Clarksville, TN – I do a lot of stuff. I am a wife, a mother of 2 (fantastic boys!), a student, a business owner/manager, a writer, a jail mentoring coordinator, a volunteer church leader, and budding lover of fitness (I didn’t count that last one as a job, by the way).
Now I’m not bragging. That would be foolish. Most people think I am crazy to do so much, and I wouldn’t be ashamed to agree with them. But quantity is not what I aim to talk about; quality is.
Here’s the issue: Expectations vary. Confusion ensues. Insecurities compound. A very wise man once said, “It’s not easy being green.” I say, it’s easier to be green, than it is to be me sometimes. Green is green, all the time.
Here are some examples of the modern woman identity crisis:
- Kids act like maniacs. Mom tries to write a policies and procedures manual for said kids. Mom loses said policies and procedures manual. Kids go totally bozonkers. Mom remembers they are 10 and 13, and that they need love and discipline. Oh, and some Jesus!
- Assignments are due…a bunch of them. Mom ain’t in charge anymore. Teachers have rules. And mom is trying to figure how to break them and not get caught, or just do really stinking well so she can get a fridge worthy grade.
- Work/business takes its toll. Woman shows love and discipline to staff. Some employees respond well. Other give the crazy eyed “Lord rescue me” stare off into space look.
- Woman serves at church. She can’t be too tough. Organization is good. Empathy is valued. Sexiness is not.
- Woman loves her hubby. She can’t be too tough. Organization is good. Empathy is valued. Sexiness is hot.
There are many more examples that this mother/wife/Mrs. Bossy-pants could offer, but I don’t need to. You get the point. Expectations vary a lot for women, and quite a bit for men too. It’s difficult to know when to be soft, when to be sassy, and when to offer tough love. And no matter what you choose, you will have a critic (and often a woman) who can’t wait to put you in your place.
After 13 years of parenting & marriage, 8 years in management, and a lifetime as a student/friend/servant of whomever, I have developed a few strategies for coping with this identity crisis.
- Know myself: I have good qualities. I have undesirable qualities. I can’t take credit for the good ones. I can’t beat myself up over the bad ones. I am no better or worse than my peers. I have something to offer. I have something to learn.
- Know my story: My baggage is full of treasure. I could drop it off on the side of the road and lighten my load. But I don’t carry it. My Heavenly Father does. I am able to pull out knowledge from the darkest parts of me, and know that I survived it, and it has given me stripes of honor.
- Know my God: My God never changes. So no matter how inept, unqualified, or out of place I feel, I can seek God for the final truth. No matter how my world quivers, or how my roles evolve, or how expectations zig then zag, God will never compromise.
From tie-dyed, to acid washed; tight rolled, to flair leg; distressed, to bejeweled, this fickle ever-evolving world keeps spinning, sliding, cha-cha-ing, and shaking. But whom shall I fear?
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: ?that I may dwell in the house of the Lord? all the days of my life,? to gaze on the beauty of the Lord? and to seek him in his temple.? For in the day of trouble? he will keep me safe in his dwelling;? he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent? and set me high upon a rock. (Read all of Psalm 27 here)
In the end, I have to ask myself, “Does this please God? Is this Holy? Is this Godly? Am I honoring Him?” Because he can like me, and she can like me, and even I can like me, but what does He say about me?
Now I can be 1 woman with 1 job. Serve Him.