There are a lot of other posts I’ve got on my list to write. Events and happenings, milestones and memories prior to today that will make their way to the blog eventually, but right now my heart is needing to write this post. Maybe there is someone needing to read it, maybe it’s just asking to be shared, or maybe I just need to write it out to organize it in my own heart and head.
Yesterday the guest preacher spoke about declaring God and all of the positive greatness he is in our lives instead of focusing on the negatives. Being honest I didn’t really understand how you are supposed to do that until the very end of his message, when he declared, in a very powerful and impactful way to me for some reason, all of the things we are in Christ. In one of his strongly emotional declarations he said, “God chose me, and appointed me so that I might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.”
Some of you that are new here may not know, but once upon a time I was the breadwinner for our family. Will was in law school and I worked. I did not like my job, but like many others I found my identity in the work I did. I have always liked to work. I like to have a purpose and achieve a sense of accomplishment, and to feel like I am contributing to our family’s financial welfare. And although welcomed and wanted, when we started with the military and I took a break from working for a while, I struggled with not having that purpose. So much so I eventually found other jobs.
Then when we moved to Turkey and had our first daughter, my new job became, Mother. I love being a mother. I love having the ability to be home with our girls. But for some reason, that sense of purpose and accomplishment didn’t follow suit in my new position.
Since moving back home and having our second daughter I’ve found myself jumping from one thing to another, photography, oils, a secret business that I still hope to bring to life one day so I won’t share for now, property management, and the list goes on. I wanted so badly to have something outside of motherhood.I wanted to be productive. I wanted to bear fruit from the talents I know I have and want so badly to put to use.
Having two small children doesn’t allow much time or energy for much outside of caring for them. And as I stretched myself way too thin I couldn’t help but feel like I was failing. My children, my husband, myself. Everything I tried slowly fell to the wayside because ultimately my girls are my first priority.
Even knowing this, it wasn’t until I heard the preacher’s declaration that I realized, I’ve already borne fruit. I am bearing fruit every day as I take care of my children and my husband. Sure I have talents outside of being a mother, many of which I plan to employ once this beautiful time of being needed to nurture and raise my children has passed, but I also have the talent of being a mother to these beautiful angels God has placed in my care.
This may all seem like common sense, and nothing groundbreaking to hear, but for some reason it allowed me to look at my role a bit differently.
My fruit may not be monetary. It may not be a big project that creates a huge impact. It may not be a product that will change lives. But it’s still valuable. It’s the smiles on my girls’ faces. It’s the home I’ve painstakingly curated and worked on. It’s the home cooked food in my family’s bellies each night. It’s the kindness I see in my daughter towards others. It’s the support I give to my husband as he works tirelessly in his professional career.
It’s easy to forget that God doesn’t just give us skills and talents to use to earn a living, he also gives us abilities to create a life that he wants for us. And sometimes he makes this clear only after we’ve been humbled in finding that understanding. After we’ve finally been able to see that he is present in all of it.
These years out of the workforce haven’t been in vain. They haven’t been unproductive. If anything they have produced two little miracles. Miracles – fruit, that will last.
For the first time I feel like the work I’m doing as a mother is enough. That I am doing my part. I know that’s sad to say, but it’s just a personal struggle I’ve had for a while. It’s a relief on my heart that I’ve needed, and if you are struggling with the same I hope those words give you the same respite from the constant yearning and guilt to do more somehow.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”