I have to remember this, on days when it feels like the only people who see the real me are the three people living in this house, that God knows who I am, that I am someone to Him, and that my greatest significance is that as I lose myself in Him, He will be glorified while I fade into my frail, temporal, human obscurity. And that is enough because Christ Himself is enough. For our years in Toddler Town, for tomorrow, and for eternity…
“You know,” I told Wes just the other day, “being someone’s mother is a thankless job.”
Emma had come up to me while I was helping Ana with some paper dolls and muttered, “Poo poo, Mommy.” We rushed to the bathroom only to discover that “poo poo, Mommy” is code for “I’ve already gone and done the deed in my training pants.” While reassuring her that this wasn’t the end of the world, I tried to get her out of the poopy pants, which prompted much screaming and wailing as Emmy is apparently clean enough to not enjoy the feeling of nasty pants being taken off… but not clean enough to actually make it to the potty in time. Anyhoo, I won’t go into the horrific details, but suffice it to say, in a matter of minutes, there was poo on the floor, poo on Mommy, and poo on a very frustrated Em, who was soon glaring at me from her belated seat on the potty. I cleaned up the mess, cleaned up the girl, and cleaned up myself, only to have Emma tell me, “No! I do it myself!” Because the logical conclusion to a potty training mess is to insist that you are grown up enough to dress yourself. Right.
She left the bathroom without thanking me. Big shocker there. Well, a fine thank you to you, too, dirty drawers!
Before I married, before I ever thought I’d have children, I assumed that life would be about making a name for myself in some grand and important way. I think we’re taught to dream big, to make goals for ourselves, and to imagine a future where we’re somebody special, somebody who changes the world. When I began walking with Christ, the dreams and goals changed — I wanted to be someone who made a difference in the world for Christ. Yet still, even hidden in Christ, I would still be someone important, someone special, someone that people would know by name… not someone who just faded into obscurity.
The truth is, all these years later, I’m not making much of a difference. My sphere of influence is the length of my home, and my realm of expertise is how to disinfect toys and toddler potties. (Which is important — don’t get me wrong!) I’m fairly certain that my name will not go down in any history books for all that I do on a daily basis, and I’m more and more convinced as I go about life in these toddler years that I am no different, no more spectacular, no more important than every other stay at home mom out there. I am, to put it bluntly, just another mommy.
And I know what you’ll say — that to my two girls, I AM someone special, and that God’s important role for my life is to be a mother to them. And that’s exactly right, but I think the most crucial lesson, what I’ve been learning by hard experience here these days, is that as I follow Christ I should fall into obscurity. I shouldn’t mourn the fact that I’m no one special in the world’s eyes because life is about HIM and not about me. My pride, a remnant from my younger years of imagining a future of self-importance and high accolades, is losing its power as I pray, study, and remember that Christ did not call me to find my peace and contentment in who I am but to find it in who He is.