Thanks for chatting with us, Jen.
This is a beautiful and precious picture! Who is this handsome little guy?
This is one of my twin boys, my sweet Owen. He’s been through a lot of health challenges in his little life, so I cherish moments like these.
At least a few times a week you can find us at either a therapy appointment or specialist follow-up. I’m blessed that I can be fully present for all of his day-to-day care, though it certainly challenges me as well.
It’s great that you can be there for him. Would you tell us what you’ve been learning through those challenges?
Lately, I’ve been reminded that perspective shapes everything. There are certainly days when I feel the frustration creep in and I’m running on fumes. Sometimes the last thing I want to do is go to another appointment, or I long to go back to the professional world with my former colleagues.
I’m learning not to push those feelings away when they pop up, but acknowledge what I’m experiencing, grow from it, and then look for the positive. Moreover, I’m learning to look for the lesson: What is it that God is trying to teach me?
That’s a good way to handle those feelings – not dwell on them as much as find a reason for them. So how you apply that to your life?
Well, for example, our son’s combination of medical needs makes it so that I’m not able to work outside of the home right now. In a couple of years, my boys will be in all-day school and I’ll have the capacity to work or volunteer – to figure out what’s next. Some days that feels only a heartbeat away; other days it feels like an eternity. I’ve learned that I can either dwell in a place of sadness for the career I loved and lost, or I can praise God for allowing me the opportunity to be my child’s primary caregiver and number one cheerleader. I can thank Him for the thousands of ways my former teaching days have helped me navigate the special education process as a parent with confidence, or how it’s helped me address unique sensory challenges with creativity and craftsmanship.
I love that you’re using your professional experience to help you with parenting. Talk about skills that translate! It’s reassuring to hear that God really does prepare us for the next big things in life. It is hard, though, to long for a life we no longer have. I bet many of our readers can relate to that.
Sometimes it feels like I’m stuck in my current situation and the rest of the world is moving on without me…and maybe that’s the point. Perhaps He’s teaching me to shift my perspective and where I place value, helping me to grow in patience, and find comfort in the waiting.
I was reading a blog post written by “Proverbs 31 Ministries” this morning, and author Chrystal Evans said this: “In a day when so many people are searching for significance and great purpose, perhaps the simplicity of Jesus’ instructions has been lost to us. There’s value in your ministry at home – whatever home is to you in this season.”
I love that! …I can relate to that. Sometimes it’s hard to see past our mundane tasks but they’re not mundane to God. What does your new perspective look like now?
I find myself in this unique position. Our situation has forced me to take a step back personally and professionally – whether I wanted to or not. Caring for my twin boys and being their mom is the most incredible privilege. Our circumstances have allowed me the opportunity to meet people and experience things I would have never otherwise: I’ve grown in self-confidence as an advocate and knowledgeable caregiver for my child. I’ve had the privilege of meeting other families who navigate incredible medical journeys with grace and unequivocal strength each and every day. I’ve witnessed, time and time again, the passion, heart, and endless knowledge medical professionals and therapists bring to the table, and we’ve been fortunate to have a village behind us who now feel like an extension of our family. I’ve unearthed passions that had slowly been smothered by old priorities, and I’ve fallen into new passions for helping others that I might have never discovered otherwise.
I want to keep my heart open to where God is leading, but sometimes it feels like He’s given me too many passions! I’m feeling inspired by so much right now, but family life in this moment takes all of me. Living in the “grey area” can be scary and overwhelming, but it’s also exhilarating and, I know, ultimately purposeful when it comes to His plan for what comes next.
How cool that you can look through the difficulties and see that wisdom.
So where do you go from here?
We just found out a couple of months ago that Owen needs bilateral hip correction surgery this February, which means 6 weeks of recovery in a full lower-body hip/leg brace. For a while, I struggled with the worry of what those 6 weeks would look like, and I felt all of the sadness. But as I’ve had time to reflect over these past 2 months, I’ve also been able to find the positives: we caught the problem early, thanks to constant monitoring and an incredible medical team. The surgery will, ultimately, improve his quality of life. And I’m reminded again that right here, right now, this is where I’m meant to be. I’ll wait, Lord. I’ll wait.
Waiting is hard but the Lord makes it worth it.
Do you have any other advice for our readers out there?
Everyone is struggling with something. Problems both big and small come to us in waves. When we start to get swept off our feet, our first inclination is typically to turn inward and close out the rest of the world.
Look outward, look to others. How can you help? His plan is so much bigger than you or I. Connect with the people He brings into your life.
Keep perspective. You’ll almost always find a positive.
Trust, and be patient in the “grey areas” of your life. This season of motherhood you’re in? It’s chock-full of humility, grace, and lessons. Your worth is not attached to a title, profession, or the current chaos level in your household.
Do you keep showing up, Mama?
Then your “significance” and “greatness” in His eyes is already assured. You just need to see it, and believe in it, for yourself. ??