What Happens When You Don’t Know Your Purpose?

I once told my kindergarten fiance that I wanted to go to college, buy a Bookmobile, have kids, and teach our kids the Dewey Decimal System. He ran away, while yelling, “I’ll get you extra chocolate milk today.” He wasn’t scared of my big dreams.

We went our separate ways when I realized we had nothing in common. And I think he loved me only because I was the only girl in class who could write out his entire name. Juan Carlos Bautista. I had a dream last week that he owned a Bookmobile.

Somewhere between 1989 and now, I lost the ability to know what I want. I keep reading these books about purpose and dreams and hustle and goals and I close the book to sigh. Not in relief, but exasperation. I don’t know what I want.

Obviously, I want kids. And I have kids. And I love them more than I can even explain. But that can’t be all I am. I know that Lyndse isn’t defined by a uterus.

But I don’t know what my new Bookmobile is. Buried in laundry and diapers and homeschool prep and my diploma in a drawer.

It’s been three years now that I’ve been praying for a purpose. With no answer. I don’t mind being just an ordinary mom. But only if that’s what I’m supposed to be. If there’s something else, I don’t want to miss it. If this is it, I want to embrace it.

I laid down a business. I stepped down from my year-round volunteer position. Because I know that doing things past their season just causes trouble.

But what is this season? And when people say this may not be my season for a big dream, or even a small one, I think they forget that my life doesn’t have the typical seasons. Bess has now passed Adelaide in everything but counting. Everything.

So is all this stuff about purpose for everyone but me? Because I’ve talked to Dave. I’ve talked at Dave. I’ve poured my heart out to my mom and sisters and sister friends. I’ve read the books. I’ve filled out the worksheets. But must importantly, I’ve prayed and listened and prayed and listened. And gotten nothing. Unless I just can’t, or won’t, hear the answer.

My Monday will be pee sheets, dishes, and helping Adelaide practice using a spoon. But maybe that’s why I don’t have a God-sized dream. Because I barely have the energy to start the washing machine today. Why would God entrust something else to a woman living in 6-year-old maternity shorts?

I don’t think I’m the only one wondering how today could be any different. Or maybe I am. I wouldn’t know, because it seems taboo to say that you think there should be more than folding short pants and getting through long days with tiny people. I’ve officially sealed my fate to receive exactly 13 copies of that “babies won’t keep” cobweb poem. Just because I wonder if there’s more for me on this Monday. This Monday that will never happen again.

And as I’m trying to get these thoughts out of my head and onto this screen, I have a 21 pound person wriggling all over me and trying to erase everything I write. She’s one of my joys in life. I’m not discontent with being her mom. I’m discontent with the idea that I’m teaching her that I’m just her mom. And nothing more.

And I’m going to go ahead and publish before I do erase this. Because someone else may be trying to read this while a 21 pound person wriggles all over her and she thinks she’s the only one not living a Bookmobile-sized life right now.


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2 thoughts on “What Happens When You Don’t Know Your Purpose?

  1. jcsservant says:

    Oh my goodness….I have two new puppies, an ancient doxie (who has yet to forgive me for children invading his life, let alone two pups), two smelly boys who would eat the wallpaper they are always starving (even minutes after a meal), a carpet so stained it looks like a crime scene, an unemployed husband so gifted and talented yet struggling for employment in our community and I can’t even tell you the last time I saw the bottom of the clothes hamper. I am crying and typing and cheering for you.


    I have actually trained people on writing purpose statements, co-founded a collaborative writing community (www.readwritemuse.com) with the value to help creatives carry out their purpose on the page, and become a certified trainer for working to support people as they emerge from poverty and I STILL DON’T KNOW MY PURPOSE.

    Thank you for sharing what I have whispered, “Am I only this?”.
    Thank you for sharing how hard it is to remember not to forget God-sized dreams.
    Thank you for working with a little girl so she can use a spoon.

    Keep writing. I think, this is where some of the ‘bookmobiles’ may be parked.


  2. […] Monday is different. I’m washing the pee sheets again. Still wondering where all my dreams fit in. But I have this realization that God is using me beyond these small […]


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