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All of Me
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At a recent Bible study, the leader stood and introduced herself to the group. She told us where she was born and a bit about her family growing up, then she talked about her high school years, what she chose to pursue in college, as well as her passions and interests during those years. She talked about working as a teacher and her favorite aspects of that career and then she told us about meeting, dating and eventually marrying her husband. It had taken her about four or five minutes to tell us about the first 20 or so years of her life. And then she said, “We were married in 1992, we have three children, 13, 15 and 19 and I work part-time here at the church.” And then she sat down.

She’d spent 95% of her time speaking about her years before marriage. She’d spoken with great animation and joy. And then that last sentence spanned an additional 20 years of life, but took eight seconds and was delivered with a bit of tiredness to her voice.

And I can’t stop thinking about it. That her pre-marriage years were so fun for her to talk about and yet her current life was given little attention. Is it because she thinks we would find her motherhood/housewife experience boring? Is it because society doesn’t value those things as much as the other experiences? Is it because she is dissatisfied with her current life? Possibly.

Lost Herself

It’s also possible that somewhere in the last 20 years, she has lost herself. The roles of wife and mother take up a LOT of time. Easily more than the 1440 minutes available in each day. And it doesn’t take long to begin to introduce yourself as Jake’s mom or Brent’s wife or to think of yourself in terms of who you are attached to (or who is attached at the hip to you).

I’m not saying I’m not proud to be wife and mother. I am hugely proud. It’s a major part of who I am. But in order to be a healthy woman, I believe that there needs to be more of me. Maybe it’s a hobby or a service role you provide outside of the home. Maybe it’s another job or somewhere you volunteer. But I know to be a whole person, I need to maintain parts of me that are just… me.

God created women uniquely to love and care and support a family. But He placed many other talents and gifts, desires and passions inside of us. We honor His creation when we continue to take time to develop and enjoy all of ourselves.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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