Hardly anything from my day to day life looks the same as it did a year ago. A year ago, I lived a busy, fast paced life. I woke up early, went to bed late, and crammed in as much life as I could in between. I worked a high pressure job in a software company that was growing at a rapid rate. I sat in traffic a lot. I meal prepped every meal for the week ahead of time. I served in a lot of ministries at church. I did a lot of discipleship. My calendar was jam packed, and I often had to schedule myself time to do menial things like laundry of grocery shopping. I woke up super early just to squeeze in time with God and His Word. My life was consistently on the go. And for a Type-A, get stuff done, task-oriented person, I loved this season of life. I really did. I thrived in moving quickly and achieving high levels of productivity. I jokingly refer to that season of my life as the “tupperware” season – always looking for efficiency, and also, because I ate 95% of my meals out of tupperware containers.
Then I had a baby.
Nothing will hijack your life like birthing a seven pound human. I cannot even accurately begin to explain the dramatic life alteration that happens, but everyone who has had a baby knows it all too well. You hardly know what day it is, much less the actual time. Your life becomes a cycle of three hours, over and over again – eat, wake, sleep. Again and again.
Once the dust settled and I began to feel like a normal human again (which took a solid three months), I quickly realized my life was not going back to the way it was before. I’m still working, but from home, and part time. I’m still serving in ministry at my church, but less of it. I’m still engaged in discipleship relationships, but fewer of them. Life is run less by appointments on my calendar, and more by inner intuition. My life has been forcibly slowed down, and bears little resemblance to what it was a year ago. And I’m loving it.
I’m learning that productivity and efficiency, as much as I love them, are not the most important things in life. Relationships are; relationship with God first, then relationships with others following. I am learning the value of sitting on my back porch with my baby, watching the squirrels chase each other, and daily walks to the neighborhood park. I am loving the discipline of waking up before the sun in the wee hours of the morning to sneak away to Panera, and sip on coffee and spend time with God there. I love inviting people over just because, for no other reason than we love and value them, and want to spend time with them. For the first time in our marriage, we are implementing nightly family dinners around the table, eating home-cooked food served on actual plates instead of tupperware. For that reason, I am calling this season of life my “table” season.
From tupperware to table, much in my life has changed. Reflecting back on the past year, I realize that nearly all of my external circumstances have shifted, but I have not. Sure, I have grown and developed in some ways, but the core of who I am as a person is exactly the same. I am just a girl who loves God, and is making the great ambition of my life to know and love Him. I have learned that what I do does not define me. My role as a wife and mother, my job, my ministries, and my daily schedule do not label my identity. They surely could if I let them, and I know there are times when I allow it. But more than any of the good things or “titles” of my life, I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus. That will never change.
As much am I am loving the “table” season of my life right now, I recognize there will probably be seasons ahead that will look more like the “tupperware” phase. And I am okay with that, even excited by that. God is teaching me to embrace where He has me, not envy another’s life, and to live in contentment of who I am because of who He is. Twenty years from now, my life will look different, but at the core it will always be the same, because my identity is secure and never shifting because of the steadfast love of God. How amazing is that?!
Until next time,