Friday, September 2, 2011

living the dream

i've been on medical leave for the past 3 weeks and as it winds down and i face going back to my job, the whole reason we are even able to be here, doing 'the stuff', i am facing a bit of a depression.

let me start at the beginning. when we decided to move here, i had a completely different vision of the life i'd be leading as a missionary. in my version, i'd be working from home, doing the same work i was doing in the states, under the same rad boss i'd been working for. i'd be doing ministry; 'work' was just my side job, my bread and butter job, and i'd have my hands in all sorts of cool ministry opportunities and life changing situations. but the real truth is, i'm not.

i've come to grips with this over the course of the last long 9 months, but honestly, i just thought it'd be different.

in my version, i'd feel like i was touching lives (for the better), making a difference in young people's lives.

in my version, i would be super mom and would bring in the money AND spend the day with my kids, AND bake yummies for my family, AND keep a clean house, AND spread the word of God effectively to Belgians near and far.

the reality is that i work 12 hours a day and i see my family at most, 2 hours a day. i wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the spreadsheets i didn't finish and hoping i won't get reamed too badly tomorrow for it. the reality is that i rarely get to participate in the team ministry that happens on a daily basis because i am busy telling companies why i won't let them use their funds for a go-kart event and churning out reports on ROI and MQL's.

most days i wonder why i spend so much time on things i don't even really care about, other than the fact that it is the reason we are able to pay our rent and buy groceries each week.

i know God is preparing me for something; something great and amazing. something life changing. i guess i didn't realize how much preparation i still needed.

this isn't a plea for more financial support. this isn't a plea to feel sorry for me for the choices that i've made. i'm not sorry i made them and i know the desires of my heart will be fulfilled; i am just human. impatient, lacking in grace, lacking in understanding, and, well, yes, maybe even selfish.

these past 3 weeks have shown me what it would be like to spend an entire day with my little men. to wake up to their sleepy eyed-faces and the sweet little 'hey mommy' each morning. to make them pancakes and bacon; to feel my heart well with pride and admiration as i watch my husband scour the Word for insight and understanding with a fervor i have yet to grasp myself. to share a meal with my team and spend time with them late at night; to be part of the organic discussions, whether they be spiritual or full of laughter without worrying about having to wake up early to catch the train to the office.

for 3 weeks i was ME. the real me. the fun me. the one who makes jokes and laughs. the one who cuddles with my son when, really, he should have been in bed hours ago. the one who has time to talk about things that really matter. the one who takes time to enjoy an early morning chill in the air. the one who has time to teach my son how to write his letters and welcomes little helpers in the kitchen even though it means a much bigger clean up when its all said and done. the one who dreams big.

i miss that version of ME and i'm finding it difficult to let that version of me go.

the light at the end of the tunnel is that i serve a God who knows the real me. knows my desires, knows my shortcomings, and knows what is around the curve that i, myself, can't quite seem to see around, no matter how hard i crane my neck and squint. He's good like that.


Jerri said...

Thanks for being so transparent, Liz. It's so hard to know the "why" of things, and I really believe this season won't last long. You are my hero, though. I pray for extra special grace as you go back to work. AND extra special favor with your bosses. Love you!

LIZZY said...

thank you, Gigi, that means so very much.

Debra Leckie said...

Liz,I totally understand what you are going thru! I have felt some of the same things you have described and yet I know God is faithful to use us where he has us. I think of you often and pray for you while you work in the corporate world and it seems like others get to do the "fun and ministry" stuff. From one fellow corporate mom to another, please know I'm praying your season will be fruitful and that your children will be blessed because of all you do for them and will rise up and call you blessed! You are TRULY a Proverbs 31 woman!
Debra Leckie

sandramariesepulveda said...

Praying for you Liz. Gods grace & peace. Knowing His perspective of why He has you in this season would make it easier to walk through. But alas not knowing and being able to walk through it with patience is part of the work He's doing in your lheart. May you have wisdom & understanding in the knowledge of Him who is always faithful.

LIZZY said...

Thanks Debra, it's nice to receive encouragement from another corporate mom. :)

I find it funny that we both work in the IT industry and our companies are partnered up on many things.

Did you work while your children were small too? How did you handle that?

LIZZY said...

Marie, thanks for your kind words. You are right - I need to be patient and allow Him to work in me even through this time. You are awesome!

Sarah B said...

maybe im not a corporate mom, but id like to think im a corporate gal... nevertheless, i understand the pains of a long A$$ day, doing things that dont hold a true weight and value in your heart. it doesnt make the days go by any faster, or make you want to jump out of bed any quicker.
however, i'd like to think they mean something.
dont forget, every day of your tiresome routine means something, whether what you're doing holds value and significance in your life, it does greatly in the heart of the father. the choices, the sacrifices, the no sleep, the not enough baby and family love, the trains, the weary and tired heart... every single second is seen, and know... nothing is hidden from a very real and a very present God.
like gigi said, this time wont last forever, and i truly believe when you look back at what a crazy ride this first year has been, you'll see how much your heart was benefitted and how much you learned along the way.
all that rambling to say, grace on you friend:) what you're doing and how you're lviing is seen, and it holds great value and worth in the Fathers heart.
I CANT wait to squeeze you next week.
We're gonna laugh a lot. So go ahead and prepare your heart now!
love you lizzy!

Debra Leckie said...

Hi Liz,
I worked a bit when my kids were little but not for long, we couldn't afford the childcare, it wasn't worth me working. I started to work full time when we moved to DFW and Tim was in 1st grade at SGCA and Sarah was in 3rd. I was fortunate that Bill worked at the academy (and then later on at the church) so he was able to keep up with them and have them close. I still hated that I missed out on a lot of things going on in their lives, but it all worked out and they still love me :)

Girish said...

Remember the time you helped me out with some relationship advice when we were at Geniant? Hmmm?

You told me what I needed to do and that's exactly what I ended up doing.

You were super strong back then and I'm sure you're just as strong now.

So hang in there, my awesome friend. Things are gonna be okay.

becki said...

Sweet Lizzy, I, like SB, am not a mom, but I do understand a busyness and a schedule that don't allow you the time you want/need for the things that are most important to your heart.

As I was reading this I kept thinking about something you once told me a long time ago when you and Zach were going through a difficult time at church. He spoke to you that you would be ministering to others by how you responded to the circumstance. You are such a submitted person to God, even when you don't like what His current plan is for you, and it has always paid off, so I will keep praying for patience and heart hugs from God for you when you're feeling down. I love you Lizbo!