Setting:  Suburbia, one of the best towns to live in USA, kitchen/nook/great room, 36 animal flash cards strewn about, 37 large Lego’s also strewn, 2 baskets of clean unfolded laundry, one counter top covered with after school paraphernalia, another counter top covered in veggies for food prep, cup stacking mat and florescent green cups in center of kitchen table, the other 14 animal flash cards stuck upright in long crack of old schoolhouse kitchen table, 3 squashed grapes on floor, 4 pieces of paper with crayon sketched nay nays and moo moos on floor under table, left side of sink filled with clean dishes, right side stacked up to Jesus with dirty ones.

Characters:  One 10 year old 5th grade girl who rides the fence of wanting to be a little kid and a young lady; one 2 year old boy who knows the sound of every animal on the planet (or at least his 50 flash cards) who also, incidentally, had a temp of 102.5 earlier today which broke during his nap which woke him up early which plays a key role in his behavior in this particular setting; one 40 year old mom just trying to make dinner; one beautiful 30 year old friend who was gracious enough to endure the setting, characters, plot, conflict, and lack of resolution, who also brought fabulous fresh berries for dessert; one 4 pound black and brown full grown Maltipoo with a quarter pound bark collar on her neck who still yips and yaps regardless of said collar.  (Character NOT in play: suburban dad/hubby…)

Plot/Exposition:  40 year old mom who has had one shower this week would love to enjoy adult interaction with 30 year old friend (since suburban husband can’t hang out on phone while overseas on work trip) while making a yummy dinner for all characters involved, then to tuck animal loving 2 year old into bed early since his fever from the night before had kept him and said 40 year old mom awake until 1:30 am, and tuck in 10 year old daughter because those moments are so great for old mom’s heart, and finally to finish up chatting with young, beautiful, energetic 30 year old girlfriend who has no wrinkles.

Conflict:  Little boy wants his dinner now, not when hazelnut and herb crusted salmon, sauteed squash, mushrooms, and broccoli are finished, but EN. OH. DOUBLE YOU.  NOW!  Exhausted but not completely worn thin 40 year old mom who did get in a 1 1/2 hour yoga routine today gets mushrooms done first, then zucchini, then finally broccoli…Bubbly awesome young friend cuts peels off apple slices for little boy who is yelling, “Opples!  Opples!  Moose!  Moose!  Nay Nays!  Nay Nays!  Moy!  Moy!”  5th grade girl is on front porch reading because it’s part of her homework, however, could be helping saute SOMETHING!  Little boy without a fever but with lots of energy dumps plate of leftovers on his freshly cleaned hair and shouts, “DONE!  DONE!  DONE!  MOOSE!  MOO MOO!  CAMEL!”  Needy, but sweet, 4 lb dog sitting by front door where her 10 year old master sits just inches on the other side.

Ongoing Internal Conflict:  Smelly shower-less 40 year old mom keeps eye-balling the half bottle of red wine in the refrigerator, all the while thinking if she just drank it, it would calm the chaos, or at least take the edge off…but said mom knows better than to drink alone since gorgeous helpful 30 year old is on a cleanse so red and white and tequila and all other indulgences are off limits.  And then 40 year old mom snaps to and remembers she’s detoxing, too, so that’s the end of that internal conflict.

Continued Conflict:  Truly, truly, an inability for either grown-up to complete any given thought or sentence or story or…

  • In the MIDDLE of dinner, “Hey, can I show you guys a hand stand?”
  • “Moo moo!  Nay Nay!  Done!”
  • “I’m so sorry you had to go to a funeral…”
  • “Do I have to eat all of this lettuce?”
  • “Ooooh, Mommy!  Juice!”
  • “Can I have chocolate when I am done?”
  • “So were you able to spend time with family or see…?”
  • “Um, before it gets too dark will you guys come out in the backyard and watch me do a hand stand?”
  • “Moy!  Moy!  Moy!  Moy num nums!”
  • “Done!  Done!  Moose!  Done!”
  • “Can you send chocolate in my lunch tomorrow?”

Climax:  While piecing together the scene and series of events, 30 year old amazing helper friend with great hair and arms says to mom whose head has collapsed onto old schoolhouse table in an attempt for a solo retreat, “I think I’m starting to piece together why you asked me earlier to pray for you and God’s purpose in your life…I will definitely be praying for that, friend.”

Resolution:  10 year old clears dishes from the table after asking politely if she may be excused, then proceeds to do a fabulous hand stand in back yard.  2 year old escapes out the back door into backyard and does somersault while saying hi to the neighboring woof woofs.  Faithful and selfless 30 year old friend cleans the kitchen, the way her 40 year old friend would clean it.  Amazingly strong yoga momma climbs stairs with 27 pound 2 year old in her arms and has success on 2nd attempt to tuck in said toddler, albeit 2.5 hours after first attempt.  5th grade girl gets ready for bed, including feeding/watering/pottying of furry friend, without being asked by Super Mom who is still dressed in all black from working as a secret agent with the CIA, uh, doing yoga 8 hours earlier and smelling like it.

I love my best friend of 22 years, 19 of them married…

I love my nose-picking toddler..

I love backyard nudity…

I love being shot with water guns by my 10 year old…

*Note water drips from being shot…

I love that, thankfully, colored hair extensions and feather earrings aren’t moral issues…

I love Gary the Cowboy who let me shoot off a little steam recently..

I love that my toddler can say words like:  “Done!  Moose!  Nay Nay!”

I love the beautiful gracious gift of God who has taught me so much over the last 10 years…

I love that even though she is growing up, she still wanted to have a tea party at American Girl…

I love being a mom.  I really do.  I mean it.

And I love being a wife.  I really do.  I mean it.

These are two hats I wear and two roles I’d like to think I play decently, at least in my family.

However, what if I had never gotten married or what if I’d never had kids.

Who would I be?  

Not like, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t!” or “What am I missing out on?” This isn’t a mid-life crisis question or anything like that.

BUT:  Before I was a mom I was a wife.  And before I was a wife, I was a young woman…one with dreams and passions and ideas, some of which have really and truly come true…namely: Jason, Em, Noah, and Ryan.  Others that seem they are so covered in dust and cobweb perhaps on their way to fossilization. 

The other night before my husband was leaving for a week-long trip to the Dominican Republic for his job with Compassion International, which incidentally is my dream job since I was in college of traveling the world, working with nationals in country to reach their countrymen, and help women and children…we were just laying in bed talking for a few minutes after the house was finally quiet.

I said, “You know, buying a sports car, getting a tattoo, or having an affair are obvious mid-life crisis symptoms.  I don’t want any of those things, but I can’t even begin to tell you how out of my element I feel lately.  Your job is literally my dream job, I’m not coveting it, but it’s crazy that you are living out my passion for missions.  And then I love to write but haven’t written anything in forever and haven’t felt inspired to write, or even read anything, either.  I mean, I love my Bible and have been reading that tons and actually, the only writing I’ve been doing is with pen and paper, writing scriptures, but it’s like for the first time in years, I have nothing to say or convey.  And, I feel like I’m supposed to encourage other women but don’t even know where to begin, and the truth is, I really MISS encouraging women and being used in that way.  I know I am supposed to be a wife and mom, and I love those things very much, I am not sure if I remember what I love or am good at in addition to that anymore…I just want to be faithful with the gifts and strengths God has given me, however I don’t really know what they are at this given moment.”

This isn’t discontent or dissatisfaction with my life.  I love my life.  I am so very grateful to God for each person and every blessing.  Believe me, we talk about our thousands and thousands of gifts, and write lists of gratitude…

Presently I simply feel purposeless.  Do you ever feel that way?  And if so, do you have encouragement of how to become un-purposeless?


2 Responses

  1. Yes! I feel like that so often! I’m 38 with 2 small children and I simply don’t have the brain space(or physical energy!) for more! I YEARN to be back in ministry. I think longly back to my Teen Mania days and wish I could pack my little family up and take them on a TM trip. I keep telling myself that this is a season…and wonderful season that is my ministry and it will be a shocking short season in retrospect. Soon my girls won’t need my 24/7 care and i’ll be free(er) to serve others. At least, that’s how I placate my wondering soul 🙂

  2. Adrienne, I just love you to pieces. Every time I read your blog, most especially right now, I could write something very similar. I have felt a bit lost lately. I keep praying that I find contentment with where I am at right now so that I can open my heart and ears to notice where God wants me. Keep writing here if you can.


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