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Finally Understanding Married Life as a True Vocation

>> Friday, May 22, 2009

Today's Guest Article is by Deborah from Journey of a Soul


Married women of this modern culture are encouraged to do everything we can to avoid the role of wife and mother. We add tremendous amounts of other "fulfilling activities" to our schedules in order to meet the expectation that "you can have it all!" Serving our families is considered demeaning work and we are encouraged to use all of our gifts and talents outside the home.

Modern women may be more educated, more liberated, and more independent than our counter-parts of 100 years ago, but in essence we are the same. Our predecessors had the same talents and creativity, the same drive and ambition. They had the same desires and the same fears. They may not have had as many options as women of today, but they faithfully raised the next generation. In fact, married women of 100 years ago put all of their gifts and energy into that one over reaching task and no one said, "You're too smart for that."

When my husband (a widower) asked me to marry him I freely chose to become his wife and a step-mother to his 5 and 8 year old sons. I was 30 years old and almost finished with my master's degree but chose to put it aside for a higher call. I said "yes" to marriage and to what I believed was God's will for my life.

For 14 years, I've tried to live out this gift of marriage and motherhood faithfully. I didn't let it bother me when other women (working full time), with whom I worked part time, seemed to be on the fast track to career success. I knew what I would have to give up in order to have a "full time career" and that was not my calling. However until these last few weeks, I wasn't truly aware of how special this gift of marriage and motherhood is. I've always respected other mothers and felt satisfied that I was sacrificing career for family but did not value the sacramental nature of marriage. Instead I would hear about a woman like Sarah Palin or a CEO of a major corporation who had a family and a career and think "Wow, now there is a woman who is truly successful!"

Since attending a recent vocations retreat, everything has changed in my understanding of marriage as a vocation. In addition, I continue to meditate on the whole concept of what makes an ordinary person into a saint. Through studying the life of St Therese, I've realized that the way to sainthood is not by being or doing what I see other women do. It's surrendering to the little way that God has put before me. It's the little "yes" I say all day long following the big "YES" I said on the day I got married. It's doing the dishes and folding the laundry. It's giving extra kisses and encouraging words to my husband and children. It's surrender and sacrifice as Mother Theresa said "doing little things with great love."

Today I've been thinking about what Mary did to earn the title "Queen of Heaven." Surely she was the greatest woman who ever lived and to think that I have been given the awesome privilege of having the same earthly role as the Mother of God! Mary's little way to sainthood was to completely embrace her role as a wife and mother. Why would I ever think that role is not quite as special as some other title like "Dean of Students" or "Governor of Alaska?"

All of that said, it's still a battle and I do need help because everything in our culture fights against this belief that Mary's Little Way is the path to sainthood and the glamor and excitement of other pursuits is forever tugging at my soul. So I will continue to pray and hide myself in Christ and trust that through the intercession of Mary and all the Saints, I too will journey faithfully to the end, joyfully surrendering my will to His.

Today's Guest Article is by Deborah from Journey of a Soul

photo by Crazybananas


Domanda4 May 22, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

Very good post. Thank you for sharing.

Frances May 26, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

Timely and thoughtful post, Deborah. I'm especially moved by 'It's the little "yes" I say all day long following the big "YES" I said on the day I got married.' God, help me say all those little yeses!

Anonymous May 27, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

I agree with you to a certain degree. I am a mom who gave up a successful career ( I was earning over 80K a year and being recommended for a promotion when I handed in my resignation) to look after my children and be there for them. Do I miss my job? Definitely! Do I miss the pay? Sure. But I love being there for my family. However, there are also many down days... I have very little by way of acknowledgement. I think that's what I miss most.

My boss frequently told us we were doing a great job. I got great end of year reviews. Our boss took us out to lunch sometimes as a thank you. The lack of acknowledgement at home was okay because I got it at work.

Nowadays it feels like I'm just an unpaid servant sometimes... My days are filled with doing things for everyone but no one even bothers with a thanks. I didn't even get an acknowledgement on Mothers day other than the school created ones. My birthday will be just another day I get older.

So while, every where around me I see Conservatives and Catholics talk about how mothering and married woman are so lacking in the modern world... why aren't they also talking about the man's role in all this? Is it just to reap the benefits of all the work his wife does so he can come home and relax while wife never gets time off?

Anonymous June 4, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

I enjoyed your post. I do think women (and everyone else) gets the message that life is all about is suppose to be all about my needs, and my happiness and my dreams....Sounds like every Oprah show I ever saw!!
Christ, on the other hand, said the last shall be first and unless we become like a servent and take up our cross we are not following Him. Marriage should be a sacrificial gift to each other every day.
Balance is always key. Balance between home, work, marriage, and spiritual growth isn't always easy but do remember we have "seasons". For example, children are infants and toddlers for only a short time when they require constant supervision. As they grow a little older, the marriage relationship, during all this doing for the children, needs to be prioritized. Married couples should take regular time together, like a weekly private dinner away from the stresses of everyday life; not individual time and not discussing bills! Before we know it our children will be gone which is why it is so important to have a strong relationship with your spouse.

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