Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Figuring out Vocation

I don't think I've had one day since booga bear was born that I've thought to myself 'man, I got absolutely nothing worthwhile done today'. It's a good feeling. There are always things to do when you have kids, and all those little ordinary tasks add up to security and well-being for another little human, making any day very worth-while. I've always wanted my life to have purpose, and in fact I think I've spent years worrying that it didn't have enough purpose. I feel that my life should be a worthy response to this awesome thing God has done for me, dying on the cross and calling me to Him. If Jesus sacrificed his life for me, then surely I should be sacrificing in return as my little offering of thanks.

But how, in a way that really counts? Before I became Catholic, I considered being a missionary and made some steps towards that end goal. Then I married my husband and he decided to become Catholic, and I followed suit, which changed that picture a bit. There aren't endless opportunities for married laity to be missionaries, and we have said 'absolutely not' to using contraception, so now we are in a phase of accepting children instead of limiting them in order to do 'God's work' as we probably would have had we gone overseas.

Catholics refer to one's life calling as your "vocation", and what I have come up with as my vocation is entirely unglamorous. I would never, ever have come up with it 3 or 4 years ago, which I know is a trite thing to say about vocation, but it's true. What I'm mentally calling my vocation is a 'life advocate'. There are three main areas I see to this right now. First, I want to be an advocate for life with my own body by being open to more children, and to being an at-home mom to those children. Second, I want to become more involved in the pro-life movement. Third, I want to spread the message of Natural Family Planning in marriage.

I am only at the beginning of understanding my vocation, so other layers might be added on over time, changing the components of my vocation picture. But for this phase of life I'm in now, which, using a conservative estimate will probably last 10 -15 years, I think my vocation will include these three components, or include things that closely resemble them. I've heard people say that you spend your 20's figuring out what you want to do with your life, and your 30's actually starting to do it. I'll be turning 30 this year, so I guess my narrowing of focus is partly biological (well, a lot of it is biological, considering having a child is what got me started on this path). I guess what has happened is that I don't feel overwhelmed by all the choices available to me; I don't need to throw myself at whatever good cause comes my way because I know what I want to be about...and now maybe I can get something done.

I don't want to become a task-master in this, I just want to be deliberate about trying to bring about some good in the world. I think of it as a way of praying with my feet, praying with my actions. I'm asking God to bring change through my little contributions, and I hope my contributions will work towards building his kingdom.


Stina said...


I can't come up with the words I want to say, but I want you to know that this post really touched me!

Noy said...

This post was really inspiring and well-written. I was touched by it as too. I love the phrase "praying with my feet, praying with my actions."

Sue said...

You are really a gifted writer. I think you should post some "guest blogs" on the message board to start discussion :)