Monday, June 7, 2010

minivan mom

There was a group of girls I grew up with, who I also went to college with.  We all arrived at different times, but spent a few years together living on campus and being involved at our university.

I don't remember who first coined the name or why it stuck, but we called ourselves "The Suburbanites."  We were a driven bunch with high aspirations.  Yet while we were studying for degrees in our chosen fields to lead us to careers, we also wanted families.  At the time (late 90's) the only common SUV was the Suburban.  So we decided we'd all drive Suburbans instead of minivans.  There is even a "Suburbanite" photo, if I could dig it out and scan it.  We were all serving at a dinner, dressed in black and white and there was a photographer there, so we sat and posed for a photo--calling it The Suburbanite photo.

I think more than the stigma of a minivan (which weren't nearly as cool as they are today, hello Swagger Wagon), we wanted to have significance in our lives that went beyond raising a family, even though that was also important to us.  We knew we had gifts, talents and passions to offer the world.  We wanted an education for a reason.  We weren't there for an Mrs. degree (pardon the cheesy Christian college joke!).

Yesterday I wrote, "I'm not satisfied with the picket fence."  Which caused me to start thinking about the Suburbanites again.  We wanted to be more than minivan moms.  But we did want to be moms.

There are days, that being a mom is all I want to be.  Then there are days that I see the gifts God gave me, I see the potential of my life, my ministry.  And I want that too.  I feel guilty sometimes, because I'm still figuring out how to balance it.  Giving myself permission to just focus on being a mom at times.  Giving myself permission to use the ministry gifts God has given me, even when it means less time with my kids.

For me the "more" is my ministry, my job.  For some moms it's having an etsy shop or doing photography or sewing and quilting.  Sometimes, due to the nature of life and family, entire years are dedicated to the mom stuff; as it should be.  What is the "more" that God has given you or called you to?

I do drive a minivan.  Although it wasn't a move I was thrilled about, now I love my van.

But, I'm more than a minivan mom.  I will rock the minivan.  But I will also rock the potential in my life.  I will figure out the balance.  I will not lose myself in my kids or in my job.

The truth is, I'm very satisfied with the picket fence and my minivan.  But I don't want to let them define me, and I don't want to forget there is life beyond them and things God intended for me to do.  I'm thankful God has given me the picket fence and the minivan.  But I always want to be listening for when he calls me to step beyond the fence and to stop the minivan.  

I'm still figuring it out. 

Oh, and the five Suburbanites?  Well, all of us have Master's degrees.  One is a CPA, another is a licensed MFT working towards her PhD.  There are 7 kids between three of us and two minivans.  Two are still waiting for their Prince Charmings.  We may not drive Suburbans, but we still are the Suburbanites.

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