When I Grow Up…

courage quoteYet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter;

we are all the work of Your hand.

Isaiah 64:8

I was unloading groceries, thinking through the week ahead, struggling with my helmet hair, and wishing the kids would find the hooks on the wall instead of dropping things in the walkway, when my sweet little guy came riding in on a burst of energy and asked, “Hey mom, so what do you want to be when you grow up?”

He caught me off guard. I stopped unloading, thinking, struggling, and wishing and looked at his glowing, innocent face waiting seriously for my answer.

“What do want to be when I grow up?” I repeated with a little chuckle. “But, I am grown up, honey.”

“I know, mom. I know. But what do you want to beee? You can always be something.”

_____

Really? Can I always be something? Is there really an opportunity to ‘be’ something instead of just a woman standing knee-deep in momminess?

I’ve thought so much about this through the years. There have been seasons where I’ve agonized with the Lord over all I ‘gave-up’ to stay home with my babies. I’ve thought about what I ‘could have been’ or ‘should have been’… and every time I pay a student loan bill I think, “Me? Really? Did I really go to law school?”

The funny thing is that as I’ve wrestled with Him, He’s opened my eyes to the Truth: ‘giving up’ and ‘could have been’ and ‘should have been’ are all nonsense. Those are terms of culture, and societal pressure, and newspaper articles; and, they are terms that do nothing but plant little bitter roots in a spirit – roots with a tendency to spring up and contaminate all the goodness and joy of a simple life.

What is true, however, is exactly what my little guy pointed: I can always be something.

Me. Mommy.

No, it may not be the ‘something’ of my young dreams and expectations. It may not be ‘something’ others see as important, or  ‘something’ that our self-focused, please yourself, do-what-makes-you-happy culture says is valuable. It may not ever even be ‘something’ that I can put a term to other than ‘mommy’.

But you know what?

What to be is my choice… and what to be is YOUR choice.

As we stand in our mommy shoes, we get to choose.

Will we be gracious, or bitter?

Will we be thankful, or regretful.

Will we be present, or detached?

Will we see our mommy-lives as full of possibility… or see it as passing us by?

Because what I’ve learned is this: when we are knee-deep in service, and dishes, and laundry, and bickering, and tears… real growth happens. It’s where we learn humility, and service, and hospitality; where we discover surrender, and patience, and unconditional love; it’s where, through our willing sacrifices, His beauty is born in us. (Notice, none of that is past tense… we are ongoing works in progress!) It’s where we get to dig, and till, and continually discover new things about this lot He has graced us with… and uncover the good stuff He knew would only come from this path – from this ‘something’ He is forming us into.

So, what do YOU want to be when you grow up… as you grow up?

For me, I just want to be WILLING.

That’s it.

Willing to serve.

Willing to love.

Willing to be molded by the Potter…

I hope you are willing, too. Because you know what? There is GREATNESS standing in your kitchen – in your laundry room – in the grocery store line. GREATNESS, sister.

Choose it.

Be it.

Choose to be who He’s calling you to be… right there where you stand.

PRAYER: Father, You are so good, and so kind. You gently and carefully lead us to places that our humanness might never choose because You know it is where true life, and growth, and wonder will take place. I pray for the heart of every woman who might read this… and that you will meet her right where she is – whether that is in her career out of the home, or in her career in the home –  and give her comfort in where You’ve called her to. You know it gets tough in the day-to-day, and that often our hearts long for more. I pray that we see YOU as our all in all. May we look to YOU for security, for our worth, for our safety. Thank you that you are faithful and true. Lift us up, Father, and make us bright lights for these little ones you have entrusted to us for Your glory. In Your sweet name, Amen.

 

An Herbed Quinoa Fennel Grapefruit Salad to Brighten Your Day

The house is quiet.

Kids are at school learning (thank God!), laundry is turning in the dryer, I hear the hum of a lawnmower out my window, and… I am breathing for the first time in days.

Breathing.

Thinking.

Processing.

Camping on this sweet verse from Isaiah 63:9: In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Isn’t that beautiful?

It reminds today I’m not alone in my distress… this natural distress of discomfort I’m feeling as we slowly move into this new land with kids in new schools, new friends, a new home (soon), and new ways of doing things. (Oh, and the distress of thinking “how in the heck am I going to pack up this house?? Agh!)

But truthfully, I am so, so very excited to see how God grows and matures and teaches each one of us through this adventure. Because, if I know anything to be TRUE, it is this: His GOODNESS is present with us every step of the way.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share something good with you today – a yummy, ‘brightening’, ‘uplifting’ mama-meal like this:

DSC07929

Herbed Quinoa Fennel Grapefruit Salad

A mama-brightening salad for sure!

Not only will you feel light and clean and bright after eating it, there is JOY in the journey of making it! The fragrance of the basil and mint on your skin, the feel of grapefruit juice running through your fingers as you section out each little piece, the sight of the warm amber honey drizzling over the bowl of freshness. Talk about a party for your senses! And, hey, – isn’t that what all of us mamas need: joy in our journey?

So – enjoy!!!

Here’s what you need to make enough for you and a friend:

Beautiful and fresh ingredients...

Beautiful and fresh ingredients…

  • 1/2 heaping cup of precooked quinoa
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3 small grapefruits
  • 6-8 basil leaves, diced
  • 10-12 mint leaves, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • a pinch of salt and black pepper
  1. Slice up your fennel bulb in thin slices like this.
  2. Section out your grapefruit pieces like this.
  3. Add pre-cooked quinoa, diced herbs, a pinch of salt and black pepper; toss lightly.
  4. Drizzle the warm honey over the top and, again, toss lightly.

That’s it!

Final notes:

** The basil and mint will turn brown if left too long in the salad… so this is best enjoyed FRESH. If you are going to eat only half and save the rest for later, add the herbs to your portion only.

** The juice from the grapefruit and the honey are the only ‘dressing’ this salad gets. I section my grapefruit right over the main bowl to capture the juice as I work. If you don’t want too much juice in your salad, you may want to section over a separate bowl so you can control how much juice you ‘dress’ the final product with.