The Best of Both Worlds

We wanted to have children.
I wanted to have children.
I wanted to raise our children myself, with my husband.
They were our children,
     to love and delight in,
     to train and to hold close,
     to teach and to learn from.

I was the primary caregiver.
     It made sense in giftedness and desire.
     It was practical financially.
     I couldn’t imagine placing their care in the arms of another.

But finances were slim, and his hours were long, now longer.
     I wanted to raise our children.
     He wanted me (mostly, but us) to be their primary input,
          Our love,
          Our faith,
          Our God-given blessings flowing into them.

I wanted this with all my heart and soul.
But I discovered another part of me that didn’t share this desire.
     Without people surrounding me,
     Without the teamwork, camaraderie, input, laughter.
     Without the routine, the change of scenery, the expected output,
     And the delight of completing a job and hearing, “Well done.”

Being a stay-at-home mom was hard.
     Endless response to endless need.
     No routine unless you made it yourself, and then held it lightly.
     No completion of a task.
     No time to concentrate for more than 5 minutes.
     No time for something as fluffy as day-dreaming,
          my constant companion from my birth until my first child’s birth.

If I want motherhood, and God gifts us with children,
I have to give up other parts of me or put them on the shelf.
     Will I ever get to take them down and dust them off?
     Will I still want to? Will I still be able to?
     Will the dreams still be viable or even desired
when the children have flown?

Two conflicting desires held tightly in the heart of one woman.
I chose the one that served my marriage, my children, and my extended family.
I am still making that choice: marriage, children, grandchildren, and more.

However, to my delight, I am able to fulfill my other choice as well.
     Not in the way I imagined it.
     Not in my time-frame, but in God’s plan.
     And, all the time, He was with me,
          Holding me up, carrying me when I couldn’t move forward on my own.
          Giving me the people to support me when I needed it.

Psalm 23

    The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

2 thoughts on “The Best of Both Worlds

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