My life as…(nobody’s life is that awesome, pt. III)

Several months ago I wrote about how nobody’s life is that awesome, pt. I and pt. II.

I think this is a discovery I will have to continually make.

A few night ago I got asked to attend an event at my old workplace.
It was the first time I really went out and “did” anything with my daughter (besides the usual trips around town & visits to friends houses).

Me…back when I worked a full-time (out of the house) job. I checked out bald eagles for a living. Not really. But kindof.

She was a champ. Slept in the sling I wore her in (which, by the way, is a great way to keep 1 million people from touching her. She’s was only 3 weeks old, so that was a good thing!). It was me, the darling doctor, and sweet Makena – our new little and wonderful family.

It had been over a year since I had seen and interacted with many of the people I ran into. This conversation happened (seemingly) several hundred times that night.
Everyone: “How great to see you guys! (To my husband) Have you graduated yet?”
Him:  “Yes!”
Everyone: “Wonderful! Congrats, doctor! That’s awesome! You are awesome!”
(This was always followed by the questions of where he works, etc.)

And then, they would turn to me:
“And what are you doing these days?”
Me: “Ummm…well, I graduated with my Master’s last spring, and we have just been transitioning into residency, and I am looking to start another Master’s potentially this fall.”

Why is it that when confronted with that question, I look to make myself important, educated, valuable in their eyes?
My heart says, “Look at me! I am doing something worthy of your recognition and honor!”

The funny thing is that all that really needed to happen was for them to look at me carrying a 3-week old baby to see what I was “doing these days”.
But the stigma of being a stay at home mom (why is that?), and the fact that it isn’t really valued in our culture creates a pressure to respond in a way that meets with their approval.

But we are all like that, aren’t we? No one wants to be ordinary. We all want to be doing something big. Something important. Something worth noticing. Something that meets everyone’s approval. We all want our lives to be “that awesome”. But nobody’s life is that awesome.
We are all doing the tasks that are set before us to do. And some of them merit praise from the outside world. Others do not.
But if they are our tasks, they are praise-worthy…and we are praised by the One who is the Task-giver.

So, what am I doing these days?

“Just” this.
Holding this little girl. Pouring all my love into her heart.
Growing  a soul up into herself.
Fighting for peace in my home.
Bringing life and joy to a hard-working doctor.

Doing the tasks given me to do.

And enjoying this humble journey….


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Talitha Hansen-Ernst on April 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks again for posting. I’ve been a bit discouraged lately looking at me. Yes, I said that right, “looking at me.” I’ve been thinking to myself. “I am doing much less to affect the world and am much less passionate than I used to be.” That is discouraging. Yet, I don’t think I am necessarily less passionate, just in a different stage in life. I am not a person who can stay busy and still be a good keeper of my home, mother to my children and wife to my man. I have to consciously limit my activities or my mind and emotions become chaotic and am left in an unhealthy state. I sometimes compare myself to others and wish I had more energy to “DO”. I feel inadequate because I seem to have a lower energy level than some people. Yet, I shouldn’t be comparing myself in the first place. God made me, Taly, just the way He liked and He knows my limitations. If He made me this way and I please Him, then I shouldn’t be trying to place a standard on my life that is higher than His expectation. It’s a hard lesson to really soak up though.

    I don’t even have the fall back of saying, “and I’ll be starting a 2nd masters…” I haven’t even pursued one masters and don’t plan on doing so, at least not in the near future. That again, is due to me recognizing my limits and schooling was (almost) always very stressful for me. I don’t wish to add that stress into my life right now. Sigh…

    So, what have you been doing, Taly?
    Well, I’m learning to walk in peace. I’m learning what it means to be a mother of two boys (Yay…they are adorable and fill my heart with so much joy!). I’m learning how to be a more organized mother and wife. I’m learning how to use my talents from home when my heart often still yearns to make a footprint outside these walls (as well as within them). I’m coming to terms with how little discipline I have in my devotional life and am learning to abide in Christ. I am wanting to grasp with a deeper understanding how much God loves ME even with all of my limitations, my lack of discipline and my quirks. I am learning to hold on with deep hope that God will bring to pass the dreams that He placed in my heart long ago, but in HIS PERFECT (yes, perfect) timing! I am learning to be still and know, to be at rest in my heart.

    Thanks again for posting and thanks for letting me post back =) hee hee…sometimes I just need someone to listen.


    • Are you kidding? I love listening!!
      The other day I told Joel “Talitha is one of my dearest friends I never had.” Ha! I have always just felt such a sweet connection with your heart – even over Facebook. We would be good friends if we lived near one another, I think. But now we get to be good internet friends 🙂
      Thanks for sharing…I will listen anytime.


      • Posted by Talitha Hansen-Ernst on April 8, 2011 at 2:47 am

        hee hee. I like that, “one of my dearest friends I never had.” You just never know…maybe one day we’ll live closer. You and Joel want to return to Africa. Andy and I have talked repeatedly about going back to Kenya…?

  2. I totally feel you on this one! Becoming a stay-at-home-mama is such a crazy “identity” transition for strong, passionate women (like us : ) ). You are doing amazingly, though, in identifying the things going on inside of you, speaking truth to yourself, and embracing the current (all-consuming at this moment) calling! Keep processing and keep speaking the truth! I love reading your thoughts!


  3. Posted by Myndi Sullivan McCallum on April 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Melissa, this is SO TRUE! There have been way too many times in my life when I feel the ‘pressure’ to be someone I’m not in order to please people. I know God never puts that kind of pressure on me – although He is quite good at turning ‘plain coal’ into ‘sparkling diamonds’! 🙂

    I love the way you allow your life to be a open window to those of us who pay attention…to see and learn some of the things you are learning…to enjoy the process of someone who is growing and seeking and surrendering to plan God has for her… It might just be me, but, I feel that your words have a way of ‘awakening’ something in those of us who read what you have to say. I mean that. And I’m giving Glory to God, and honor to you, my friend! Keep pouring out as God pours into you!

    Oh – and I love the way you always honor your hubby – not flattery – but honest words from your heart!!!!!!!!!! 🙂


  4. Inspiring and a nice reminder! It’s hard not to want to be superwoman, but no one can be. We have to remember to not worry about whether the things we do measure up to others’ expectations. Who cares what they think


  5. Posted by Erin Miller on April 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Hey Mel!
    I have really enjoyed reading your blogs, especially recently. We are in a very similar boat, and I love how you are able to articulate so many of the things that are also in my heart. It is most definately a ‘transition’ time, and there is grace for that. I just appreciate your honesty and I want you to know I said a big “amen” when I finished reading this post:)

    Blessings to you!!


    • Thanks Erin – it’s been good to have a place to share my heart. So glad you are enjoying it – it blesses me to hear you say that.


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