Recently I was chatting online with a friend that I’ve met as part of a book launch team. She was expressing her frustration at not feeling like she was living up to some standards that she had set in her mind. And then she said something mindblowing to me…..”I’m only a nurse. I can’t do it.”
Of course, my response to her was, “Just a nurse? How can you say ‘I’m only’ a nurse! That’s an amazing thing!!!”
This online conversation really got me thinking about the words that we use to describe ourselves.
How many times have I described myself as ‘only’ a mom’?
‘Just’ a mom’?
How do those word belittle one of the biggest ministries, responsibilities and joys of my life? Perhaps my very most important? If I listed all that being ‘only’ a mom entailed…we’d both get tired of reading such a long list. Right, friend? I ‘just nanny for my friend’s 4 kids’. Just this morning I taught the twins how to blow their noses. I have taught them Bible songs and stories, wiped noses and bottoms, cooked healthy meals, washed and folded their clothes, taught them about God’s love, sin, being obedient, and prayed with them daily, told them ‘I love you’ countless times a day…and yet I almost always say I ‘just nanny’ when someone asks me what I ‘do’.
And why is being a wife and mother not the first thing I reply when someone asks what I ‘do’. Is it because I get paid to be ‘just a nanny’? Is it because the person asking the question usually knows or assumes I am a wife and mom? Or is it because it is so much a part of me that I don’t feel like I even need to mention those roles…that they’re so ingrained, so important, such a part of me, that just assume anyone I know knows I am a wife and mother. (Or maybe they have witnessed enough of my chaos and crazy to know I must be a wife and mom!) I certainly hope that it is the later reason, but when I search my heart, I fear that that may not always be the case.
Do I minimize how crucial my role of wife and mother is? In the day in and day out chaos and crazy, it is very easy to forget about the vital, even eternal importance of my role as a wife and mother. When there are rushed goodbyes and meals throughout the day, teenager attitudes and eye rolls, ADD frustrations, carpools, and puppy problems, it is simple for me to forget that all of this really matters. If I can love my family well, or at least try, during the chaos and crazy, then I should be shouting from the rooftops that I am not ‘only’ a wife and mother….
I AM a wife and mother.
No disclaimer, no apology, no minimizing my worth. Loving and raising my family well is a high calling. One I am ever so thankful God has entrusted to me.
No matter ‘what’ you are….be it well. Wear it with pride. Tell people!
And don’t ever use the word ‘only’ when you describe yourself!
And to my friend, the nurse, thank you for shining God’s light into a place in my heart that needed to be illuminated.