Sunday, August 15, 2010

Embracing Your Purpose - II

So now that I'm almost another year older, and far wiser, what goals have I for myself? Where am I going next? How am I getting there? I am determined to be debt free (except for the house) by my 36th birthday in 2012 - for that, we have started following Dave Ramsey's program and advice (again, there is another blog post in that, but that is for another time!) As a side note, his program has helped I don't know how many thousands of people and can be found here: - it is worth every penny.

I'm determined to get the many schedules that run my life into a working order that can be synchronized and followed. I don't have a program for that (many use though, if that is something you're struggling with but it didn't work so well for me about ten years ago; perhaps I should try it again...) Right now, I see many parallels between the house/clutter-freedom and the budget/debt-freedom. I'm working from that point - but there is one other very important thing that goes with these two goals:

I have learned that, in my own life, to make these two goals happen, I need to stop worrying about working outside of my home at everyone else's projects, at every other volunteer opportunity that comes up that may - or may not - be edifying to my family and me, at every piece that I think I "should" be doing to take some of the financial-breadwinner burden off of Jeff's shoulders.

He has never - ever - said a sideways word about my staying home or about being our primary source of income. The pressure I feel in that comes entirely from within me. The pressure is there, nonetheless, and I am learning that my first job is house and family - there is plenty to do there. My second job is Heritage Transcriptions, in which I get to write memorial books for the families of the fallen members of our military. That is a labor of love. I feel more fulfilled in my life by doing them.

Otherwise, I must be content with "just" being a stay-at-home-mom. I must ignore the looks, the questions, the ugliness that we SAHMs get when we are out and about, especially the looks that see four children and inquire, "Don't you know when to stop??"

For the record, we do know when to stop, but we've decided to love and enjoy all that we're given. Though I am religious and a Christian, I'm not a "quiverful," Bible-thumper type of person: each family has to make its own choices. This is what works for our family, but here is the irony about our having children and choosing to have - or not have - those children with which we are blessed:

Indulge me for a minute in a side-rambling, please: Is it "irony?" I am a little nervous about using the word because of the song by Alanis Morrisette - Ironic - I read an article by a professor after it came out in which the professor said that nothing in the song was ironic; that everything she mentioned in the song was just bad luck! ... isn't it ironic? Don't'cha' think?? So anyway... end side-rambling now. Read on and weigh in...

Here is my sister working with Buttercup in our garden earlier this year. She doesn't plan to have children right now, and I am content to let her be the great-aunt-type to mine! She does a great job!

So here is the possible irony in our having children: when I was sixteen, like many girls, I declared my intention to adopt many children - a busload of them - and never have any of my own. Why would I want to have children of my own when there are so many out there already who need help?? Then I met Jeff and he wanted children - at least one or two - and so we compromised. We would have a couple few bio-babies, then we would adopt at some point in our lives together.

Well, we're up four children and I love them all and wouldn't trade them for anything. They are part of my super-blessed life and to those who would say that I am helping with the "overpopulation" of the world, I say this: which child would you want put back? Which human being would you get rid of? Ponder that, then talk to me. And adoption is still on the table and something we plan to do in our lives.

So what does all of this have to do with "embracing your purpose?" Only this: sometimes, our purpose in life is not really what we might have thought it was. Maybe, just maybe what I want/ed was not what was best for me or where I was really heading in my life and I just didn't know it. Learning to pray, learning to listen for the answer, learning to wait and knowing that what is coming is ultimately leading me to where I need to go to fulfill my purpose in life, gives me peace and makes every step of the way count.

If my purpose is to be a great stay-at-home-mom, who bakes, sews/crochets and does the domestic goddess thing, and on the side, I get to support military folks and their families by writing memorial books, I am at peace with that. It is not what I envisioned when I joined the Navy all those years ago - and it is still on my heart to one day learn to fly, just not F-16s (for the reference to that, go to Embracing Your Purpose - I), but it is where I am now and what I truly believe I have been led to do. In the future, when my children leave home, who knows what my purpose will become? But every moment of what is happening now is leading me to that purpose, whatever "it" is.

Each of us needs to ask similar questions, determine our purposes and learn to embrace who we are. If you don't feel like you're in the right place, make changes to become who you're supposed to be. But consider whether your purpose might not be very different than what you once envisioned and that attitude makes a huge difference in our happiness within that purpose.

As my mother used to say when we asked (whined!), "Do I have to?"

Pause for the big smile, "You get to."


  1. An army friend of mine has 6 kids. When his wife would get snotty comments about not knowing when to stop, she'd say "But we only had sex six times!"

  2. As the 5th of 10 I have zero patience for people who make rude comments about the PERSONAL choices of others.

  3. I started out a SAHM and four years later I was itching for the office. I constantly struggle with that guilt of did I make the right choice. Am I a good mom to leave my kids and go to work? I feel embarrassed to sit on the sidelines with other moms and they talk of long days volunteering at school and or even homeschooling. I used to think they judged me for going to work, I feel better after reading your post. Thanks Melissa!

  4. Worthy, you are a GREAT mom to your kids - feel guilt no more :) I am glad you found peace in what I've written and hope you continue to be blessed by it as I have been (and am!) by your friendship.

    To all three of you - who are better writers than I am by far - I want to say thank you for temporarily ignoring my run on sentence above. Maybe some day I'll change it, but for now this post seems to be serving the purpose it is meant to. To that end, I'll leave it as it is. You all are great in everything you do and I am totally moved and inspired by you all in so many different ways!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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