I look in the mirror and see laugh lines that have experienced much joy, skin that shows a life well lived and a smile that is ever present. If I glance quickly, the reflection looking back at me is my mom’s and the knowing look reassures me that life is what you make it.
I walk slowly some days, looking back to remind myself how far I have come and look forward, in celebration of all the days I have already been given, while still yearning to see what will unfold. Life is what you make it and legacy is the best of what we have made.
Life is full of big changes now and each day is steeped in rediscovering my identity. I no longer carry the title of teacher day in and day out and seek to learn what new title I should wear. I carry the name “mom” close to my heart, but am learning how this changes over time too. Two sons grace me with the name “mom” and I carry this identity as one of my greatest gifts. Soon the name “mom” will take on a new meaning as two daughters will join the family when they say “I do” to my two sons. Who we are is found in the choices we make and in where we center our focus.
[Tweet “Who we are is found in our choices and where we center our focus.”]
They say wisdom comes with age and there is truth to that. But wisdom comes when we embrace God’s truth as our own. When we learn that truth is found in God and He is always who He says He is, we are reminded of our identity as His child. It is in the act of seeking God, we learn who we are because in the striving we know Him better.
[Tweet “In the act of seeking God, we learn who we are because in the striving we know Him better.”]
The answers do not lie in one more accomplishment or in the collection of things to surround ourselves with, but in God who is the answer to our every question. Whether we are young, older or somewhere in between, we seek an identity to carry with us as our badge of honor for others to see. But when that badge changes and we are uncertain of what’s next, our identity is compromised and we learn over and over how to embrace those times in life when we are in a holding pattern. I start asking myself these questions and challenge you to do the same. How do you find the answers that will leave you satisfied in a life that is always looking for more? Where and in whom do you find your identity and purpose?
I am currently in a period of waiting to discover what’s next. I am looking forward, but the path is not clear. I am learning that being still does not mean staying stuck. My forward motion is led by God and intentional time with Him, as well as an open heart, guide me in learning those next steps. I am discovering that home is found when we look for our identity and purpose and find it in God.
Emily Wierenga in her new book, Making It Home, shares how she has been seeking peace, identity and purpose through intimate details of her life There are times in our lives when we are unsure of who we are and our purpose is wrapped up in discovering our identity. She describes it like this…
But our hearts – they wander around outside our bodies without a place of residence.
I understand how this feels, but I don’t settle there and instead let my faith lead me forward. When we feel lost in life and who we are, it’s as if we are playing hide and seek with ourselves. We count to ten, look around, count to ten again, but never find our hidden selves. In God we are found and secure in who we are because He knew us even before we were born.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
When we are in a holding pattern, unsure of what’s next or overwhelmed by the rush of life, our identity is always secure in God.
Life is what we make it and choosing God as our center helps us to find ourselves every time.
In grace and peace,
This post was inspired by Emily Wierenga’s new memoir, Making It Home: Finding Peace, Identity and Purpose. Download free sample chapters and order the book here. #MakingItHome
Join my mailing list!
Subscribers receive updates, newsletters, and FREE resources! Your information is safe and will never be shared.
If you're not receiving emails from me, check your spam folder and mark my emails as "not spam."
Love Love Love the statement about wisdom coming from taking God’s truth and embracing it as our own. Reminds me of James 1 in the New Testament!
Thank you for these kind words. What a blessing they have been today. Thank you also for the scripture connection. You made my heart smile today!
I LOVE this! Keeping God as my center is the only way I’ve been able to keep moving forward in the uncertainty of this life and moving toward where He’s calling me.
Amen to keeping our eyes on God in all. I agree that this is the only way I make it through each day. So glad to have you here, Kathryn! Praying your week is blessed.
Life is what we make it and choosing God as our center helps us to find ourselves everytime.
Choosing God as always been the best decision I have made in my life. I don’t know what I would be without Him.
My identity is in Him. Outside of Him, i am simply a nothing or a mess.
I have been called sister (at least, I’m not yet married) by default, about a year ago I was called a writer, poet, blogger, and recently I’ve been called CEO, employer (God blessed me with the resources to start a business which is taking off next month). I don’t very much feel comfortable with those titles, sometimes I feel somewhat embarrassed when I hear them.
Being called a child of God or called anything after or of God is what I’m really comfortable with anytime..
I also call myself a ‘trophy of God’s grace’ that too I am comfortable.
Thanks for this post Ma, it’s always great to read from you.
Thanks for sharing your heart with us at #EncourageMeLinkup
Oh Mary. Your gentle voice here brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, friend, for #makingithome with me. Thank you for your loving support and for all your wisdom. I LOVE this: “I walk slowly some days, looking back to remind myself how far I have come and look forward, in celebration of all the days I have already been given, while still yearning to see what will unfold. Life is what you make it and legacy is the best of what we have made.”
Your gentle voice inspires me to reach deeper and look harder at myself and who I am and who I yearn to be. You move me with your words and connect me to you personally through your style and stories. Thank you for the gift of Making it Home and for being so vulnerable in sharing your life with us. Blessings to you and your family. Much love!
I love Emily Wierenga’s heart. I used to participate in her linkups years ago but then Thursday turned into more of a work day for me. But I also love the topic of “identity” as it relates to Christ in particular. So this book sounds like one I should pick up and read, Mary. I can only imagine how “identity” is such a huge issue that you are grappling with in this next chapter of life. I’m excited to see where God leads you and what He does in and through you each step of the way. Hugs to you, my friend!
I believe we all go through periods of life that we are uncertain of our identity perhaps due to a job change, loss or because of family changes. I happen to be in one of those periods, but what I am learning and how God is teaching me is pretty amazing. If you like memoir writing you will love this book. Emily has a beautiful gift with words and reading her books always allows me to connect in a more personal way. Glad to see you today. Hoping that your Fall is off to a good start.
I liked the way you formatted this “review.” I’m anxious to get my hands on this book. I appreciate when writers let their readers know how a book changed/inspired them. Well done!
Emily Wierenga’s book is one that will not only inspire you, but will also speak to you at whatever stage of life you might be in. I found as a mom of two adult sons that her themes of identity, purpose and peace were laid out as much for me as for the young mother. I love that you stopped by today. I enjoy seeing mew people join in the conversation. Blessings on your week!
This really hits home! There are so many transitions…so many ways to try to define an identity. I had a really time going from single to married, and working in an office to stay at home mom. It’s taken me longer than I’d like to admit to realize that I’ve been God’s daughter regardless of my “titles”. I have two boys also, and someday they’ll fly the coop and I’ll be right back to where I started:) Thank you for this beautiful encouragement today!
Let me tell you that the time from birth to adulthood goes faster than I ever imagined it would. It is so hard to always remember that we are God’s children regardless of our position at work or in society. He could care less about any of that. Keeping our eyes focused on Him is where we become known as His child. That is all we need. Blessings upon the rest of your week.
Great reflection. When we look for God’s ways, He shows up with grace and blessings, welcoming us Home. I hope you will share with my readers on Literacy Musing Mondays. Thanks.
I appreciate the invitation to linking up at your place. I took you up on it and I am looking forward to stopping by on Mondays. I love how you affirmed for me that looking to God always gives us what we need because I always need grace. Praying the rest of your is blessed.
That’s why I wonder why some people still blame others for what’s happening with their lives.
Thank you Lux! I always love when I see you pop up here. I pray you are doing well!
Amen, my friend! Outside of Christ, I’m a big, wandering mess (this usually happens when I so glibly arrange things for myself…I’m pretty good at doing this, although the results aren’t usually so hot!).
I love how you describe yourself as a big wandering mess. God does have a beautiful way of reigning that in for each of us, doesn’t he? I love how real you are because it always brings me right back where I need to be too. Thank you for being here and for sharing your thoughts. Love and hugs!
Ah, yes! Changing titles…changing life…similar to my post this week.
My role as Step-Dad is a bit different than my role as Dad. And my role as Grandpa is different, too.
I’ve learned to become comfortable with the title ‘blogger’ yet still am uncomfortable with ‘writer.’
And, yes…’horseman’ is very uncomfortable…but ‘Rodeo Dad’ is beginning to feel more comfortable.
Yet through all of life’s changes, I am and always will be God’s Child…Redeemed…Forgiven…Chosen. I will forever be His!
Thank you, Mary!
I didn’t think my post was similar to yours until you pointed out the connections. I love how when I visit other blogs there are weeks when certain themes run through and I know it’s because God is trying to get my attention. Thank goodness that we are always God’s child and He will never let go. Blessings as you finish your week!
Thanks, Mary. People who seek God always travel well. Interersting how each stage brings some “unsettling” but that leads us to Him as well. My fav advice I keep teaching/telling myself is from Oswald Chambers – “Trust God and do the next thing.” Blessings – next to you at tellHisstory this afternoon in Calif. where it’s breezy and a little warm.
Great advice from Oswald Chambers. It reminds me of the Nike commercial “Just do it”. Life would not be very interesting if we didn’t have these stages and times when we were uncertain. I am reaching toward God as I learn what He has planned next. Thank you for being here! I appreciate you and your words.
This really spoke to me, Mary, as we prepare to study Revelation with Bible Study Fellowship. And I don’t really know how to explain. If I had my notes in front of me maybe I could put some thoughts together but I really did appreciate this message. Thanks for sharing your heart, friend. Love you so very much. xoxo
I am so glad this resonated with you today. I would love to hear more sometime if you have your notes available. I am praying your weekend was wonderful. It looked like everything went well based on your pictures. Thank you for stopping by to encourage me. Love you friend!
It’s kind of ironic that the older I get the more worth I find in being a child…a child of God’s, that is. For so long I was tied into “titles”: Mom, wife, teacher, etc. It was almost as if God had to strip me of all my titles in order for me to truly let go and just BE HIS period. I’m still not quite sure what to call myself?? Writer, blogger, champion of orphans in Pakistan? When I find out I’ll let you know. I do know that just being open to God’s leading has led me down some paths I would have never imagined in a million years. Journeying with you as we let go of the “known” and step into the unknown!!
Blessings and ((hugs)),
ps. Would love to plan to meet up at Allume 🙂
I am so glad you are joining me on this journey, Bev. I can certainly use the company. I am finding that there are times in our lives that we do not have a title that marks who we are. This is one of those times for me. I will always carry the title, child of God, and that is the most beautiful one of all.
I would love to meet up with you at Allume. 🙂 Have a good rest of the week!
Such great encouragement, Mary! I know I have struggled with “identity crisis” before and I know others who are going through it right now, as they are in “in between” mode. You are absolutely right. Our only true and permanent identity is in Christ, and the only one in which we can feel truly at home and valued for who we are.
Amen to being most at home in God who says we are His masterpiece. Isn’t that so reassuring? Even though my identity is unclear, my path is alway clear as I move toward God in my life. I am blessed that you were here today.
Thanks for going there today, Mary. Here and there I’ve wondered how you were doing in this back-to-school season.
There’s so much anticipation in looking ahead, wondering, praying, just sitting with God. I’m kind of in the same place myself, wondering what He’ll have me to do now that I’ve moved.
I’m kind of liking this waiting room, actually. And reading here today … well, I know I’m in good company!
I am always in good company when you are around. I am finding the waiting to be a good thing most days. There is so much ahead on the horizon. It is just too far away right now to see it clearly. Glad to have you hanging with me in this period of waiting. Praying that your journey is full of peace and rest. Hugs to you too.
Beautiful post, Mary. I know God will continue to lead & guide you for it is His desire that you make it home!
Thank you for your sweet words. God is leading me right now I just don’t know where I am being led. I love how He desires for all if us to make it home and we just need to choose Him and His calling for our life. Hope your week is blessed.
Lots of changes recently and getting the sense there are more to come…these words came at the perfect time : ) Praise the Lord and thank you Mary!
Thank you for being here and for affirming my words in the middle of your own changes. I am praying that you feel God through the season of change and know without a doubt that He remains constant. Blessings along the way!
This is a beautiful post, Mary. It speaks peace to my heart since I’m in a time of transition too. My mom role is changing a big, and my ministry role is different since I’m in Dallas instead of Turkey! But I’m going to keep choosing God as my center. May He bless you as He leads you into your new life. (That’s great news about 2 new daughters-in-law!)
Yes, this summer has been quite the one for good news. I want to say I am glad you feel the same as me, but what I really mean is that we share this time in our lives because of the similarities. The best news is that God never changes and we can always count on Him to be the same today, tomorrow and always. Thank you for being here and for just being you. Any chance you decided to go to Allume?