Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Shouldas

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

It's easy for me to feel bound by what other people think. It just hit me this morning that over my lifetime, many people in authority over me have had plans. They feel it necessary to tell me of these plans.

You should.

You could.

Hey, you should consider becoming an artist.

You should write a book!

Could you promise me you will get a PhD? (strangely enough I got that one twice)

You could write a book! I would totally buy it.

You would make such a wonderful natural childbirth educator or doula!

And while I would probably do okay at these things and enjoy them... what don't I enjoy? I know they mean well, but theirs are not the plans that matter.

You see, God has planned my days. Each and every one of them. He's planned yours too. There are good things laid out for us to do. And I have felt called to do good things (though no one has ever said, "Hey! You should be a Bible translator!"). Why don't people say:

You would be a great homeschooling Mom!

You could raise godly kids!

You could attend to your needy child with beautiful patience and endurance!

You would be good at coming up with yet another healthy dinner!

You could scrape all the grime right off toilet seats!

Yet these are the plans, the calling, that I live. We are called to something higher than what human eyes can see. We are not bound by what others think. Motherhood and household management deserve a better reputation.

Doesn't pay overtime.
Little short-term return.
Huge long-term gains.

"A wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands."
Proverbs 14:1

Build your house. Don't tear it down. You are doing one or the other.

I often have to stop what I'm doing and remind myself to 'build my house'. Not with wood and nails, but with wise words, contentment and endurance. So to all you ladies out there, I invite you to join me today in building your house. That will look different for each of us. Build your house.

This is God's plan for me right now. I'm throwing out the shoulda-woulda-couldas.

1 comment:


I thought about this recently. Tom will often say "I should have been a..." or, "I should be a..." and it's true, I say it too, he would be/could be wonderful at a lot. (Someone reminded me of the Jo March line, "I should have been a great many things.") And the other day I smiled and snuggled closer into Tom when I thought in response to his musings, "And yet how wonderful is it that we live this strange and simple life instead?" This life is so fleeting. I often think of the King and I line, "he has a million dreams that won't come true; you know that he believes in them, and that's enough for you," and it's enough for him too, and that is such a beautiful thing, to count even our dreams and our passions as small things compared to the glory of the world to come. Philippians 3: 7-16