Want vs. Calling part II
A few weeks ago I saw an ad for a watercolor painting class. It was to be held in the local botanical gardens and was for beginners, like myself, and was only $45 for 3 hours for 3 Saturdays. I imagined myself surrounded by the beautiful spring flowers with the sun warming my hair and skin, and the gentle spring breezes dancing through my hair while I made flowers come to life on my paint pad with my magical paintbrush.
So I called up the number on the ad and reserved my name before no more spots were left. I arranged for my parents to help with the kids while I set aside this time to live out my dreams for a few hours. I told my friends and family how excited I was about it. As the first day of class drew near, reality kept knocking on my bubble but I refused to let it be popped. After all, didn’t I deserve some time for myself? I cook, feed, dress, referee, and clean up baby puke all day long. Surely, a few hours alone to sit and paint was a reasonable aspiration?
But on that Saturday, I was rudely awakened with a huge to-do list. We needed meat, new church shoes that actually fit my daughter and would match her lovely grandma-made dress, and a shirt to match my own hand-made skirt amongst other priorities. My poor husband had been walking around for a few days with a detached head and stuffed-up nose. I looked at my baby who had been anything but peaceful during the days lately and knew. I knew what I had to do.
I didn’t want anyone to tell me, especially not my husband. So I took the crying baby upstairs, grabbed the phone and hid in my closet. I called and asked for refund explaining that I was a mom and had sick kids and well it just wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully, the woman on the phone understood and was very kind. I said thank you and hung up the phone and looked into the mirror.
There was a woman there holding her beautiful, sweet, innocent baby. I stared at her and remembered who I was. A mom. That’s who I am and that’s who I need to be right now.
I can hear feminist zealots accusing me of “throwing my whole life away”. I chose marriage and children instead of a complete “college experience”, I ‘stay at home’ with my children, don’t wear makeup on a daily basis, and hardly ever go anywhere without my children attached to my back, hands, or legs. And now, here I am taking care of my babes instead of painting the flowers.
They say I’m giving up my whole life. And I say, isn’t that the point? Isn’t that what God calls us to in our vocations- to give up our lives to whatever He wills? God made me a woman and as a woman He has additionally called me to be a wife and a mother. I must embrace my true and complete femininity by being the wife my husband loves and by being that mother my children need and deserve. I have my outlets and they help me be a better mom and wife. But I can’t let these supersede my most important responsibilities.
Evidently this is still incredibly hard to do. This blog post is for me and I hope I can remember that when I give up something I want for a higher calling, I can remember to do it with love. If my complaining starts to overpower my gratitude or I talk too much about the drudgery that is my life and how miserable I am, kindly refer me back to this post.