I used to believe that in order to have any respect from society, I needed to have some sort of title attached to my name. I believed that being successful in this world meant accomplishing great things and being recognized for them. I had a skewed perception of success meaning that I lived in a large fancy home, nice cars, and designer clothes. I spent way too many years hanging my identity on what society deemed as “someone special” rather than what God was calling me to be. I am just a mom, and you know what? That is enough!
Unfortunately I do not believe that society has changed much in terms of how they view success or someone who deserves respect. But my “give a care” has changed about how much control I allow society to dictate. 🙂 As I got older and realized how important cultivating hearts would become, I cared less about fulfilling society’s expectations and more about making sure that I became the loudest voice in their hearts and minds. I believe that motherhood is a ministry in itself, and I am thankful that God called me to raise these children full time.
When I lived in Nashville, Tn, I lived in a five bedroom house in the suburbs that we never even were able to spend enough time in to enjoy. Keeping up with the Joneses meant working 50 – 60 hours a week just so we could live there. What was the point of that? It meant hiring a babysitter or putting my littles in daycare. It meant allowing other people that I barely knew to spend more time with my children than I did, and I hated every minute of it.
About six years ago, when my youngest daughter was about six years old, we moved to rural Louisiana. We left the city, and we moved to what felt like the middle of nowhere. It was culture shock if I’m being honest, but it was a much needed change. My two oldest babies were 15 and 17 at the time, and I truly wish that the years were spent differently in their younger years like it was for my youngest. Fast forward to today, my youngest daughter who was six at the time of our move to Louisiana is now twelve. We are in the process of adopting a ten year old little girl from our community who was orphaned, and I have a two year old granddaughter who spends A LOT of time with me.
I have seen first hand the difference that being a full time stay-at-home parent can make. I regret more than anything that I could not give Tyler and Sidney the same experiences that I am giving to Peyton, Riley, and Stormi. But being their mom is the only call that God has placed in my life. Cultivating their hearts to become little disciples for Christ may not be the most popular “job” in society, but thank God He calls us to stand apart from what society expects.
Every single day I look at my tiny house full of love and laughter, I look at our mini farm full of two rabbits, three chickens, two dogs and a cat… and I realize just how successful my life has become. Success, to me, does not mean meeting society’s standards or expectations. It means that I am actively serving my God while He is providing every need for our family. It means never having to compete with a secular world where my children may wander. It means cultivating their hearts to be full of fruits of the spirit. And it means that we are happy and fulfilled.
I am just a mom, and that is enough.