Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On goldfish and baby bumps. {and changing seasons in life}

 I think I tried to fight it for awhile after Caleb was born and definitely noticed it in my unsure decision to step away from social work to stay home full time. Lately, though, I've found myself embracing it. My season of life has clearly shifted in the last year, and it seems here to stay for a bit.

  After Caleb was born, I knew I wanted to be home with him full time and was thankful for the chance to do that. But I was sad, too. For months, I wrestled with letting one season go to be fully present in this one. I felt a bit like a failure because I wasn't choosing to do both simultaneously. Like my career was passing me by and that passion I have to help others might fade away if I put it on the shelf for too long. Lots of my grad school friends were getting their clinical licenses and landing dream jobs- while those both seemed so distant for me. Honestly, I felt like I was losing my purpose.

  But I think this second baby on the way has given me the last nudge I needed to embrace my right now. I still have a good purpose. It's just changed. I'm right where I need to be and it feels good to let go of any expectations I put on myself of what my purpose should be or how it should look. Cleaning up crushed goldfish crackers, changing diapers on repeat and watching my waistline expand as I feel the first few kicks from this new baby- this is my purpose today.  I'm retiring my SW license {as soon as my old boss gets back to me!} and focusing how where God does have me right now, instead of where he doesn't.

  My days looks so different from those full of play therapy, intervening in child abuse cases, and managing psychotic episodes of clients from just a year ago. And before that, I was a full time student. Before that, a newlywed in our small college town figuring out adult life and wrangling my dreams to make them realities.

  So when I think back to those really early days six years ago, its easy to remember the dreams I had. To find a career I loved, which started with my first post-college job at a community mental health center. I fell in love with social work in that small Indiana town. To go on some adventures with Justin, which happened as we moved to a new city, bought a house, and started finding our community. And to grow our family and become a mom. It's sort of funny how I spent months trying to reconcile these different passions God has put in my heart, when really they are exactly the things I prayed for six years ago. And God has worked them out just as they should be. My life looks so different today than it did six years ago, and so different than how I expected it would. but it has changed for the better. My purposes have shifted a little bit, but in the best ways. I think I'll look back on these baby years and be so thankful for them, especially when I'm working outside the home again.

  Gearing up for baby number two clearly has me feeling all sorts of introspective, and I'm making a point over the next few months to really think through my purpose in this season of life. What brings me joy? How do I want to remember this time?  What is my purpose- today, this month, this year? I'm asking myself all those questions and more!

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