My life’s greatest work

faith, Marriage, motherhood, Small Successes / Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

My mom got married when she was 26 so I promised myself that I would be married by the time I was 26. Well I’m now 28 (as of today!) and am not only married but have 3 kids to boot! I’d say I met and exceeded that goal.

I was watching a silly dating show yesterday while putting the baby to sleep and most of the ‘contestents’ (?) were between 27-30ish. They all had these amazing careers and if you looked at their credentials it looked like they had all accomplished very high levels of success. But here they were, single and lonely and wanting companionship. They had it all except for someone to share it with and someone to have a family with.

If someone looked at me on paper, they probably wouldn’t be tremendously impressed. I attended high school for 3 years in one city but graduated in a different one with little grandeur (since I started all over my senior year at a different school), and then attended some college but left that to get married and have babies instead. I can hear all the nazi feminists crying out in pain but don’t worry I’ve never once regretted that choice. I’ve had jobs since then but nothing consistent since I’ve only ‘worked’ in between having babies. I’ve been an NFP teacher, a personal skin care and nutrition consultant (yeah one of those things), a district coordinator consultant for a local non-prof abstinence education program, and oh back before the wedding during college I did data entry which was a blast.

From time to time I miss having a little desk to sit at and answer phone calls or file papers but when it comes to my own desk and mail to sort through I usually pretend not to notice for as long as possible. I’ve recently obviously become rather obsessed interested in writing and have really enjoyed this blogging outlet and am excited as I start dabbling in other writing projects and assignments here and there. It is fun to see how God has led me and guided me. I’m curious to see where He’s going with all this.

I was putting the kids to bed last night and thinking about what I have to show for my 28 years as I looked at their sweet sleepy faces. Out of all my ‘accomplishments’ this – my children, my motherhood, my vocation as a mother & wife to my loving husband – this is it. This is the most important work I ever have or ever will do.

It’s hard and causes me alot of stress sometimes many times, most of the time, but really it is the most important work. My husband and my children have made me who I am. I take it for granted – being married and being a mom already- and it’s sometimes shows like the one I watched that remind me of how blessed I’ve really been. Sometimes I get all crazy and wonder what it would be like if I were not married or had no kids. My life would be so different. I’d probably have travelled to all sorts of interesting and fun and beautiful places by now and I’d probably be some top executive somewhere. My mind & definitely my body would be in better ‘shape’. (I feel like a 28 year old in a 34.6 year old woman’s body.) I might have been content with this. But I wouldn’t have been happy.

My children and my husband and the good friends and family God has blessed me with make up the bridge in my life that I use to cross over myself to God to true joy and happiness. They’ve made my life meaningful. Sure I’ve lost a few brain cells and elasticity in my skin (namely in the tummy area) but I’ve also gained a wealth of real treasures. I’ve experienced more real joys and real accomplishments than I would have without having chosen to follow God’s Will and His plans for me and my husband and our family.

In Frost’s words, “I took the road less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”

6 Replies to “My life’s greatest work”

  1. Amen, Erika!

    Take it from someone who went the other direction, you are very blessed that you chose a different path! I did do the college thing, the graduate school thing, the going to school abroad thing, the living married with no kids thing (for 7 years!), the traveling thing, the career thing… I did all of that! And while I honestly believe that everything in my past got me to where I am today, I do wish I would’ve started my family sooner! You think YOU feel old… guess how I feel?!?! But everything that we do in our lives is part of our journey and the places I lived (while hubby was doing the graduate school thing) and the experiences I had in my “career days” were in large part responsible for my re-conversion of faith. You just happened to figure it all out sooner than I did!

    I also wanted to thank you for your sweet comments on the blog post the other day. Isn’t it funny how we all have misperceptions of each other? Your “confession” is one I’ve heard before. It’s shocking to me though because I feel so out of control ALL.THE.TIME! At any rate, I appreciate your comments and want you to know that while you were feeling that way about me, I was feeling that I wasn’t mature enough in my faith to even be IN that Familia group! I respect and admire you and your young group of friends so much… I honestly have had a tough time finding friends in my “circle of friends” who are really living the Catholic life. Elizabeth shared with me about your Motherhood group and I’ve decided that I’m going to start one as well in hopes of leading more of my friends (and me too) to a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith and how to live it in our homes.

    So now, it’s 4:41 pm and STILL no shower today and I have to leave for a party in about 50 minutes, so I better go accomplish that task for the day while I (miraculously) have THREE sleeping children!

    God Bless and thanks again for your comments!

  2. Danielle, thanks so much for your comments and friendship. I think that God meets us where we are no matter what path we choose. I don’t have it all figured out and have MUCH to learn. He uses us and our circumstances however he can to lead us to Him.
    That’s great you are going to try and start a group! I don’t know if Elizabeth told you but we are currently trying to keep it simple and not overinvite so we can use this as a trial run. But I am hoping that after a year or of it I can offer invite others if our group size changes and also offer a way for others to start their own. So I’d be more than happy to share some ideas with you when you are ready! Familia was really a great group for me but sometimes it can be a little intimidating and like you I also sometimes felt like I wasn’t ‘good enough’ because of how chunky the material was. So my goal for CM is to keep make it enriching but not intimidating.

    Hope you made it to your party! by the way I do not think what you are doing with your WillowHouse (is that the right new name?) is the same ‘one of those’ that I did and you are doing a great job with it by keeping it all real. Way to go!

  3. Erika- you said it perfectly. same here. a frillion different jobs, many before I married, some between kids, none have ever been as important as my marriage and kids, though.

    semi-related in terms of kids/motherhood: I was watching “19 kids and counting” last night (Yay for DVR!), and Brian and I were talking about how they are REAL Christians, and how we compare…and while our family shares some common values and goals with theirs (the truly important ones, anyway), we’re not enough like them to say we’re like them, if that makes sense. and Brian said, “well, okay, maybe not me, but YOU are like the biker-version of Michelle Duggar.” which amuses me to no end. I’m not even sure what that means, but I like it!

    I DO love me some babies and kids, though, no doubt! and as frustrating and stressful as being a mama gets, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I honestly cannot even imagine what my life would have been like if I’d had no children. probably just as lonely and empty as those dating game contestants’ lives seem to be. I mean seriously, for me, breastfeeding alone makes it all worth it.

  4. haha! I love that: “…but YOU are like the biker-version of Michelle Duggar.ā€ I could see that.
    You know I think it’s easy to compare ourselves to others and especially to say whether or not someone is more or less Christian than another but really we should only try and compare ourselves to ourselves and who God wants US to be. On the other hand though, when we see others and how they act, especially if they are acting in the name of Jesus, sometimes we can learn a lot and be inspired to give more and do more to really live our lives as Christians-living our lives for Christ.

  5. This. yes. it was a positive kind of comparison-discussion… for me. Like I see her as being Truly Christian (where so many people just sorta fake it and call themselves Christians) and I often ask myself what Michelle would do, how she’d act, and it helps me to make better choices/be more patient/etc. she inspires me to be a better person, categorically.

    I may be a bit wild/off the wall, and even kinda sassy at times, but I always mean well, and generally think of myself (my wants/needs) last. I do my very best to live by the golden rule, which I think too many people have forgotten about. I believe that every choice in life really does come down to that.

  6. Liz, I’ve never seen that show, only have heard of it so can’t say anything good or bad about her but if she’s helping you want to be a better Christian and a better person in general then that’s great! I can be a bit off the wall and sass or more sarcasm is my middle name šŸ˜‰ And like we’ve talked about before, as long as I try to keep my intentions good then that’s where I have to go from. In writing this I am remembering that I never replied to your other email sorry! I’ll look at it again and see if there was something I needed to reply to!

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