Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Life's Work

I got a new Cricut Expression machine for my birthday. It's really awesome because I am so crafty and now, the creative possibilities are endless. I love stationery and personalized anything. For my first project, I made these notecards.

They are very rough, but cute huh? JD asked me what I was going to do with them and I told him "write thank you notes, duh." He doesn't get my love for arts and crafts and paper. I can't really explain it, but there's something about having an idea come to life with raw materials and my hands that makes me giddy.

When I was in college and trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, a mentor asked me what I used to play when I was a child. His theory was that whatever we liked as children would be an indication of our natural abilities/preferences for later in life. I thought and thought and while I had hoped to remember a childhood spent pretending to be a doctor or missionary or something worthwhile to the world, the only thing I remembered playing was house. I was the mom, my brother was the dad/child depending on how I felt that day, and we made some mean mud pies in the backyard. That didn't really help me with college application forms. "Well, what were you really good at? What came naturally to you?" he probed. That was easy; making stuff. Besides some awesome mud pies, I made awesome everything. I painted, I drew, I wrote, I made Indian villages out of Play Doh and let them dry in the sun. I was a creative being and when one outlet felt stale, I found inspiration in another.

After some soul searching, I decided to study something that I loved and would leave my professional future in God's hands. I studied English Lit and loved every minute of it. If there was a career that required going to class and studying words and grammar and writing, that's what I wanted to be. Since there's not, I just did really well in school and hoped to use my degree when I got out.

After some years working as an office manager, I settled it in my heart that I would probably never use my degree. I was comfortable in my job and my love of words and writing was somewhat appeased in my day to day duties at the office. But I never felt truly inspired or fulfilled, I never felt like I was doing my life's work or calling.

It's funny how having a child can make you reevaluate everything in your life. Here I am, home all day with a toddler, and little opportunity to flex my intellectual muscles. But I am more content than I have ever been in my life. I have the freedom to create and make stuff and I do it because I love it. I'm not exactly getting rich off of my newest endeavors, but that's why JD comes in handy. He makes the money, I make everything else. 

I'm beginning to realize that one's life work is not as concrete as one might imagine. I am learning that wherever you are in God's plan, your work can be important, meaningful even. My job as mother and housewife is probably not benefitting any of you, but for this season our family relies on me and my skills. It's cool how God can use you where you are and use the special talents that you have to make that place a little more awesome and purposeful.

Right now, I am in a place of making things. It's probably a fleeting place since I will have my hands full with 2 little ones in a few months. I'm also in a place of being a mommy. It is often lonely and thankless and routine, but it is a precious season that I am blessed to be in. My current place is not glamourous or in high demand, but it is purposeful and and I am thankful to have found myself here. It is my life's work. Now, I must remember to send God a thank you card...


  1. This spoke to me on a very personal level. Thank you for expressing something I had never found a way to express. This is exactly how I feel.

  2. Thank you! I always feel a bit strange when I post things of a personal nature. I never know if it will resonate with people. Glad to know I touched someone!