Before becoming a mother, I had a lot of dreams and passions. I had a lot of heartfelt ideas to affect great change in the world and hopefully make a difference. Most of those dreams (ok, none of them) had anything to do with being a really good butt wiper or nursery-rhyme singer.
But when I became a mom, Nicholas was my new dream. I couldn't imagine doing anything else but stroke his fuzzy hair and stare at those gigantic cheeks. I was really ok with "just being a mom."
And then the itch came. Around the time that Nicholas was 10 months old, many of my pre-mommy dreams came flooding back into my heart. I wanted to do more and I felt like I was capable of more. So I started planning. I made lists, dreamed up all sorts of new ideas, sent emails like a madwoman...and grew a little resentful. I didn't like that my time was being taken up with all these mom and wife kinds of things.
One afternoon I took a few minutes during Nicholas' nap to pray. I wanted to know what more God wanted me to do. And as I opened my ears, ready to receive a super plan to save the world, I heard something like: "You've been seeing nap time as when you truly live, truly serve God, and truly make a difference. But you're missing it."
It was like a splash of cold water on my face.
Every single day I have the chance to serve. Every day I have opportunities to make a difference. I was so obsessed with doing more, that I had forgotten that there was a tiny boy, and a devoted husband, whose worlds I could change. Who I could be Jesus to. I had belittled these daily chances to be faithful and forgotten that God wants my obedient heart, not my impressive hours of sacrifice.
I'm only 16 months into this motherhood thing. But if I've learned anything about motherhood + following Jesus + having dreams, it's this: Being a child of God, who loves Him and loves others, is my calling. Motherhood is a part of that. Loving others outside of my home is part of that. Loving well the people that God has placed in this season of my life is my calling (whether those people are my son, my neighbor, or an orphan in Africa).
So while nap time can totally be one place that I live and dream, the moment that Nicholas wakes up holds just as many opporutinities to live out my calling. I truly hope I never forget that.
I'd love to add this - the same idea applies to working mamas, women who are single, who don't have children, empty-nesters, etc. Our calling is following Jesus and loving the people He's given us. And that can be expressed in many, many ways.