A Purpose And Calling

What is my purpose? What is my calling? These questions have been really pressing on my heart for the last few years. I loved my undergraduate season, and remember thinking that I really wanted to work. I wanted to bless and serve others using my social work degree. I thrived in the work environment with to-do lists and deadlines. I loved feeling useful and utilizing my skills and knowledge. When we started the adoption process, it felt like the best care for our adopted child-to-be would be me staying home. We moved to Alabama in August 2011 and I decided to stop working because we could get a referral anytime. It was May 2012 when we finally brought Israel home, and that long season of waiting was really hard. I struggled to feel useful. I hated waiting but didn't want to take a job and then quit it a few months later. 

After being a stay at home mom for a few months, I knew I wanted to get my master's. I saw that I needed something else to occupy my brain or else I might burst. I longed for some sense of structure and purpose. Israel's arrival really limited my involvement in our college ministry, so I really felt like my overall contributions to the world were really limited to just being a mom and wife. I was accepted into grad school right about the time we found out I was pregnant with Edie. 

We decided that I should go ahead and go for it. I completed my masters in August 2014, surviving a long year of juggling grad school with a pregnancy, birth, nursing, and having a special needs child. It was a really long year that showcased my limitations and need for grace. But I really loved school! I loved working again and having deadlines and papers. I loved using my brain and writing about subjects that I was passionate about. 

Returning briefly to the working world for an internship, I was reminded of my enjoyment of structure and life as an employee. I loved serving others and being a part of a job. I enjoyed planning projects and documenting my work. 

When grad school was over, it was relieving but also left me with a gap in my time. For over a year, I had a purpose. What was it now? 

So this is where I have been for the past few months. I've really struggled with my identity and knowing how to use my time. I have wanted to work, but Israel's schedule requires that I am flexible to take him to appointments and therapies. I love having a season where I am primarily at home with my little kids. They are only little once! I have been working contractually for an agency writing home studies, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I wish I had more opportunities to sit with families and talk about fostering and adopting, but there aren't any open doors right now. 

The last year or so, and specifically the last few days, I have been reminded that my purpose and calling are more general than I typically expect. God has called me to be faithful. He has given me the task to love others and to love Him. If I am loving God and loving others, then the specifics of that don't really matter too much. One of my friends wrote this post and I really loved it. (Sarah is a wonderful writer, and she often writes posts that just speak so well to my heart!!) It reminded me that my calling is to Christ first, then all others second. 

I also just started listening to Edie Wadsworth's podcast and her first episode on a Life of Calling was so, so good! From her blog: "The premise of this episode is that you will find joy, peace and incredible fulfillment when you learn to live at the intersection of your passions and your neighbors needs.  The paradox is that when we stop worrying so much about our specific calling and serve the neighbors in front of us today,  we’ll actually begin to discover what it is we’re made to do.  The greatest joys in life come from giving ourselves away. "  

She also said in her podcasts that some callings are for a season. We have time to figure it outand there may be seasons where we are primarily at home, or primarily in a specific job or role. That was encouraging to me because I sometimes feel like I am waiting for my purposeful season to happen! I'm in a purposeful season always, because God has specifically appointment me to be in the location I am in, with the neighbors I have, to use my gifts and abilities to serve others. That may be changing diapers for my toddler neighbors in my house, or it may be using my social work skills to equip others, or my adoptive mom skills to encourage other moms. I have a purpose! I have been strategically placed! It doesn't matter about the specific details of that as I look at how to plan my calendar year... God has divine appointments already in place, regardless of my employment status. 

So maybe you're in a similar place? Let's encourage each other to remain faithful to our callings and seasons. We each have a unique gifting and strategic location. The details and big picture aren't always known, but our mission remains the same: faithfulness and love. 


  1. "I really felt like my overall contributions to the world were really limited to just being a mom and wife." After having worked full time for 2.5 years as a wife, mother, and Academic Advisor to over 500 COB students, I can say that being a mom and wife is enough. All though social work can be very rewarding, it is also an emotionally and mentally draining career. God knows our ultimate good and sometimes trusting Him is the hardest part. He very well may be protecting you and your family as he knows your personality and how much you can handle or better yet, how much you might try to handle that you shouldn't. When I look at my little ones, I know there is nothing better I could be doing than answering their questions, comforting their fears, and showing them that "neighborly" love that you speak of. God has convicted me in past years of considering neighbors only those who live outside of my house. In all actuality, our closest neighbors are our spouse and children. So, please be encouraged in that you have GREAT purpose, counter cultural purpose even. It is not easy being a stay at home mom. In fact, it is often very lonely. One thing to consider is that they will not always be babies/toddlers. Eventually you will be asked very deep questions all throughout your day. Mommy, why does God do this, How does God feel about that? And when not asking questions, you will get to disciple and train them in righteousness. I do not take it for granted that I have the privilege of being the main influencer in their lives. I read a devotional the other day that used John 10: 11 to exemplify how a mother is in a way like Jesus, we lay down our lives for our children. There is no one who God has better prepared to take care of them than us, obviously with so much of his grace and help. Now, I am not someone who believes that everyone should stay home, I understand that there are some situations that call for the mom to work outside of the home, but I do think it is very easy to get our priorities out of order when we do so. Sometimes, it is not even in our control, it is that our jobs require so much and we do not have our best left for our family. I think Edie is very right to say "The greatest joys in life come from giving ourselves away." But we have to be discerning as to where God is asking us to do this. I do believe God intended for us as women to be there in community with each other, edifying, and taking care of each other's burdens. Community is harder to come by now than it was in yesteryear. I can see you being the leader of building community among women in your area. We need each other for sure. I remember watching an interview with Maria Shriver. She was part of an APT documentary on the feminist movement and her words stuck with me even before I had children. She said, yes, as a woman you can have it all, just not all at one time. She had a career and then when she had kids, her job was them, after they were older, she went back to work. I do not think you will regret allowing your role as a wife and mom to be your calling and purpose. Sorry if I commented too much, but I want you to feel so secure in what you are doing. You are doing BIG work for the kingdom! Satan is always lurking with discontentment and trying to convince us the grass is greener on the other side. It you are interested in a deep read, check out 'The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.' It is really good. Thank you for being honest and real about life and the tough questions and decisions we all encounter. You are an incredible woman and I so enjoy reading your blog. It encourages and challenges me often. P.S. we definitely have to make sure we are being poured into as well. So, I pray you find that outlet that helps fill you with motivation and renewal to continue. For me, finding such an outlet has been very hard at certain points in this motherhood journey.


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