When it’s time to broaden your focus

For the past three years, I have been paring down parts of my life that required regular, scheduled time. Babies do well with one schedule – their own. After I realized this, I started letting things go.

Volunteering. Grad school. Worship team. Work outside the home.

I’m not crying in my soup about it. These were my choices. Some were easy, while others required a little coaxing. Last year I let go of my last remaining scheduled time, and spent every waking moment with my babies.

For me, having twins and a toddler called for that. I physically could not do anything else.

This July, Gabby and Lucy turned one, and Ellis turned three. And just like that, the baby phase was done. We closed shop on breastfeeding, put away all the bottles, took down the swings and bouncers. I remembered that one-year-olds should probably wear shoes.

Life has taken on shades of normalcy. The twins sleep from 7 pm to 7 am most days. Ellis is on a similar routine. Within reason, we know what we can expect from them.

I also know I can expect a little more from myself.

Complete and sole focus on my little girls has been a huge blessing. But I’ve also felt the quiet ache that comes from boxing up pursuits your heart really loves.

As wonderful as motherhood is, there are other people in the world besides the three I gave birth to. And if I’m going to teach my three how and why we should love others, I need to get back to doing the same.

Menomonie CMA peeps hanging in our tiny house.

Menomonie CMA peeps hanging in our tiny house, 2005.

This fall, I’ve decided to start volunteering as a high school youth leader again. Call me crazy, but I love the wild and formative years in a girl’s life. They are gifted with passion, with focus, with feeling. When they stake a claim on something, they mean it.

I’ve seen it over and over. In Ames, IA. In Hopkins, MN. In Menomonie, WI. In St. Croix Falls, WI. God is fiercely doing battle for the minds and hearts of emerging young men and women. And when they are encouraged, loved, and empowered, they grow able to do things far beyond what they could even imagine.

Things that matter most – things that moth and rust cannot destroy, that set their minds on things above, things that do not change like shifting shadows.

Maybe you’re there too, feeling that stirring, that readiness to wake up a part of your life you’ve put to sleep for a while. Say yes. Don’t put it off. Don’t be scared of the commitment, the time, the practice it takes. God’s love is wide enough to cover every life you reach out to, and strong enough to cover your insecurities.

Go. Do. Live in love.

And let me know how it goes, eh? I’d love to hear what you’re venturing into this fall, and connect you with others that might be doing the same thing.

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4 thoughts on “When it’s time to broaden your focus

  1. So refreshing to see a mom of twins venturing out after the baby stage! I’m entering the baby stage with my little ones due in a few months and the thought of putting everything on hold is scary, but it’s not forever! Good for you for saying yes to Gods calling!

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    • Thanks Kelley! I didn’t think I was ever going to LEAVE the baby stage at times 🙂 but I’m happy that we have emerged and that things settled down. You’re right – it’s hard to put things on hold, but keeping things simple for you and the babies is worth it. Meanwhile, keep on growing those little ones!

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