September 29, 2009


i have recently found myself saying to people "In the past 8 months I feel like I have done nothing with my life".  An overstatement, yes; but in comparison to the past 3 years, it's easy to understand why I might say something like this.  Since having a baby, I have been no where.  I have done nothing.  (or at least it feels that way).  Prior to becoming knocked up my insatiable wanderlust has taken me all over the world from Costa Rica to Cologne to Jerusalem to L.A. to New York City to Tel Aviv to Tuscany, Chicago, Regensburg, Puerto Rico and yes, even Paris.  Perhaps I just have a really bad case of wanderlust....or perhaps the Lord is trying to teach me something.  It has been 8 months and I feel stuck.

A few weeks ago a friend and I were talking and she brought up feeling "stuck" as well.  She said she always hears that song by U2 in her head "You got stuck in a moment and you can't get out of it".  I hear it too, playing over and over again in the unconscious parts of my mind, but somehow I know; I have to believe I can "get out of it", even if I'm not traveling somewhere exotic.  There's just this part of me that never planned on being a stay-at-home-mom, and I am struggling everyday to not only keep my sanity, but also keep myself from falling into the quicksand death trap of feeling sorry for myself.  

I've never been the type of woman who feels whole or complete staying at home, cooking, cleaning, organizing, baking and raising children.  There are many women who do feel a full satisfaction from spending their life doing these things, and I seriously applaud you.  Being a home-maker is a beautiful thing, I am just having a very difficult time adjusting to this being my full-time and ONLY role.  It only feels like half of my life is being lived right now.  Like I'm not living to my -nth degree.  But when I do have an hour of time to myself when Noah is napping, I am so exhausted that I just drink hot tea, curl up on the couch with a blanket and read a mindless book.  By the time 6:00 rolls around I stand back and assess my day, and always come up empty-handed.  What did I even DO today?  Everyday has become the same routine, the same scary, monotonous routine: dishes, laundry, groceries, change diapers, go for a walk, drink a ridiculous amount of coffee, feed my boy, check facebook, send some emails and make dinner.  Did I really sign up for this?  How do so many women make this their life?  

Enter Holy Spirit.  

Yesterday I woke up, fed the little prince, played with him, then put him down for his morning nap.  As I sat on the couch and began writing my "To Do" list for the week, I shuddered at my complete lack of motivation to do ANYTHING.  I was totally content to just drink coffee all day, (or even all week) in my pajamas and leave the growing mound of dishes in the sink, the rancid trash over-flowing, the baskets of laundry stinking and everything else in my life unkempt....and stinking.  As I lay lifeless on the couch, digging for purpose and vision I found a tiny bit of determination somewhere under a couch cushion to at least start on the dishes.  Slumped over the sink I began scrubbing and cussing a little.  It was in that moment I heard the H.S.  

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..."  

Oh boy.  It repeated over and over in my mind through every dish and every diaper and every grocery that day.  Each time I heard it my saddened heart became softer, sweeter and more forgiving of my own disgusting selfishness.  By the end of the day I came to the conclusion that seasons are seasons and I won't be in this one forever (please God).  I won't be "stuck in a moment and can't get out of it".  I already am out of it.  I realize I must stop focusing on myself and what I think I'm supposed to be doing with my life right now.  I am Mom.  I am needed here.  I have work to do - however tedious, absolutely mind-numbing and utterly annoying it can be.  My conviction is clear: to do whatever I do in the name of the Lord Jesus.  I should be giving thanks as I do it.  Working with ALL my heart, as if I was scrubbing these dishes for Jesus himself and changing my son's stinky bottom so Jesus can hold him without passing out.  I won't be in this place for the rest of my life (please God), but I am learning and growing and being taught patience among many other things.  Thank you H.S. - you never fail me.


Tracey Stein said...

Jessie, I was feeling this exact same way about a year ago with staying home with Bella. It's almost like you were saying the exact words that I had spoken then...I prayed for joy in everything I do and the Holy Spirit met me when I was doing laundry, and dishes and changing those awful dirty diapers. Anyway I just wanted to encourage you. I am now 2.5 years in and going back into the work force very soon. We are pursuing our music and life is back in an every changing pattern (which I love!) I hope that this encourages you! Love you and let's get together soon!!

Faith said...

yes, yes, and yes.

I don't have any babies yet, but I have these moments when I am like, "Is this it?"

Milovy said...

This is so beautiful Jessie and my heart agrees with you!

Anonymous said...

that was a good read , Jesse,
SArah LYnn

hannah jane said...

yes this is good!
it took me a while to be content with this new life. but i think i'm finally to the place where i can whole-heartedly say (and believe) that my #1 goal in life is to be the best Mama I can possibly be to my kids.
the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world! wahoo!!!