Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

7.13.2010

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?


I live in a world where everybody has a mother, and yet it seems as though anybody who is somebody with a choice has no desire to be a mother. Some girls, perhaps, are born with a natural aversion to the role, but most girls grow into their loathing, pressured by outside influences and a world screaming into their ears, saying that motherhood is petty and trifling.

I was almost that girl.

Before I hit my teens, I had no other desire than to grow up and be a mommy—just like my mommy! But with age comes self-awareness, and I suddenly began to realize that when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, “Mommy” was not an acceptable answer.

“Oh, of course, honey,” they would say, “but what do you really want to be—besides that?”

There had to be a besides that? I contemplated the conundrum for awhile, and finally concluded that I would pick something else I loved in addition to motherhood. So for the next several years, my pat answer was, “A beautician.” If I felt especially brave, mommyhood might get tacked on…or it might not. It all really depended on who I was talking to and how I thought they would perceive my ambitions. I went through this so much, that I really began to believe that motherhood just might be last on my priority list. I would do everything else that needed doing in the world, and settle down in my middle age, perhaps to have 1 or 2.5 children.

However, God showed my family and I verses such as Psalms 128:1, 2: “Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.” Isn’t happiness the ultimate search of so many people, as they flit from one thing to another like bees on a quest for nectar? As my parents and I talked, I knew what God’s way was for me, and although a beautician is a respectable job by all means, it was not to be a part of my life. The moment I realized that God’s way for me was to be a Proverbs 31 woman (“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies….She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised [Proverbs 31:10, 27-30].”), was the moment I became free. The moment I submitted myself to God’s expectation for my life and threw away the world’s expectations was the moment I gained purpose for my life. And the moment I embraced motherhood as the greatest calling in the world for a woman, was the moment I truly became happy.

Now, when someone asks me what I’m doing and what I plan to do (apparently some people are under the false impression that I’m all grown up, because I don’t get the “what-will-you-do-when-you-grow-up” question like I used to), I might give them a taste of my current life—teaching music, playing music, distance Bible college, and family. But I always suck in my stomach just a little and proudly give them a taste of my future life—a wife and mother.

My life right now is in preparation for my life to come. My life right now is not some sort of purgatory or waiting period for a gloriousness to come, though—it is full, purposeful, and happy. I have no desire to leave home and go off to school for four years and tens of thousands of dollars, because I know that I will come out with not one more scrap of training towards my profession of choice. So I remain at home—learning far more in mind, body, and soul than I ever could at some university—and training for the life God has shown for me.

“[Margaret] had met brilliant women, rich women, courted women—but where among them was one whose face had ever shone as her mother’s shone today? The overdressed, idle dowagers; the matrons with their too-gay frocks, their too-full days, their too-rich food; the girls, all crudeness, artifice, all scheming openly for their own advantage—where among them all was happiness?...And suddenly theories and speculation ended, and she knew. She knew that faithful, self-forgetting service and the love that spends itself over and over, only to be renewed again and again, are the secret to happiness. For another world, perhaps leisure and beauty and luxury—but in this one, ‘whosoever loses his life shall gain it.’ Margaret knew now that her mother was not only the truest, the finest, the most generous woman she had ever known, but the happiest as well.”



Picture Credit

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Quotation taken from: Norris, Kathleen. Mother. Vision Forum, San Antonio, 2006.

18 comments:

  1. Very poignant! Where I come from, it's the other way round -women are scorned if they dream of having a career. It's great to see that you're committed and focused towards what you want in life.

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  2. wow, that's really weird, I just posted something about life, decisions, choices and whether someone is really happy with the life they have. You're so young, so you're looking forward to the life you will have, under God's guidance; I'm older, so I am looking backward, to the life I've had so far under God's guidance. It would be interesting to know what you'll think about your choices in a few years. Sometimes God's voice seems so clear, until it gets crowded out by the noise of daily life. Nevertheless, I believe that God's hand is much more powerful than anything life can throw at us. Following Him, will be the wisest thing you can do, no matter which 'profession' you choose.

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  3. This is an amazing post! I felt like I was reading my very own thoughts!

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  4. I was a teenage mother, I gave birth to my son when I was 16. My son is now 9. I was certainly raised with the notion that I would go to college, never questioned it and I now have my master's and my profession as a social worker. I do know that motherhood does not get the hoots and hollars other professions might. But I am a mother first and always will be. So as a young mom, a working mom I do find comfort in the fact that the wife of noble character worked outside the home as well and made a profit for her family. (Proverbs 31:16-18, 24) How amazing it is that you have found confidence in your choice to be a... Mom! Praise God for his work in your life Mikaela!

    He brought us out to bring us in. Deuteronomy 6:23
    ~jimmie lee
    www.everythingbeautiful-jimmielee.blogspot.com

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  5. Hmmm.... Food for thought :) I have never felt "called" to be a SAHM (stay at home mom), in fact I don't even know if I really want kids (that sounds terrible I know) but I think I will be happy whenever I end up. I don't have an AVERSION to being a SAHM, just that right now I don't think that's where I'm going to be. But it's all wait and see :)

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  6. MK--part of the beauty of being a mother is the voluntary choice behind it, isn't it!
    Alessandra--I just read your post, and it does parallel mine--looking down, instead of up. ;) I am thrilled to follow God each and every day, because I know He'll never lead me astray. By the way--your name is beatuiful!

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  7. Lisa Mae--aww, thanks!
    Jimmie Lee--what an amazing, brave woman and mother you must be!
    BK--Aah yes, I remember you mentioning your hesitations last time I wrote on motherhood (can you tell it's a passion of mine? ;-). I can only ask that you seek God on this subject with an open heart and mind. Although I do not mean to presume that God will lead every woman on the path He is leading me in, I do see from Scripture that God pronounces marriage and motherhood to be a normative and blessed state. So even if you remain single and childless (which God can use mightily and bless greatly), I hope that you will learn to see the blessedness and courageousness of the mothers and wives around you. It's all in the perspective. ;-)

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  8. I loved reading your post. I also want to be a mother when the Lord calls me to that. I live around so many children, and their bright faces always make me happy. That is so funny that you post on this- because just the other day I was holding a friends baby and someone came up to me and told me I looked like a natural and that they could see 6 or 7 in my future- I told them- your right, and maybe more! Also, I am in a family of eight children, and have a twin sister (we are 19)- I don't see how I could ever live in a small family after living with my brothers and sisters:)

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  9. Thank you for posting this. I whole heartedly agree with what you wrote. I believe there is no higher calling for a women than to be a wife and mother. This is the vocation that God intended for us. I have grown up in a large family and in a church where motherhood is highly regarded and honored. Thank you Lord he gave me parents that did not pressure me into going to college and "being somebody" but taught me that being a daughter, wife or mother and being content in what God has called me is the best place any of us can be. I also have a twin sister (she posted right before me) and we love to work with my mom and each other and learning from all the moms in our church and growing in what it means to be the Proverbs 31 women. Again, thank you for this post - BTW here is a link to a blog that a mom in our church does. I thought you might like- www.leahhome.blogspot.com

    Thank you, Veronica

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  10. Victoria--Isn't that just the sweetest compliment when someone says such a thing to you? I just visited your website--how adorable! I hope we get to meet sometime, because two sets of 19 year old twins living just a few hours apart with the exact same visions...makes me wonder how we haven't met yet!

    Veronica--The support system you talk about is crucial for young ladies desiring to be wives and mothers, and I'm glad you brought that up. The fact that my family has learned right alongside of me and come to the same conclusion with me has been such an incredible and freeing gift from God. I will check out the blog you mentioned. God bless you!

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  11. Mikaela,

    Thanks for your reply. That would be incredible if we could meet sometime. And yes, that was a nice compliment! Thanks for your compliments on our website. BTW- we also play and sing music, we grew up with music. I love Bach pieces. We have learned so many of his chorals, as a school choir-

    Thanks again for all your encouragement in your blog!
    Victoria

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  12. I must admit after years of pursuing independance and running from anything close to becoming a mother I have one year left of my degree and am only now feeling at peace with the thought of becoming a mother and never fullfilling my "dream" to pursure a career in my choice of study. It is true, motherhood/wifehood (?) is a WONDERFUL and blessed thing to become, however I do not feel it is wrong to pursue training or courses in your interests while you are young and single, these are also opportunities to serve and glorify God while you're "waiting". :)Just a thought!

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  13. Victoria--how neat that you love music, too! Bach is simply the very best. He is the archetype of music, in my opinion. ;-)

    Beaner--I am so glad that you have been able to open your heart, mind, and life to the possibilities of motherhood and wifehood (if it's not a word, it should be! ;-). The interesting thing about our culture today, is that we take the idea that "it is not wrong to pursue training or courses in your interests while you are young and single to serve and glorify God" to an extreme. I certainly agree with that statement--I myself am getting a degree, furthering my musical education, and running a home business teaching music to others. However, through all of that, I recognize the importance of training for the calling God has placed on my heart, so that I don't wake up as a wife and mother someday wondering "what now?!" So, while I agree with your statement, most people pursue their interests to the neglect of the preparation, and that is why you might notice such an emphasis on the preparation in this and other articles. Thanks so much for the thought-provoking and thoughtful comment!

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  14. Mikaela, I love this piece. There was a moment that God had with me a few years ago that's similar to the one you're talking about--a moment when I realized that I don't have to have a career. I can "just" be a wife and a mom, and those roles are more important than possibly any other role I could have in this lifetime! I realized this soon after getting married. We don't have children yet, but I am constantly being reminded by the Lord that this time before kids is good for me. It's good for me to simply be married and listen to God each day. Love love love this post.

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  15. It's nice when we have what we love
    and can show to everyone who intends
    the same...

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  16. I have been reading your blog for weeks now & have been looking for an opportunity to comment & "introduce myself". :) This seemed like the right post. This subject is controversial in our modern society and I would like to thank you for your boldness in professing your beliefs & confidence in God's design for women. As Lisa Mae said, it was as if I were reading my own thoughts! It is so refreshing to find like-minded believers in you and your sister. I think God led me right to your blog (as I rarely look through "blogs of note".) Almost immediately upon entering your page, I felt a kindred spirit ;) and (oddly enough) I also discovered a dear friend of mine of your blog roll. What a small world, huh? I am now a wife and mother. I find that people are much more accepting of the sahm thing once you have a child. They do not automatically assume you feel called to be a keeper at home, they simply conclude you do not wish to pay the high cost of daycare... therefore I find it neccesary to clarify to people that my occupation is one of choice and of principle- not of last resort. When I was still single, I encountered the same questions that you described, & I too developed something of a "back up plan" just in case it wasn't "God's will" for me to marry. :) (What a creative excuse to not proclaim my beliefs to others!) If I am blessed to have daughters, I hope to prepare them with a correct and persuasive answer to such interrogations.

    It is such a blessing to be at home, under my husband's leadership; and still be able to be that productive, resourceful woman for my family that Proverbs 31 describes. There is nothing else like it! Keep "brightening your corner"!

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  17. Samantha--In each new stage of my life, I find myself getting busier and busier and looking back at the previous stage with gratefulness for the extra time I took to get to know my LORD. I am so excited for how the LORD has led you and your husband, and how you are using this time before kids so productively to get to know God. It will repay with dividends, that's for sure!
    Thanks Jorge for the comment!
    Brittney--Thanks so much for introducing yourself and commenting! I did feel a bit as though I was taking a 20 foot dive into murky water with this post, unsure as I was of how people would respond to my less-than-normal way of life. However, as you can see, the response has been largely positive, and commenters like you make me thrilled to keep blogging.
    I never would have thought that clarification on your position as a homemaker would be needed, but I can certainly see how people would assume things. Hmmm...very interesting point! Praise the LORD for the delight you have in being where He wants you right now--there certainly is nothing like it!
    Keep commenting--I look forward to getting to "know" you further.

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  18. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. One of the sweetest things I know is to walk in God's ways and fear Him, no matter how I 'feel' about it. When we base our life on truth, the feelings and emotions eventually catch up to it.
    Since God has not given my husband and I any children to raise so far, I have more time than most wives and mothers to step outside the home for ministry, but I am still a wife first and love the responsibilities God gives in that arena. His ways are better than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. Praise our very wise God!

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