Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Thing

What's your thing?

That was the question posed on today's Stuff Christians Like (stalk it with me, will you? Your life will never be the same). And it's also the same question I've been pondering lately. Jon asks, "What’s the thing that makes you feel alive, that talent or gift or art or activity that feels handcrafted for you?"

My gut reaction is to say kids, but that could be the hormones talking. People are always (lovingly) pushing me towards writing and yes, I like writing. I do. I wouldn't have this here blog if I didn't. I wouldn't have a job in editing if I didn't. But it's not all I feel equipped for or gifted with. I already deal with words, words, words in my day job and during some evenings with the blog. I wish, though, that I was doing more with my life in addition to that.

One of the highlights of my week is babysitting 3-year-old J and his 1-year-old sister, E. UH-dorable. I love watching them grow. J is still learning about sharing and following rules. E has just discovered her tongue and walking. I got J a bubble gun for his birthday last week - he LOVED it. So did E. They were outside playing with it for a while. Then J got bored so E wanted to play with it but she hasn't quite mastered all of the dexterity required for such a skill. ;) A lot of times when I leave their house, I'll hug J goodbye and he runs off. Then right before I step out the door, he comes running back. "I wanna give you a kisth!" E couldn't care less when I leave but whenever I come over, she waddles right over to me with a toy in hand so we can play. I do love those kids.

A lifetime ago, I was on the leadership team for a deaf youth ministry. As I've alluded to before, it didn't end well. At the height of it, I was really in it for myself and not for the Lord and that's never a good deal. But what I did love was the mentoring. I was not a rock star at it by any means, but I genuinely wanted to see the young ladies I spent time with grow up in the grace and knowledge of God. And I wanted to help equip them for the world, for life (which was a pretty presumptuous goal for my 19/20 year old self!). Maybe I wasn't the best person to fill that role at that time because I was so young but since then, the desire to encourage those just a few years behind me never really went away. I'm a mother hen, really. My friends hate me for it sometimes ;) and while I'm learning to scale it back, I don't know how to be anything else.

So despite what I said yesterday, I really do want to be a mom, a wother, a mife. I know myself and I know my sin and I tremble at the thought of filling such roles. They are precious and great responsibilities and so easily confounded by sin. But I always forget that grace is part of the equation, too. It's been hard for me to admit, even to myself and to the Lord, that I want to be a wife and a mom. Maybe because I spent so many years convincing myself that "I don't need a man." I can also be kind of a closet feminist and sometimes worry that being married or raising children will mean losing me. And really, I've never been one of those girls who just alwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaays wanted to get married and needed romance and flowers and sunshine and long walks to be fulfilled. I'm sure that when/if the time comes, I'll relish the lovey-dovey crap and make everyone around me sick, but honestly, what I'm excited for the most is the partner-in-crime part. ;) The one who's in my corner and holds my hand and doesn't take my crap. The knowing and being known part.

I'm not an idealist. I know marriage and parenthood are hard. So is singleness. There are good things about both and there are hard things about both. There are things you can only learn by being married and things you can only learn from a lifetime of singleness. As a single woman, there are times when I just reallyreallyreally wish I had a husband. And I'm sure that if/when I'm married, there will be times that I will reallyreallyreally wish I was single. Whatever my marital state is, I want to savor the season. I want to savor this season (life? months? years?) of singleness. And I'd want to savor marriage if the Lord called me to it.

So going back to the original question. My thing? Writing and loving on kids. I hope that other things include being a wife and being a mom but if not, that's okay. Because the Thing that all of those things rest on is Christ. If I didn't have writing or babysitting or a husband or kids, I would still have Jesus... and that is the greatest thing of all.

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