Something in my heart is just bursting at the seams as I think about this more and more...
Who or what qualifies me to do any of the things that I do? Am I "qualified" to be a mommy? I don't have a degree in motherhood, and to be honest, when I was pregnant with Drew and had no idea what was coming. I thought my days of being a mother would consist of picking out cute outfits to dress my baby in before heading out the door to take him around with me, or holding him on my chest while I watched tv, and maybe changing a few diapers. I had no idea that babies eat every 2-3 hrs, sometimes for an hour at a time, or that diapers can explode, yes, EXPLODE, or that getting out the door to go anywhere is a mini miracle in and of itself sometimes. I didn't know just how sleepless the nights could be. I didn't know that I probably wouldn't have time for tv anymore. I didn't know that picking out cute outfits for my little darling was going to be limited by first getting the mountains of laundry of baby clothes that had been spit up on/pooped on/peed on done first.
So what is it about motherhood that I find so fulfilling, appealing, amazing, beautiful, and how can I say that it is better than I ever anticipated? It is by the grace of God, and the fact that he called me to be a mommy. How do I know that? Well, the short answer is simply that I have babies. I guess God sees me as qualified. He has put people and circumstances in my life that have become incredible role models to me. There are three people in particular who have inspired me. The common thread of inspiration in all three? They view their life with kids as an adventure. Life is not suddenly limited when you have babies, rather a whole new world of opportunity has been opened up. I'm not saying it can't be stressful sometimes. But if I get an invitation to do something, and I choose to walk out the door with my babies to go and do it, and if I have zero expectation for how the whole thing is going to go, I can make the most of it and probably find something to laugh about no matter how it turns out. And hey, even if it goes terribly wrong, at least I tried. I'm not saying I just say yes to everything, I gotta know my limits, because if I just try to do it all I will end up an exhausted, no-fun, de-energized mom that nobody wants to be around. But I'm all for living an adventurous life with my kids.
What about photography? Sometimes I feel.... pretty un-qualified to say the least. I have never taken a photography class, I don't know all the terminology or even all the functions of my camera, but I am reading my manual and experimenting, and trying... But I definitely don't see myself as a "professional." So what was God thinking when he started opening up doors for me to pursue photography, something that I love, but know next to nothing about? I guess He saw potential in me somewhere. I love art, I love composition, I love coming up with poses/props/settings etc. And I am willing to study my manual to figure out how to create the photo I envision in my head. It's pretty crazy that God sees potential in us, speaks to that, calls it out of us, and launches us into things we feel completely un-prepared for sometimes.
And being a house-wife?? Um, hello, I hate to clean. Or at least, I used to hate to clean. I can't even believe as I'm typing that that it could possibly be past tense. I, um, I think I might, um.... (whispering voice) I like to clean. Yeah that's definitely a miracle right there. And I never cooked a thing besides grilled cheese my whole life growing up. Ok, maybe I tried to make eggs somewhere in my childhood too. But that's seriously about it. And I LOVE to cook now! It makes me so happy to make a menu, and a grocery list, and have a plan and see the looks on my boys faces when dinner is ready... And I love to take dinners to new moms, or bring dishes to church fellowship meals. How did God so completely change my heart and turn things that seemed boring into things that make me come alive?
I guess my answer is this: It is not people, education, or degrees that qualify us to fulfill our God given roles in life. It is God himself, and a heart willing to be molded.
(If God is calling you to be a doctor, by all means, go get your degree, and He'll give you the grace to get through all that schooling... I'm not knocking degrees at all here.)
I am simply saying that I can't find my identity in what man says I am qualified to do. I must find my identity in what God says I can do.