For those of you who don't know, I am currently working on the Song of Songs Study by Mike Bickle and my posse of hardcore Jesus loving mom friends and I are on session 10 of 24.
However, in session 8, Mike challenges people to take a hard look at their life vision, and make long and short term goals that fall in line with that overall life vision.
I thankfully had done this part of the study before and lived in a community that lived and breathed Song of Songs on a regular basis. So to say the least, I had a lot of people pour into me helpful hints into how to go about figuring out my life vision.
It looks a bit different for a stay a home mom than compared to say.....someone starting a business, someone single, or even a man with a career outside the home. So it was some other very wise mom friends of mine who shared a project that helped me to think of a new way to come by a life vision of sorts, since people and resources around me were not in the same sort of season I was in. This project took a sort of backward approach that worked to show me what is truly important to me in the long run.
They called it the "Mothering Mission Statement" - and the way I was to come up with it was to think about what I wanted "fill in the blank" to say about me at the end of my life, when I was dead and could do nothing to change the outcome.
Dramatic, perhaps, but it sure put a cool perspective on it to sift through those things that really aren't that important to me.
Here is my list of people who I care what they think; Jesus, my husband, my children, and fellow believers (listed in priority of opinion).
For Jesus there are some obvious ones. Same for my husband and children, and then to the fellow believers. My mission statement is written like a letter rather than a list, and I keep it in my Bible so that I see it often. I allow myself to revise it about once a year to add or subtract things, but in the last two plus years it has changed very little.
When I think about what is important to remember about me after I am dead, the list is rather short I'm afraid. Not too many frills, just simple things that require a lifetime to cultivate.
Now onto how to pull long term and short term goals from that mission statement. I put things that I can do in my present season (motherhood with small children) into my short term goal category (1-3 year period). Anything that I feel can't be feasible with small children are put in the long term goal category (3-7 year period).
Overall, my short term goals, if you looked at them, don't directly correlate with my mission statement, at least not at first glance, but they are all leading in that direction. I have a whole life to cultivate the things that I want to shine at the end of my life. I just make sure that my short term goals are at least taking me in the right direction.
To have my life vision in writing though, helps to keep me from becoming overly short sighted. The things that I have to care about in my current season ....like worry about making sure my children eat enough vegetables, is really not going to matter in the long run. I still have to consider those things in my present appointment as mom to toddlers, but it is not what I want to define me.
So I have a broader vision for myself in the midst of the mundane and routine, and can even use this season to grow in my heart things that I want to accomplish and establish more fully later in life.
As an example, a woman I admire - Julie Meyers. She shared once at a mom's gathering I attended, and told how while she was the mother of her three boys, the younger two were twins, she cultivated a prophetic singing anointing. She would sing around her house and children. No one else was around to listen as she poured out to the Lord, but she was faithful to cultivate that gifting in the secret place of her home. Now that her boys are all grown, the Lord has given her an increased prophetic anointing in her music and her ministry is touching people all around her. It was started though, in the secret place of being a stay at home mom and I find that really provoking.
I am not forgotten in this season of motherhood, my callings have not changed, and I have a proactive part to play if I want to be who the Lord has called me to be, even in this hidden place. Almost no one knows me, or knows what I am doing as a mom, but He sees me and my faithfulness in this season will determine my impact in the next.
It is tempting some days to just sit back and say...I'm a mom to small children, my life is busy enough, this is my calling, end of story. Yet I know Jesus has more for me than just motherhood. There are lessons to be learned in this place for sure, but my children will one day leave me to live lives of their own. I can not let the title of mother be my full definition.
That is why I have goals that go beyond this season. They show me what could be on the other side, and help me to keep perspective as I battle the small things day to day. In twenty years it is not going to matter to me that my children were always dressed in clothes that matched or that they potty trained by age two, or that my house was always clean. Even though I battle these things day to day, I do not let worry or anxiety in these areas overwhelm me. Those things just don't matter that much in the grand scheme.
So there you have it, my perspective on setting a life vision, and short/long term goals. I know I have written on goals before, but I really wanted to emphasize the Life Vision today as a basis for subsequent goals. I also wanted to show how it is possible to have big goals even as a wife and mother. Our calling doesn't end when we have children, and it is not limited to the raising of our children. As I see it, raising children is just a tool that the Lord uses to expedite the removal of all selfishness and pride. So I guess I should be thankful to be in such a humble season, and I think I am, most days. It is the tool the Lord is using in my life to cultivate the greatness I hope for in the seasons to come!
Moms be encouraged!
Side note: I want to emphasize that I am not taking my calling as a mother lightly. I strive to do all things the Lord has put my hand to well, but it is just not the only thing that I want to define me after twenty years. I love my children and am so thankful for them, but when I signed up to be a mom, I did not throw my old identity out the window. It is still there, under all the finger paints and poopy diapers. It is marinading in this season of being a mom, and will hopefully be a fine wine by the time my babies are ready to fly.