When I met my husband for the first time at a party in Washington, D.C., we had a conversation that we still reminisce about today.
My future husband asked what I wanted to do with my life, and I said, “I don’t know, but I know God’s got a big plan for me.” I didn’t know what that plan was, but I truly believed what I said, and for years, I wrestled with the unanswered question: God, what do You want to do with my life?
For a long time, I thought God would answer my question with an important career or recognition of some kind, and I started to pursue some of that on my own. But God had a different plan. He began to show me his plan with what John the Baptist meant when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
I don’t believe God wanted to shrink me down to size. But he started to answer my big question by teaching me in my everyday life, as He increased my awareness of His presence in the everyday good, beautiful and hardships of life. And He took me on a journey I could never walk on my own.
As Romans 12:1-2 says in The Message:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. . . [F]ix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Eleven years ago, I decided to become a stay-at-home mom — a role I never thought I’d still be walking today. Countless times I have wrestled with the surrounding culture that tells me I need to work hard and strive for the good things in life. And that I can be Wonder Woman and do it all — have a successful career, the perfect home, a perfect family, and be healthy in every way. With a desire for order and excellence, I’ve crumbled with the reality that I can’t have it all and do it all, and that life isn’t perfect.
I cling to God to help me live the reality of Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” How can I walk with Jesus with inner rest, with the details and worries of life? What about the days my kids are sick; the house needs cleaning; I’ve had little sleep; there are so many people with need; and there are natural disasters and political upheaval happening all around me? How can my days that are constantly filled with noise and words be walked in a peace-filled pace with inner rest and gentleness?
This is a slow process — a daily, sometimes hourly, moment-by-moment process of becoming aware of Him and allowing myself to be loved and transformed into His image.