“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance,” (Psalm 16: 5-6).
Did you know I went to college with Matthew West? We were founding members of the School of Music songwriters’ guild. Me, the hot-shot senior president, bound for Nashville after graduation to launch my fame and fortune. Young Matt—a freshman with miles to go. Naturally, his crowd looked up to my crowd. I was just that super fabulous.
Fast-forward 15 years and Matthew is on tour with Casting Crowns. My last tour was to the local apple orchard, chaperoning a preschool field trip.
What happened to those old dreams? I was going to be a rock star. The world was supposed to notice me.
Now I’m just a mom.
Just a mom. Do you hate that phrase as much as I do? As if it’s not enough to devote tireless hours, minutes, sweat-and-tears seconds day in and day out to training, shepherding, and loving beyond comprehension the next generation of faith-filled human beings.
Once upon a time, I thought success was measured in record deals and radio hits. But then life swept along a quieter current, and youthful aspirations abandoned ship. Sometimes I felt them drowning. But slowly, God reshaped my dreams and anchored my heart with an amazing thing called contentment.
Now contentment sees success quite differently.
It’s in my child’s proud smile when she reads a book all by herself.
It’s the Snoopy stickers planted on my purse by a free-wheeling toddler.
It’s my family photo hanging crooked on the living room wall. Those faces are my success.
If you’ve ever had a dream, if you’ve pegged yourself an underachiever, if you view family life as a consolation prize—remember this. Raising children is significant. Maintaining a happy marriage is no small feat. Discerning the voice of God, trusting him with your portion and your cup, waiting on him to tell you how and when to lift up your gifts for all the world to see—that kind of lifestyle is better than glamorous. It’s glorious.
I still love music. I still sing and write songs. But I no longer wrestle with what could have been.
Why? Because one day, when I get to heaven and stand in awe of my Redeemer, I don’t think he will ask me how many CDs I sold. I doubt he will ask about my bank statements, or my job title, or how many times I made the cover of my alumni magazine.
Instead, these are the questions I’m preparing to answer: Did I love well? Forgive much? Did I share Jesus with other people? And did I entrust him with the size and scope of my dreams?
The truth is, I believe God did choose me for greatness—just not the songwriting kind. I’m a great mom. I’m a great wife. I’m a great work in progress, because my God is great, and I am his.
Maybe the Lord has grand plans for me yet. But I think my family life is already grand. Today I get the privilege of kissing my husband before he leaves for work, then gluing chocolate-chip smiley faces onto toast with peanut butter. I get to carpool to preschool and read The Hungry Caterpillar before nap. I get to wipe purple crayon marks off dining room chairs and scoop spaghetti into supper bowls. I get to ask, “How was your day?” and know that tomorrow, God willing, we get to do it all again.
A thousand award-winning music videos couldn’t be better than that—no offense to my talented buddy Matt.