Finally. Finally, I figured out how to be
satisfied as a stay-at-home mother or SAHM for those who know the lingo. This was no small feat for this strong
Type A woman who just l-o-v-e-d the atta-girls of public recognition. I loved running fast after a goal and
obtaining it. Oh how my flesh leapt
for joy with public praise or an award of any type. While there’s nothing wrong with worldly success, my self-worth
was all tied up in my worldly titles and another thing…those crazy women in
their minivans…they drove me crazy too.
I’d never be like one of them. Humph.
Then I became a mother.
Then I became a mother who
drove a minivan.
I was so grateful for my two
sons’ lives but I must admit that I struggled with my identity and self-worth.
My children’s births made gave
me new life, a rebirth, a personal renaissance if you will.
Running after their every need,
I slowly learned how to recalibrate “success”. Success was no longer how many cases I closed, but how many
diapers I closed…only to reopen and replace, again.
Sure, I still had difficult
days but overall, I was finally content.
When balance arrived, something
happened. God spoke. Not in
audible words but this idea kept repeating itself. Write to encourage
Um, I don’t know if you know
this God, I’m a Criminal Justice major who hated English class.
He was aware.
I had just become content and
now I’m supposed to go through another rebirth? And in a career field I had absolutely no past experience in? Yup.
So, I got busy writing. I attended a writer’s conference and wrote
some more. I wrote some more, then
took one of the scariest steps of all; I submitted my work to editors. I kept receiving rejection notices. Just like becoming a new mother, I
floundered with my new identity and was frustrated.
Type A people like getting
things checked off their checklist and my goal to “get published” seemed
nothing short of a fleeting pipe dream.
Feeling rejected is bad enough, but when you get an email or letter
stating REJECTION…it’s a kick in the gut to a Type A lunatic.
Defeated and on the verge of,
“I’m quitting” came this idea. Use
my strength for strength and my weakness for strength.
I changed my goal from “get
published” to “obtain 40 rejection letters.” I proudly stated my revised goal
to my writers group. They all
supported me because it was realistic.
It was a long distance runner type approach as opposed to my former
sprint approach of “get published”.
And heck, I was already well on
track to obtaining my new goal!
So as I settled into my new
pace, a slower, more realistic pace, the most unfamiliar thing occurred…an
editor wrote “YES!”
The two responses that followed
my first precious “YES!” were “MAYBE!” A maybe in the writing world is just like getting your
child to at least sit on the toilet when potty training. May be a “yes” or may be a “no” but
either way it’s progress!
I had to pace myself. Pace so I don’t about face and quit.
And let us run with
perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer
and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2a (New International Version)
Have you ever struggled with
your identity being a mother? Have
you gone through a personal renaissance?
What was it like?
writing has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine. In
her free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in the
northern Virginia area on the "Colorful Art of Friendship - Allowing
God to Paint the Masterpieces" and MOPS leaders on "Being a Bright
Steph can be found blogging at www.encouragedinheart.org
or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart
- Stephanie Fink. She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.
Labels: Faith, Inspiration