The Race Within

I’ll start by saying that I absolutely, unequivocally love being a mother. I truly agree with the quote: “Parenthood will build your character beyond anything else in your lifetime.” Surely by absorbing every nook & cranny of my energy and patience. Nevertheless, I often find myself feeling guilty that I’m not pushing myself more.

I get how important it is for mothers to cultivate their talents, interests, passions, etc. in order to help their families grow. I also get that children need & crave their parent’s constant attention & presence… I have questions: What to do? or better yet: How to do it? How can I use my time & talents in a way that serves my interests, my husband’s & my children’s interests at the same time? How can I juggle my duties without letting any club fall down? How can I spend more time with my children without stifling my career? How can I acquire the wherewithal my family needs without letting it come in the way of my time with them? Grueling I know.

Either we trust our instincts & go for what we think is most important or live with the consequences of not doing so. Whether it’s family, career, following our passions & what not, what we, as mothers, have to know, is that we can’t do it all (at least not at the same time) and expect to be utterly proud of each & every aspect of our life… something always gotta give. And we have to learn that it’s fine. Wonder woman is a myth.

“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. And you open your eyes & recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.”- Marisa de los Santos (from her book ‘Love Walked In’)

Me being a stay at home mother (for the moment) am always trying to look for ways to expand my horizons. I desperately read books (an activity I thoroughly enjoy) in an attempt to quiet down my inner voice & answer YES to the nagging question: “Am I growing as a person?”… Albeit, I sometimes feel stagnant & at some moments even idle, all the while feeling jaded at the end of the day. I was raised with a “don’t waste time” mentality & here I am “stuck” in my house all day, doing the best I can with my young’uns.

Every so often a mother’s progress goes unseen, undervalued & over criticized (everybody has a list of things we can do better, childless people often have harsher ones). It is tough to feel that there is nothing to show for our backbreaking & heart wrenching work.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”- Hebrews 12:1-3

People will always have an opinion (some well meaning, others not so much) whatever you choose to do. Whether it’s staying at home, working at home or working outside (depends on your circumstance, which can be ever changing). My next question is: “Why do we have to care of what other’s think?” Some of you might answer: “I don’t really care”… all I can say is kudos to you. But the fact is, what people comment about what we are doing, strikes a chord in our self conscious talk about how well we are doing it. Guilt creeps in & almost always takes center stage in our feelings guiding the way we act & react. The reality will always be far less impressive than the ideal.

But what I keep reminding myself is that God is watching me. He understands all my struggles, all the things I’ve put aside in order to be a present mom & wife. He gets all my decision making process. He’s seen my hits as well as my misses. He knows about all my fears of screwing up my children’s lives… He cares.

Being a mother is like building a huge & amazing monument. Working hard without seeing results at first. But by keeping at it & trying to do our best, all the while grasping the end result without knowing if we will ever get to see it & by fully understanding that we are the pillars of our children’s future; our constant work will achieve a great thing (while building our character at the same time). To carry out such an amazing task we have to let God guide our way, we must never rely on our own efforts. Let His opinions make us question how well we are doing things & lean on Him when we feel tired. Easier said than done, huh? The more we search for His peace, the better things will turn out.

That is how you catch up with the race within… finding His peace & dwelling upon it.

“What you give the Lord He will multiply. If you give Him your time, He will multiply it. If you give Him your talents, He will multiply them. If you give Him your strength, He will multiply it. If you give Him your love, He will multiply it”- Rick Warren

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