Anyone who knew me at any point before I got married knows that I didn’t have any plans to settle down, start a family, live in a house with a toilet to clean, NOT live somewhere super edgy like an apartment over a bakery by a river in France.
But anyone who has met me at any point since I got married, knows that I’m finding myself in this life of playdates and sippy cup scrubbing and endless bedtime wrangling. Why would I ever dream of a life of travel and meandering when I could hold little fingers in my own and get slobbery kisses from a child (and her dog) who thinks I am her world? When I could play staring contests for actual hours and never tire of seeing the incredible eyes of my own legacy staring back at me?
I dreamt of adventure and foreign missions and nothing tethering me to this world but a backpack and compass.
Somehow, my Creator handed me something so much more glorious. An adventure harder than I could have imagined, a ministry fuller than I could have asked for, a life so complex in all of its stunningly simplistic beauty.
I surprised myself by getting married, and no one was surprised by the steadfast rock I tied myself to. I had a surprise pregnancy and no one was surprised by how much I loved hearing her call me mommy. I was surprised with chickens and no one in my life was surprised when it became ducks and a rabbit, too. I surprised myself with a little doodle and no one in my life lifted an eyebrow when I ventured out cautiously to see what I could create.
Either I need a new support system, or they ultimately knew me better than I knew myself. I might not be cutting through brush with a machete in Peru, but I’m breaking new ground for the Kingdom behind my computer as I lead a team of incredible people who are passionate to bring the news of Christ to those nations I may never travel to. I may be playing with playdough with one hand, but my other hand is holding a phone that is being used to shape lives and mold hearts in places I can’t see.
I’m doing more than I ever thought possible, and I’m doing it on less sleep and with less ‘me time’ because every moment of every day for the rest of my existence I am wife and mother and that will never change or go away or become undone, because God surprised me with a tether to this world, His world, that I don’t know how I ever lived without.
To all the fathers out there who made a woman a mother, who stood by and gave encouraging half smiles while their infants sobbed hysterically in their wife’s arms, who sang the alphabet song every day minutes after walking through the door and being bombarded by little arms and little legs and little clinging fingers that threaten to never let go, whose single act of coming home each night is everything, and could never be replaced: you’re doing more than you know.
To my own father, whose quiver is full to bursting with arrows who are ever searching, ever determined to find their mark: thank you for sharpening, for tweaking, for pushing and pulling, for guiding the feathers and pointing our faces ever North, ever up, ever forward.
And to my daughter’s father, whose simple state of being is enough, thank you for giving me everything.