The more days I live amongst others, the more universal I find the desire for each of us to know that our lives count and matter for something, and we want to know exactly what our unique purpose on Earth is. This is specifically a question that has kept me on a journeying path for YEARS as a mom, wondering when, why, how, I would make an impact. As if the small tinies right in front of me weren’t enough.
Whether motherhood is the answer for you or not, the universal desire to know our life matters and has a unique purpose transcends all individual vocations.
There is a unique intersection I believe that is the sweet spot of our purpose, and it’s this: where your heart begins to race and you are energized by the work that you are doing IN COMBO with your current season of life.
Take inventory of your current season
What are the doors currently open for me and what is right in front of me, that I am already doing?
Here’s the thing: I’m a believer that there is no magical arrival point for discovering your purpose. I think that in our lifetime, we will have MANY different vocational purposes because WHAT we are doing has less to do with our purpose than WHO we are becoming.
In my journey, I have struggled with the notion that I am wired to work, not stay at home and raise babies. There is nothing domestic about me. You look up Martha Stewart in the dictionary, and you’ll see my name under Other: Working Mom, antonym.
I always planned to be a Professional Career Mom – it’s what was in my heart, in my plans, and what was modeled for me growing up. Except my carefully crafted plan isn’t how things have turned out…for right now.
Once my head began to bob above water after birthing child after child, the bitterness in my heart began to grow as I wrestled with WHY I was in the role that I was in, a full-time SAHM. How anti-feminist, anti-climactic, and under-whelming for the education and training I’d pursued previously.
It wasn’t until I began to accept my full-time role as a season, not a life sentence, and look for OTHER WAYS that I could find fulfillment and purpose in my identity, that the bitterness began to fade and joy and contentment began to grow.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, your vocation does not dictate your purpose or worth. Vocations, jobs, roles, careers, all of it will come and go. Don’t waste your time putting your eggs in this basket for your value and worth. Notoriety, applause, fancy titles – all of the things that motherhood DOES NOT have – will not bring you a fulfilling sense of purpose.
Take inventory of what gives you life
Regardless of what season you are in, the key to finding your purpose, and feeling purposeful, is leaning in to whatever in your day to day gives you life.
What makes your heart go pitter patter? What of your daily tasks, responsibilities, or outlets seems to come easy to you? What gives you joy?
These are the questions that when answered, you’ll start to see a clearer purpose emerge. Look for the overlap, look for the patterns. You have been gifted with talents and skills that make certain things for you easier than others, and this is for a REASON. In a group, do people look to you to help guide them in a decision? Are you the one who loves to entertain and make people laugh?
In motherhood, my days have been filled with tasks that DO NOT give me life. So I have had to create, and look for opportunities outside of the home (whether for a paycheck or not) that allow me to still be me and lean in to places where I am gifted. For the most part, this has meant a lot of volunteering – leading fundraising efforts in the community, gathering other moms together for community, cultivating this little community – all of these things give me LIFE.
It may not feel like it today, but being a mom is not all there is in life for you.
Your current situation does not have to dictate, OR LIMIT, your ability to fulfill your purpose. Sometimes, life requires you to just DO THE JOB in front of you. This is why looking for the areas that bring you life OUTSIDE of your vocation, will help you narrow in on your sweet spot, knowing that vocation and jobs will change throughout various seasons of life.