I was in an analyzing mood today, and so all of you faithful/careful/hapless readers get to be the blessed recipients of the result of this exercise.
Actually, I found it to be a very useful exercise and encourage anyone to try it.
(And, yes, I noticed that my wife-ness didn’t hit the list, but I think that is indicative of the way God works in our marriage– all of it has been quiet, natural, and nearly invisible. So it almost never makes it to a list.)
One of the blogs I read encourages finding/creating a purpose statement for your life/writing/work. I’m not ready (focused enough?) to do that, but this list is probably the next-best thing– and I really like it.
It goes like this:
I am drawn to a number of different things in my daily life. Why? Do they have a purpose? What do I hope they accomplish?
What I want to do?
Why I want to do it?
Because I hope to somehow touch lives beyond my family without detracting from my primary responsibility and assignment.
Also because it helps me better understand myself, so that (Lord willing) I can better/more efficiently improve myself to be a useful tool and effective witness for my heavenly master.
Being less of an embarrassment to myself is an additional perk.
Because I’ve always felt competency in an instrument it is somehow a part of a “complete” life, along with the husband and children and so on.
While not wishing to diminish the the intensity of the desire for children, this is the best analogy I’ve found so far: There is a image of older women desiring children; that they feel a hole, along with a sense of urgency while they wait. That’s the best way I can describe my “need” for excellence, or maybe just existence, in this realm of music.
Being able to sing (even well) is somehow not enough, in the way that these women, while perhaps willing to adopt, desperately want to hold their own baby.
It is a very awkward need to have, truly, because I’ve found little internal motivation (e.g., to practice) beyond the bloated sense of need that it happen. The means of happening is woefully under-funded.
To enrich my inner world in order to strengthen and motivate my outward living.
That is, everything else I do is nurtured and fed by what I read. Without reading I find it all atrophies.
Why care for my children?
Because this is my God-given assignment. I am the means God has chosen to train them in righteousness, and they are one means God has chosen to perfect my faith and character. They also are my means of writing on the walls of time.
What do I want their lives to say?
That they know and live by the faithfulness of God. That they were created to serve. That their mother showed them what it looked like to live for Jesus when they were the only ones watching.
Why maintain my home with excellence?
So that the need to “catch up” will never get in the way of anything good: ministry, sleep, intimacy with God, or the opportunity to share my home with another woman who needs a little peace away from her own place.
I was recently made painfully aware that there is no way I can competently serve even the most needy new mother (I wished I could bring her a meal) when I don’t know what my own family is eating for dinner tomorrow, or I don’t have an extra pot to share with.
That realization motivated a prayerful overhaul that is still shaking out.