Choose Your Own Adventure
Today, I introduce to you my first guest writer! Colleen Stout, over at Mommiedaze.com, has a humorous yet realistic outlook on life. She graciously helped me start this blog a few months ago. While we are on our own unique adventures, there are two things I admire about Colleen. 1) She survived childhood as an only child. Gives me hope for our own only! 2) She doesn't feel the need to fill a room with a bunch of words. She is a great listener and a good conversationalist. But talking just for the sake of talking isn't her deal. A valuable lesson I try to learn! Thanks Colleen for stopping by today.
A few years ago I felt stuck. Friends of mine were working glamorous jobs, building dream houses and even moving overseas. Meanwhile I was living in a rented house, changing my one year-old’s dirty diapers and warming up chicken nuggets in the microwave for my five year-old.
I made myself miserable with envy and discontentment. I even had anxiety attacks, episodes where I couldn’t breathe, because the weight of my selfish longings literally suffocated me.
I cried out to God, but it was always to whine and ask for things I didn’t have.
"When is it going to be my turn God? When do I get the fancy house? Why can’t you give my husband a six figure salary? Why can’t I have an exciting full-time ministry job like her?"
Then one day the alumni magazine from my college came in the mail. The feature story was about a former classmate who started a jewelry business that rescues women in foreign countries from prostitution and slavery. Reading that story my life seemed so mundane, so insignificant, so uneventful. All my feelings of unhappiness and discontentment came crashing in on me. I crumpled to the floor and dissolved into tears.
"God,” I pleaded. “I just want an adventure. I’m so tired of the same-old-same-old. I’m willing to go. Send me on an adventure.”
I laid there on my kitchen floor sobbing while the baby slept and my older son watched cartoons. Then God reached down through all my selfishness and self-centered thoughts and said gently,
"Don’t you see? This is your adventure."
My perspective changed that day. I remembered I was the stay-at-home mom of two children because I wanted to be. I’d quit my job and forsook some of the material possessions my more gainfully employed friends had for the privilege of spending every day with my kids. The thing I despised was my dream just a few years before.
The dictionary defines adventure as an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Yes, God most definitely sent me on an adventure when I became a mother. Women working as full-time homemakers are unusual these days. Society often questions the value of such a choice.
Parenting is exciting. Especially when you discover your seven year-old helped your three year-old climb ten feet high in a tree.
Motherhood is hazardous. I almost burned the house down recently when I placed a pot holder down on an open flame on the stove, because I was distracted by the argument my children were having in the other room.
If you use the word adventure as a verb it means to explore unknown territory. That’s certainly true, because most days I have no idea what I’m doing.
I would add that adventures are learning experiences and rich with rewards. Motherhood taught me much about humility, unconditional love and perseverance. Lessons that make me a better person.
I don’t feel envious and discontented anymore when I hear about friends’ triumphs and successes. I’m happy for them, and I’m happy for myself because I am living my dream. And who knows what tomorrow will bring. Maybe I’ll have to rescue someone from a tree.