Does anyone ever feel like they are called to something greater?
First, I am in no way saying that being a mother isn’t the greatest. It is a wonderful gift and perhaps the most important job in the world.
But sometimes, as a mom, you get bogged down in all of the poo and boogers and start to fixate and worry about really silly stuff and miss the “something greater.”
As we left church recently and began to load up the van, my husband mentioned that it looked like someone had keyed the side of our van. I ran over to his side and sure enough, there was a long line across the side. I was fuming! In the church parking lot, really!? As I investigated further, I nearly broke out into hives as I noticed not only one long line, but an almost artful crazy keying of the entire side and front of our van. Circles, squiggles, lines….on the door, by the handles, on the hood…it was all over! I was so angry at the thought that someone would ruin someone else’s property so deliberately, but I also felt kind of creeped out, because I felt like we were targeted. Was this vandalism personal? Was someone watching and laughing from the bushes at my obvious anger?
When we got home, I jumped out to evaluate the destruction further, spouting things like, “You just can’t keep anything nice these days!” and “What is wrong with people; who would do this?!” Then using my best detective skills, I suddenly noticed that all of the lines were mysteriously only at a height where my toddlers could reach. The memory of the little airplanes with wheels I bought them last week slammed into my head with mocking laughter. “Mahahaha, silly woman, it was your own kids that art-worked your van when they used it as a landing strip for their airplanes, not some scary stranger.”
Well, I was still really ticked off, but much less so when I had identified the alleged little vandals. I thought, “Ugh, now I not only have to drive a minivan, but I have to drive a keyed-up ghetto cruiser!” I was brought up to respect your property, keep it up and in good shape, so this was hard for me to swallow. I know dad, you are probably sweating just thinking about this, but maybe you can help me buff out the scratches!
Scratches in a van, annoying for sure, but still so very arbitrary.
My brother-in-law has been in the hospital for weeks; my super star mother-in-law and her team of helpers have been with him every second. I’m sure she is just beat. I just learned that a dear friend has been suffering from major depression for months. How did we not know? A friend from my mom’s group just asked for prayers for a mother of four who was diagnosed with a stage four rare skin cancer. She has four children!
I’m sure you could come up with your own list similar to the above.
In the midst of all that dark, heavy, sadness, here we are, spending precious time being annoyed at something someone posted on Facebook, stressed about the toddler meltdown that happened at the grocery store, anxious about the future or finances, tired because the kids aren’t sleeping well, crabby because we don’t get enough date nights, and just complaining and worried all the time about silly things. Silly, joy draining things.
If Facebook annoys you, take a break and be thankful you even have a computer and fingers to type with.
If your toddler has a crazy meltdown, take a deep breath, feel solitude in the fact that thousands of moms around the world experienced a similar tantrum today and send up a prayer of thanks that you have been blessed with children.
If you are anxious about the future or finances, do whatever you can to set yourself up for success and spend the rest of your time on your knees asking for guidance and strength. Thank God you are healthy and even have a future to care about.
If you are tired because the kids aren’t sleeping well, again, know you aren’t alone and remember those little ones won’t fit in your cuddle spot for long. Hold them tighter, even if it’s 3am and the third time that night you’ve come to their rescue.
If you are crabby because you haven’t had a date night, schedule one, even if it is cuddling on the coach when the kids go to bed. Be thankful you have a significant other to miss and to love.
If you are a worrier or complainer (aren’t we all sometimes), let it go. Quit allowing anxiety to steal your joy, your life, your something greater.
Life is hard. Being a parent is hard. The little snags and stresses we experience are real. But there are things that are harder and more stressful than the little stuff we blow up into fake big stuff.
Maybe the feeling we feel sometimes – the feeling that we are called to do something greater – will push us to change the world in significant ways! Or maybe this call to something greater is really just a call to be a “greater” mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend (dad, hubby, brother, son, grandparent, etc.) wherever life finds us right now.
We can be greater if we stop focusing on our arbitrary problems, live lives full of gratitude and instead reach out to the people in our lives that are suffering from the real stuff.
If we all did this, it would change the world in significant ways too.
This is not a 30 day challenge; it is an every second of our lives challenge!
Fight first world problems with gratitude!