Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A woman's worth

Cradling mugs of warm tea, they shared aspirations for the coming year...each with the same thought "Clarity of who I am, and what I'm called to do." Perhaps if I'd been a fly on the wall, I'd have listened intrigued, instead, I found myself saying those words first as we went round the circle.

Our conversation has stuck with me...almost nibbling away at my brain as I wonder about these words. And I think I have a thought about it that may be an encouragement.
You see, this desire...this cry of knowing who we are, and what our purpose is, seems to be a common trend amongst the women I encounter in life.
Whether it be the stay at home mum who justifies her role because she has an under 5 yet to start full time school, or the stay at home mum whose children are in full time school who feels she should justify why she at present doesn't choose to return to paid work, or the working mum who feels the need to explain that she adores her children  but needs the financial stability of going out to work each day, or the single woman who feels hopeless because society would like her to have a husband..each of us never quite feel we?

We live in a world where women are still often looked down on, shown a huge lack of respect and not often encouraged. Here in the UK, we are, granted, given much more freedom in choice...but in many's a man's world. Before you get antsy that this will become a feminist rant, let me assure you-that whilst I'm a pretty independent, strong minded woman, I am quite traditional and totally appreciate a good man - thankfully I'm married to one of them!
But, hopefully, you get my point here.

The truth is though ladies, we are enough. That purpose we keep searching for...well, I think we may already be living it.
I'll be honest with you now okay, as much as I love most aspects of my life, the truth is at the end of I'm tired. Actually no, I'm not tired, I'm shattered. Some dumb-ass intrigued people may ask "But why're a stay at home mum!" Okay here's why: Every morning I roll out of bed at 6.30am. Every morning-you got that part right...Saturday and Sundays included. My days are full. Weekends my husband often has to work which sees me driving kids to various activities, hobbies, parties, church etc myself. Weekdays...well I work every Tuesday at my church but the other four days are filled with shopping, washing, cleaning, cooking, running errands, toddler groups and prayer meetings. Whilst I know I'm blessed...I'm working...and I'm working damn a purpose! Not just anyone can be the wife and mum I'm called to be to my husband and children. Not everyone can minister to children the way I'm called to do it in ministry...not everyone can be the friend I'm called to be to my friends.
Whether our lives may sound similar...or the complete opposite...friend - you're not living my purpose...and I'm not living yours!
Whilst I admire the people who get to travel the world changing lives, I know this season of my life, I won't be one of instead I do what's in my capacity... I celebrate being able to assist in my five little humans growing into good adults, I get alongside local families and their pre-teens and I work at the friendships that mean alot to me. To some, this may be sound boring...irrelevant. To others this may sound like the life they're dreaming of one's reality, and I have a choice...embrace it and do it well or resent it and miss the fact that this here...right now...this is my purpose.
Some of you may be wanting to shake me right now and yell, "But Stacey, it's easy for you to say that. I want marriage/children/ministry...and it's not happening for me...look at you with it all!"
Can I tell you I get it, I understand...and you can shake me...please do...keep me humble and grateful for all I have...but know too that at times I envy your freedom, I envy that you get to fulfill ambitions in other areas, I envy that you can stop at a certain time in the day and just be you-whilst me-my mummy hat and wife hat stay on 24/ times, I wonder of the decade I put myself last all.the.time whilst having my children-my twenties-a decade of pregnancy, breastfeeding, stretchmarks and sleepless may sound silly, but no matter our matter the blessings...sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side.
You do have a purpose...and you are living out some of that purpose matter your relationship, parenting, employment or ministry status. How do I know this? Well simply, because that's what my bible tells me.
When we shift our focus from what we think our purpose should be, and make it about the purpose of God and His plans...we can find a peace...a peace in knowing someone far greater than us has it all sorted. He knew you and me long before we were born...whilst we became a statistic on earth when we drew our first breath, we were a celebrated gift in Gods book many many years before.
Jeremiah 1:5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart."

"I set you apart!" I like that part the most. He sets every single one of us apart...each called to fulfill a purpose. A purpose that may change with the seasons...a purpose that may stay rooted our entire earthly existence. A purpose that when seen through our eyes may not be fully appreciated or have that cherry-on-top wow factor, but a purpose non-the less. 

I think 2014 needs to be the year, we hush striving to know what we're called to be...and instead needs to be a year of just resting...gently pushing, but not barging through those doors of what's next...and knowing that we are enough...we are important, we are worthy and we are doing what we're doing for a very good reason...a purpose...that may just be setting up a future of pure amazingness before our very eyes that we just haven't noticed as yet. 

Be Blessed :-)

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