In our new house, I have a little room of my own. Well, technically it’s not “my own” – it doubles as a guest room. But since the guest bed is a hide-a-bed, I’ll just go ahead and call it my “office” so that I feel like a proper adult. I’ve always had a bit of a laugh when serious well-meaning folks ask me about my “writing space” as if it’s a magical area. Nope. I have done 99% of my writing at the kitchen table or a noisy coffee shop or the public library. But now I have my own little room at the bottom of the stairs in the basement: the carpet smells a bit musty, there’s a hearth for a wood stove that doesn’t work, and cedar paneling that has endured since 1983. I love it mostly because I’ve established a No Tinies Allowed Here rule.

The other night, I had to do a few final checks on my book manuscript and it was urgent. It has been a busy month with our move in particular, so busy that I hadn’t really properly written or worked for the entire time except as snatches during 30 minutes of Phineas and Ferb for the tinies, so that night after we had cleaned up the supper dishes, I passed the baby to Brian, he set up the Monopoly board with the tinies, and I went downstairs to get my work done. I turned on a bit of music, made a cup of tea, lit a candle, and entered into my work with my full attention for the first time in far too long.

I came up to nurse Maggie an hour later and tuck her into bed. Brian put everyone else to bed. He came down to check on me at our usual bedtime four hours after I had begun, and I turned to him as one resurfacing after a spectacular deep sea dive, my grin wide and my whole being excited. He laughed at my euphoria. I said, I’m just so happy to be working! I love my job! I love having a quiet spot all to myself!

I finished the manuscript checks, got organized for the next week or two, made some plans, outlined some articles, that sort of thing. Hardly any great creative work but it was the kind of work that lays the groundwork for creativity. When I set up the scaffolding, it’s easier to build, I find. I sent the final docs off to my publisher, shut down the computer, blew out the candle, and floated off to bed. I slept like a champ, nursed in the middle of the night with joy, woke up in the morning singing, all of my energy restored by the simple act of doing the work I love to do. I felt more alive, more engaged with my life, in every way.

Virginia Woolf identified a woman’s need for “a room of her own” for creative work, both figuratively and literally. I haven’t had a literal room before and so I’m deeply grateful for it now. But the big thing I realised at the end of that evening was how important it is to also create the figurative “room” in my life altogether, to create just a bit of the emotional and spiritual room necessary for living out my calling.

I’m happier when I’m doing what I love to do and what I’m called to do and what I enjoy doing. The truth is I’m a better person in every way when I’m doing the work I feel called to do.

Life takes over at times, we all get it. We need to shelve our dreams or our creative work for many good and important reasons or make it accommodate the rest of our lives and the schedules of everyone else for whom we bear responsibility. My work right now revolves around Maggie’s nap schedule and the tinies school schedules and the unpredictable tiring rhythms of a young family. It’s not perfect and sometimes it’s frustrating, for sure, but the priority is there for me in this season of life. (When I was still working full-time outside of the home, I would write blog posts on my lunch breaks because that was my only free time.)

But here is the thing that I believe: we need to do the work we were meant to do in order to be who we were meant to be. And what’s more, I believe that honours God.

We are whole beings. We aren’t living out of just one aspect of our humanity to the exclusion of all the others.

Sometimes I can think that pursuing my calling is selfish. I don’t know where I picked that up – perhaps it’s cultural conditioning, leftover bad theology, or something. On some sub-conscious level, I can feel guilty for taking time to create, for taking time to do the things I love to do, simply because I love to do them.

But the truth is that I start to falter without it. I become frustrated, tired, empty, if I’m not creating something, even if it’s just as simple as a few hundred words a day. I know this but I forget it sometimes. I skip creating in some grand self-sacrificial way but then everyone else ends up missing the best and most whole version of myself altogether. It isn’t until I sit down and do my work again that I return to the rest of my life – homemaking, raising children, community, church, school, marriage, all of it – as my most true self.

I’m better everything when I’m doing the work I was meant to do, however humble or unimportant that work is to anyone else.

That night of work downstairs reminded me of a quote from novelist A.S. Byatt that Elizabeth Gilbert shared on the first episode of her brilliant podcast, Magic Lessons.

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And on the flip side, I find that my whole life informs and enriches my work. The way I was raised informs my work. The ways I encounter and experience God informs my work. Falling in love with my husband all those years ago, the way our relationship has unfolded over the past sixteen years  informs my work. Becoming a mother and now the experience of raising my children informs my work. Ordinary life enriches my work. All the things I do and experience and live out inform my work. If I didn’t have all these other things, what in the world would I have to write about anyway?

I’m not sure, but I think this tendency might be more common for women. I think we struggle more with the perceived “selfishness” of living out our calling or vocation with abandon. So we feel guilty when there is no need for guilt, sometimes even adopting a martyr complex of all the things we are denying ourselves in service to our families.

In reality, God placed those gifts and callings inside of you for a purpose and it’s profane to stifle them in some misguided attempt at honouring God. If you want to honour God, come alive.

It’s entirely right and appropriate to bring your whole self to your whole life. I think God created us for an abundant life, filled with joy and meaningful work and service.  And I think it’s important for our children to see us working, to us loving our work (even the kind we do just for the fun of it, because it makes us feel alive).

I saw this in a friend recently. She is a gifted Bible teacher and she kept putting it off and putting it off because it was hard to figure out a way to make it work in her season of life as a mother to young children and a full-time job. But when she made space to engage in that aspect of her calling – teaching, leading, training others how to study and love the Bible – she came alive! It was incredible to see. She came home from the nights of teaching as if she were on an adrenalin high. The joy of it would carry into her whole week, affecting her family and all the rest of us. The work she did mattered, of course it did, and she changed lives with her work. But the act of doing the work itself was also life-changing for her and for the ones who loved her.

If teaching or preaching or writing or managing or leading or painting or film-making or delivering babies or studying astro-physics or whatever it is makes you feel more whole, then darling, do it all to the glory of God and you’ll see that the way it makes you come alive will stain your entire life with joy. 

The work is good and purposeful and necessary in and of itself, absolutely. I’m always flat amazed at the ways that my words, tapped away on this smudgy laptop wing into lives all around the world in ways I never would have expected. That’s worthwhile! But I also love the gift that the act of working gives to me. Isn’t that just like God? For even during the Fall, when we were “cursed” with work, we find goodness hiding there, too.

Because it’s never just about us. That true version of yourself – the one that needs the wholeness of creativity and work and service altogether – exists in a family and in a community and as part of God’s love letter to the world. When you are fully alive, as Ireneus famously said, it glorifies God. And when God is glorified, all of us are drawn to the light and life of that moment. 

It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be seamless and easy. It doesn’t have to come together without struggle. In fact, I can pretty much promise you that it’s going to be hard at times to create the room for your calling to be lived out. But it will be worth it. Because if it makes you feel alive, if it’s what God gifted and called and created you to do right along with everything else in your life, then we all need you to do it and also you need to do it.

 

 

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  • I struggled with a similar feeling, and I think it stems from internalizing the protestant/evangelical teachings about pride. We’re taught from a very young age that there is danger in pride and “the flesh.” These teachings are based in wisdom, but go to far and teach us to be wary of basic self-worth.

    It leads to a strange form of narcissism, self-obsession with checking on our self-obsession.

    I was made for something–there is work I can do well, that fulfills me, and that utilizes my particulate mix of gifts. Leaning into that work, and being grateful for the chance to do it is not pridefulness. It’s a response of gratitude toward the One who offered those gifts.

    • Great points, Mike! So insightful. Thank you for this!

    • You make an excellent point, Mike. A Pastor once requested I pray with him about his Pride. He commented, “I have hurt my church, my ministry and my family” and my reply was, “You have to like yourself and appreciate your accomplishments, FIRST, before any prayers will help”. I have observed people struggle with the difference between healthy self-esteem and unhealthy pride.

  • Sarah Scott

    This makes me even more excited to have my upstairs office space finished! I had thought about having a small box of special toys in there, but now I am leaning toward the “no tinies allowed” rule. I can’t wait to make space to engage my calling.

    • It *is* nice to have one room stay neat and tidy, I admit. 🙂

  • Laaur

    You have no idea how timely this post was for me. In fact, I’m going to have my husband print it out when he goes to work tomorrow so I can read it more thoroughly and save it. I just (literally just, like three hours ago) started a ‘grown up blog.’ Like, I am paying a (n admittedly small amount) of money to have my own domain name, no-really-I’m-an-adult, BLOG. Because I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it for six months. Because I want a place to write and share my love of poetry and baking. Because I need the skills for my slightly-crazy career aspirations (social media/psychology researcher…if I can make it happen). And it has taken me this long from first-had-the-idea to launch because I DO feel selfish, and sort of…silly and frivolous. Like, who am I to think anyone wants to read my thoughts? But this came at the perfect time and is so beautiful. Thank you. (And even though I feel 900 kinds of awkward doing this because of all of the above, I am going to share a link to my AHHH NEW blog here anyway. Erp. http://www.herownwoman.net)

    • No higher praise than printing a post out, Laaur! 🙂 And congrats on your new blog – I pray it enriches your life in every way.

  • Abby Buter

    Thank you for this Sarah! It had divine timing for where I’m at with life right now. I love anything that encourages people to spend time engaging in things that make them come alive and be more of who God created them to be. Thank you for your words and willingness to share them with us!

  • Helen Cottee

    I love this!!!! This is my mantra – especially for women in the church environment. It seems like loving the things in ourselves that we are good at – maybe even brilliant at – and bringing those things to the world is so negated. And I agree with you – I think this is what gives God most glory, I believe that when we are the full expression of the person God crafted us to be then he is honoured and excited!!!! Whoop for this Sarah Bessey!!!

    • You summed up in one paragraph what took me a whole post, Helen. 🙂

  • Nisha Varghese

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Sarah we need to be full of ourselves to give to others abundantly. Please never stop writing your words make a difference in my life.

  • Roland Legge

    Thank you Sarah! More women and men need to hear what you have to say. I am now in a time in my life where I am feeling called to make some major changes in my life. Up to now I was too afraid to do it. Now I am feeling more confident and feeling more excited about life. You are an inspiration! Thanks for continuing to share your story. Roland Legge

  • Adrienne

    Thank you for this cheerleading post! I love your words and the visual reminder: “When I set up the scaffolding, it’s easier to build, I find.”
    In this season of transition and houselessness, I don’t have the physical “room” to create, but have been taking intentional steps to create the space in my time and heart in order to create. I feel as if I’m coming into a space where I’m about to come alive and it feels amazing!

    • that is so exciting, Adrienne! I love your words and we need more! xo

  • Tiffany Baratta

    Thank you. Thank you. I cried my way through reading this…apparently it was what I needed to hear today.

  • Jemelene

    Sarah,
    I woke up this morning wondering why I even had a craft/sewing room. I don’t truly enjoy either of those and if I’m honest with myself it has always been more of a duty that needed to be fulfilled to validate my womanhood. That’s why that room sits piled with supplies and very little motivation.
    My words both spoken and written are my passion. For so long I have bought into the notion that if I wasn’t being paid for what I was doing then it wasn’t valuable. Well, let’s face it, no one has ever purchased one of my unfinished quilts and as far as my scrapbooks are concerned, they are a chore and my 23 years old is on 6 according to what I have finished.
    Your words are loaves and fishes Sarah. Sometimes you might think they are small but Jesus is using them to feed so many. What may feel selfish is really so very generous but that is so very you.

    • Ha! Good realization, Mama Jem! Crafting and sewing weren’t my bag either. And your words are valuable both to the world and to your daughters and to your own self (which is enough). xoxo

      • Jemelene

        I should add, I spoke to Russ this afternoon about turning my craft room into a writing room and he thought the idea was simply inspired. :-*

  • Kristen – Richards

    Sarah.. Thanks for that.. It is so very true..

  • Thanks for this Sarah, we all need to hear this – again, and again and again. Thanks.

  • Jane Halton

    Sarah! This is a beautiful walking (reading?) ad for the vocational discernment course I’m hosting in a few weeks! I can’t wait to share it with everyone! I’m thankful you get to do what you love because it blesses many.

    • Post the link here, Jane!

      • Jane Halton

        whoops, I put it down below but someone already asked about it (: The workshop/course is http://www.springboardcourse.ca and is on Sept 19 in Vancouver (and coming online in a few months!). We’d love to have some of your readers! Thanks, Sarah.

  • Becca

    Such a good word!

  • Now that both of my kids are in school and I am not with the 24/7 and have finally had time to write again, I have been feeling myself come alive again. It’s been far too long. I wrote 4 blog posts in 2 weeks after not writing for months. Summer was miserable and I will probably consider part-time day care next summer, somehow.

    • Yeah, I came to the same realisation, Kelly. That two day a week babysitter of mine is saving my life.

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  • Hip, hip, hooray! Three cheers for needing to pursue the passion/vocations God has planted in our hearts.

    • Off topic. But Esther, I have to tell you I listened to a podcast yesterday from homeschooled adults who were reminiscing snarkily about things their parents wouldn’t let them read and watch, like Harry Potter. Well, one of them said his mom wouldn’t let them say “hip, hip hooray” because that’s what the Romans said when Jesus was nailed to the cross. (!!) lololol

      • I imagine, if the Mother of that person saw his comment, she would feel validated. Right or wrong, he remembered the restriction. I recalled a lesson and told the teacher, what I remembered and the affect it had, some 35 years after her lesson. She remarked how she remembered wondering IF any of her efforts were influencing her students and if we would remember them.

        I still think of your book, Jesus Feminist, reread it and recommend it.

    • Whole Mamas, all day.

  • Jory Micah

    Thank you for this encouraging post dear Sarah! You really know how to hit the nail on the head! 🙂

  • Thank you. I really needed to read this. I struggle with this constantly.

  • Rebekah O’Dell

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for this.

  • Beth

    This is my constant struggle.

  • I needed to read this tonight! Heading to a fiction writer’s conference next week and leaving behind my five-month-old son with a freezer full of milk and a husband who’s never been alone with him for more than three hours. Grateful for a family who sacrifices along with me to pursue this dream! <3

  • A lot of truth here. And I think it’s important to note that not all work we are called to is a paying work…some are called to serve at their children’s schools or on the sports field as coaches–all volunteer positions. If you are passionate about it, if it fuels you, if gives you joy and excites you about the next day–it is a calling and valuable!

  • Brett FISH Anderson

    Thanks for this – i resonate so much, despite being a man-person but agree that for the most part this is likely to be a woman thing – our situation is a bit different from the norm i guess with my wife bringing in the money at the moment and me being freed to write and speak which are my gifts and pleasures – finally getting my book, ‘i, church’ self-published after way too many years and now having a Man Cave [her term] in our new place where i can hide and create and be… and also resonate with the feelings of ‘do i get to do this?’ even after a really successful God-filled camp speak with a bunch of youth on the weekend and a freelance article going live on a site, the questions still remain and a lot of what you said here speaks to that…

    Yay to having your own spot and to a spouse who really gets it and is in there with you, doing his bit to make sure you can do yours well. Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration…

    love brett fish

    https://brettfish.wordpress.com/my-book/

  • Thank you so much for this Sarah! I think I often allow the guilt to serve as an excuse for laziness too but this is definitely the kickstart and encouragement I was craving. I can’t wait to hear you speak in London in October!

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  • Jenny Agee Adams

    I probably have up to much of my creativity while I had preschoolers. I never felt whole until I had my time to create. I also have it up in college, when I first realized the importance of it. After I got married and switched colleges, I took drawing as a class for credit, and I an SO glad I did. Of course I do think the sacrifices of my creative self for the good of my children are also honoring God. There can’t be an unbalance—their needs can’t go unmet either. Thanks!

  • Beautiful–something I’m still rediscovering all the time, but so very true.

  • Liz

    Thank you so much for this, Sarah. I have a job I love where I get paid to write and create (how awesome is that?), but people above me haven’t been delegating much work down recently and I feel like the life has been sucked out of me. Then I beat myself up for being too obsessed with my work and not being able to find enough fulfillment with other things. But the truth is that my creative work is so much an expression of who I am – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m working on other creative outlets until this is resolved. But your post… so good and validating for my soul.

  • I swear sometimes I can -hear- your preaching through this computer screen. Words with this kind of energy all but shake with being pent up in two dimensions. Well said, Sarah!

    I think it is more common with women, but I think it’s most common in people with families, in the end. If I really think about it, the difference is in what words we say to talk ourselves out of keeping a space for ourselves. It seems I hear most often from women that they don’t have time – the kids need too much. Or it takes time from their children. That old joke about how mothers are those who see a pie with four pieces left for five people and declare they never did care for pie comes to mind.

  • I love this! Here’s to encouraging the next generation of women to pursue their calling without guilt.

  • Lindsy Wallace

    A to the men! It took me several years of married life and mothering to figure this out – that if I wasn’t investing in my true self, I couldn’t take care of my people well. It took a nine day trip to Southern California BY MYSELF (my first time ever away from my kids for more than one night!) for me to realize that I’m an actual person, a woman, with an identity other than wife and mom. I love being those things, but they are not all I am. Thanks for sharing this – it’s a wonderful reminder and encouragement!

  • Peter Brunone

    Great article. One nitpick: we were given work before the Fall, and it was good. The curse was a twisting of how we relate to work (much like the twisting of our relationships with others and with God).

    Other than that, a refreshing reminder to love God with everything we are.

  • Jane Halton

    If this piece resonated with you (it sure did with me), you might be interested in a vocational discernment (deep but practical) in Vancouver, BC on Sept 19th. People can learn more and sign up here http://www.springboardcourse.ca AND the most exciting part, for your readers, is that is will become an online course in a few months! Thanks for the encouragement to share my course, Sarah (:

  • Lauren Rea Preston

    Right now, everything you write speaks life to me. I am trying to work on my dissertation… all the way up 3/4 of the mountain, maybe more, and all I want to do is just quit, but I can’t. I’m just grasping for a life-line every little minute. Thanks for your work.

  • Yes, yes, yes, and amen! Thank you Sarah for your life-giving words.

  • Ruth

    Oh, thank you! This is perfect. And I’m grateful that the thing you love brings encouragement and life to so many others as well!

  • Claresa

    THIS IS EVERYTHING! You are speaking right to my soul. I still battle with the selfish feeling even though I know writing and creating makes me come alive, and makes me a better person.

    And I’m so glad you now have your space. I’m still working to create mine.

  • Oh, Sarah, such good stuff here. I always feel closest to God when I am creating. Our culture diminshes creativity in so many ways. Thank you for bringing us back to that sacred place.

  • Lael Arrington

    Sarah, I was amening all the way through, except for one thing…as I read Genesis 3…we weren’t “cursed with work.” We were cursed with work becoming toilsome labor. Which perhaps is what you meant? The joy of work that you describe here must be exactly what work was before the fall. When we find that wholeness and flow to our work I’m thinking we’re recovering our Eden-like occupation. Thanks for a very encouraging post from a fellow writer who totally gets the thrill of a blank screen and time to fill it.

    • Erica

      I caught that too…. Only because it was our sermon this past Sunday. God gave Adam the Garden to work and care for.

  • Sarah Sanderson

    Last week I had one hour to sit at the dining room table and edit my “I wish this could become a book” which was the first hour I’d had in months after a hard summer of moving with four children, and after that one hour, as I was driving to pick up my youngest from preschool, I thought, “I feel HAPPY!” It had not happened in a while. Thank you for naming this for all of us.

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  • Amanda

    Yes! We, as women (and men) are called to be who God has called us to be and that is certainly multi-faceted. We are not just mothers, fathers, entrepreneurs, cleaning ladies, dish washers, diaper changers, car washers, lawn keepers, book readers…we are people with many talents. When we allow God to work through our talents, He is glorified! To be filled as you state, by your space and time alone, in turn makes you a happier, more joyful mama and spouse. Good for you! And kudos for having the courage to speak. btw, your husband deserves a shout out as well =) Parenting with a spouse willing to help the other seek his/her personal/spiritual goals is a tremendous blessing.

  • Marilyn Gardner

    This is just so good. The piece made me think of Eric Liddell’s quote “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel his pleasure.” Thank you.

  • I’ve always been the study-er and writer, but over the years of being in ministry together, it was my husband who had a ‘study’, although he mainly used it when preparing a message… while I studied and wrote in the lounge room … about ten years ago that changed and I got my own study… and he had his… now I have my own study and he has the garage… which he loves. It’s amazing how social/religious pressures put you in a box you don’t belong in, regardless of gender.

    Just recently we were showing people around our house and Rick said ‘and this is Bev’s study’ and the lady said ‘Your study?’ with shock… Some things never change.

  • pastordt

    AMEN, amen, amen. Beautifully said – thanks so much.

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  • Lindsay Katherine

    My friend referred this post to me, as we were discussing how I feel about teaching part-time as a new mom. I nodded along with each sentence I read! Looking forward to reading your blog.

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  • Erin Boyd Odom

    I love this so much (and I really needed to read it)! Thank you!

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  • jkk

    I’ve been thinking about this for a week now and hope I can write out my thoughts with some measure of clarity. I do strongly believe that we are individually and specifically given passions and gifts and talents by God. And I strongly believe that we should consider who we are as the humans that God designed us to be. And I even believe that we should be looking for ways to cultivate those passions and talents. But. Our “calling” is not always (or even usually) that *thing* that makes us feel “happiest”. Our calling is the place where God has put us in this time, and often that looks pretty mundane. The office manager. The pizza delivery guy. The student. The mother. It is in those every day spaces that God asks us to glorify Him. IN my own life and in the lives of faithful friends and everyday men and women of the BIble, I see God transforming lives through trial and faithfulness in hardship and seeking to humble ourselves in order to serve. I see God transforming lives in times when His people lay down their own lives for the good of those around them. I see God transforming lives and making His people whole during times of deep sacrifice and service. Rarely do I ever see God glorified when people turn away from their less satisfying roles and towards the roles that bring them “happiness”.
    In reading through the comments I see women declaring that they are more than diapers and dishes and meal planning, and cheering for the freedom to leave their nursing babies to pursue their dreams, and declaring that we need to be ‘filled with ourselves” in order to love others. And my spirit cries, ” No!” Jesus was GOD, and yet, he humbled himself and became man. He actually could have considered himself “more than”, but He didn’t. He became less. SO MUCH less. He condescended in order to serve. He didn’t seek what fulfilled HIm, but rather what fulfilled His Father’s plan.
    Is there space for cultivating those things and we enjoy and are good at? Of course. Is it good and right to look for space in our crammed lives to recharge? Absolutely! Jesus did that too (Mark 6). But turning our families away in order to do what makes us “happy” will never ultimately satisfy our souls. Our souls can only be satisfied when we are filled with Him. I hear so many young women searching desperately for that *thing* that will make them feel like they’re contributing, when really, maybe raising that baby to love the Lord with all of her heart and to love her neighbor as herself might be worth far more to the world than another book written.
    And this isn’t a call just to women! My husband has displayed this willingness to put his biggest dreams on hold until a better season comes along. He would love to pursue a Masters Degree and teach at the college level. That doesn’t work with our family goals right now. He would be awesome at coaching a high school cross country team and that would be very satisfying to him, but right now he’s content to play catch in the yard with our own little boys. He was offered a position as a division president in his company, but it would have required a move and he’s decided that staying here to care for his aging parents is the right choice. All of those things are specific gifts and passions that the Lord has given my husband, and anyone would understand if he chose to pursue them. None of those choices that he has decided to make instead are fancy or glamorous. Every one of them puts the needs of someone else above his own “happiness”. I hope and pray that the day will come when he is free to pursue one or more of those dreams and I will be so proud of him when he does. But I’m more proud that he sees the value and wisdom and virtue that comes with being faithful to the mundane, but oh-so-huge calling of husband and father and son.

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  • Beautiful and timely post Sarah, thank you 🙂 I think moms feel this way even when their children grow older too. Mine are 20, 18, and 14, and I still struggle with feelings of guilt. This is very encouraging for moms in all seasons 🙂

  • Ava @ My Meena Life

    This post is so encouraging. I can see the cause and effect relationship in my own life when I find time to work and be creative, and then I find everything else to be more rewarding afterwards. Thank you for putting this truth into such clear, inspirational terms. Also I totally love the phrase “tinies”, I may have to use that in the future!

  • Brennerz

    Well, dammit. I read this whole post feeling this pull in my chest, so strong I even had to pause in the middle and breathe and think. I saw the word “calling” and I thought of my hopes to someday be a midwife. Then you talked about writing and creativity, and I thought, phew, this isn’t for me, I’m fine.

    Then, then- I arrived at the fourth-to-last paragraph where you stuck in “delivering babies” with all these other creative pursuits when it could have easily been plunging toilets or programming computers, and it hit me, again. This midwife thing is my calling. I can’t outrun it. It’s been in front of me my whole life and it took me a while to realize, but when I did I ran full speed ahead. Then the money ran out and depression ran me over like a train and I was kicked out of school and spent a month in my room watching too much TV and applying to any job I could find and eating ice cream from the carton.

    I found a job as a nanny and have been working full-time for eight months, and it’s going so well I began to think maybe I don’t need to go back to school, maybe I’ll just be Mary Poppins, the world doesn’t need another midwife. And then your blog post about Joe’s birth fell into my Facebook feed, and I read it and my mind was filled with images from some traumatic births I attended, and I clicked the link to this post, about callings, midwifery on my mind. I hoped this post would get my mind off it. Grace had other plans.

    For every time I tell myself I don’t need to resume my studies, don’t need to keep my certifications current, that I should just let the dream die, reminders like this spring up in my face so bold I can’t ignore them. God must know I need such big, obvious reminders. This is very long, but I wanted to thank you for writing this, and allowing yourself to be an instrument in Jesus’ hands.
    love,
    A 23-year old on a winding path towards midwifery.

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