, but the word “funk” and “rut” don’t really do justice the extreme angst that was welling up inside almost as fast as the tears that accompanied it. “Failing” was what I was doing, but it wasn’t so much failing at motherhood as it was failing to live, thrive, or enjoy the good gifts God had given me.
The easy answer to this early-mid-life crisis was prayer.
Cries of help.
Cries of repentance
Cries of joy.
Prayers for strength in my weakness.
Prayers for rest in my restlessness.
Prayers for contentment in my chaos.
Not so easy to pray for all those things, I suppose, but the answer doesn’t lie so much in the praying as it does in the One who hears and loves.
We are a couple months in, now… the slow, delayed start of living intentionally. I’ve been playing more, with the children and the husband, but also on my own. There have been coffees with friends, and books on the nightstand, journals with words written in ink. There are words whispered in the night, between the three of us: husband, God and me.
And there is purpose.
Much of this past month has been spent devouring Organized Simplicity and the accessible message Tsh Oxenreider gives of a simple life lived with intention. We’ve been tossing around for weeks the idea of a family purpose statement. Having been in ministry for nearly a decade now, we’ve got the work missions statement on prayer cards and in power points, but the daily purpose of our little family has gone unwritten.
In our family, we want to honour GOD and protect the good gifts He’s given us;
Valuing PEOPLE over things
Living in COMMUNITY
Practicing CREATION care
Walking closely with JESUS CHRIST, and inviting others to join us in knowing Him
I wish I could tell you what seeing these words in writing does for my soul. The cracks formed during my slumber begin to fill with the intention of loving and serving and protecting the good things God has blessed us with. It’s a high calling, to be sure, but for the first time, I’m not even tired thinking about it!
by Karen Huber, The River Into Words