On a dairy farm, there are very distinct sounds, smells and images, and to this day they are as vivid as if I still experienced them daily. Last week, my dear friend Scott, to whom I give all the credit for this content, triggered this memory.
The truth is I have been charged with writing a life mission statement, which I have wanted to do for years, but really struggled to write. Last week, it dawned on me why I couldn’t actually write it down. My kids have been my mission for the past 20 years! All decisions I made, everything I did filtered through the mission of raising my boys and what was best for them. As a single parent, this was my most important focus. I chose not to sacrifice my kids for anything, personally or professionally.
Then I wake up this year and BAM, my mission turned upside down, from 80% them, 20% me, to the opposite. I’m on the verge of a whole new rhythm of life! YIKES! I absolutely know I’m not alone in this; yet, the reality is I have no idea how to do this. It feels strange and uncomfortable and exciting and scary and like the promised land awaits, but with a hint of guilt! Truly, I can’t just turn off being a mom; now I realize it becomes a transition in perspective.
Dairy cows were fed twice a day and each time, the second my dad turned on the auger that pulled the feed out of the silos, the cows practically ran to be fed. They ran to get the energy and protein they required to live, that provide the basics they needed to produce the milk we wanted from them.
My dad always had salt blocks/salt licks around, like at the end of the feed bunk. The “rioting” at the feed bunk for space to consume the required nutrition was quite different than watching the cows lick that salt block. My dad watched to see when it needed to be replaced; the cows consumed it gradually, “secretly”. They used it only when they subconsciously knew their bodies required it. It always took a different shape because they picked at it, in different places, until it was gone.
As a mom, I’ve spent the last almost 21 years filling up the feed bunk by putting nutrition for the body and minds of my kids to consume. They fed at it every day. That was my job. Now as they head out into the world they are occasionally going to need a big helping at the feed bunk, and I’m going to jump at any chance to provide that big dose of whatever they need when they need it. It is going to be gratifying and fill up my soul. That will be FUN!
But as they get further and further away from needing the big dose, my job is to leave salt blocks lying around. I will never see them hit them, but when I check those blocks once in a while, I’m going to notice a corner licked off, a groove in the front, a big hole being wallowed out in the middle of the top. They are taking what they need when they need it. When that one is consumed, they will move on to one of the other ones I left lying around.
It’s my job to keep checking on those salt blocks and to keep leaving them around. When I see they are being unknowingly consumed, I know I won’t have the same rush of adrenaline that I got when they needed a big dose, but isn’t that the natural course? It will give me a warm feeling inside to know they are getting the trace ingredients that they require when they subconsciously know that they need it. They will always come back to the place that they have always found it, and that is with me. Thus my mission lived out!
So, I’m embracing this new rhythm of life; I’m trying on this new 80/20 role of mine with anticipation, a blindfold, and an excitement of what God has in store for me!
My new life mission: I bravely share it, with the hope that you will be inspired to write yours.
I provide a safe landing place for people and then encourage and equip them to fly.
What transition are you facing and how have you begun to embrace it?