The life I wanted

In high school, I was pretty awkward. I didn’t blend in at all. First, I was a “homeschool transfer.” Started at St. Joseph Hill all-girls Catholic school in the 10th grade. As a 13 year old sophomore, I was the “young one” – younger than the freshman class. I was also the “religious fanatic.”  Quite vocal about my beliefs, I actually was asked not to take the (mandatory) religion course, after challenging the teacher on many of her agnostic and anti-Christian statements. (Jesus sinned? taught in a Catholic school? Seriously?) I was “the one with the really long skirt.” The requirement for skirt length (one of the reasons my parents chose that school is there actually existed a skirt length requirement) was that the skirt should touch the floor when kneeling. My skirt was about 3-4 inches below that.

I stood out for all these reasons. And there was (at least) one more. I talked quite a lot about how my life’s goal was to get married to a wonderful Christian man, and be a wife and mother to a dozen children and homeschool them. This, of all my idiosyncrasies, was the one I got the most conversational mileage out of. “Are you KIDDING? You’re going to have a lot of kids? What about a career? What if your husband leaves you? What if you hate being married?” etc., etc.

I’m not really sure why it was so controversial to plan to be a mother. I guess, even at the time, it was politically incorrect. In any case, the fact is I’ve been planning this life – my current life – for as long as I can remember. I’ve only met half my goal, children-wise, but I’m turning 33 this year so I just may have time to squeak the 12th one out before I hit menopause. I guess we’ll see – it’s up to the Lord’s will!  I’ll be sad if Estella is the last one we get, but I’m one of six and it was a nice (if slightly small) size family. Either way, we’ll be good.

I sat down to write this post because I wanted to remind myself of something.

Every day I am faced with a million annoyances, usually starting before I even open my eyes in the morning. The annoyances continue all day. I can’t catch a minute to myself, can’t accomplish anything I personally wanted to do, have way more messes to clean up than I ever thought possible, and live in a general state of being poised to listen for disaster at any moment. And during all this, I am not mindful of one important thing:

This is the life I wanted. This is the path I asked for.

How many people can say that they are doing exactly what they dreamed of doing their whole life? Some want to be an astronaut, or a pro ball player. Some dream of being a doctor or missionary. Then for many people, life gets in the way. Things don’t go the way they planned. But for me, all I *ever* wanted for myself, was to have a husband who found me beautiful, who loved me and “got” me and could laugh with me. All I planned on being was a mother, or wanted for my calling was to have the privilege of raising some of the next generation, of training them to be soldiers for Christ, having the chance to equip them to be leaders of the nation, and enjoying them along the way.

I got my dream life.

I really need to remember that more often.

This entry was posted in Catholic, Parenting, Remembrances, Soap Box. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The life I wanted

  1. shelly says:

    what a wonderful life! Thank you for reminding me that in the annoyances, I chose this life too. It was my only goal as a teen.
    Thanks be to God!

  2. ann kraeger says:

    Although I went to a public school not a Catholic school I stood out for the very same reason. I was vocal about the fact that I was going to marry and raise a dozen children. Here I am 28 years later. God saw fit to tweak the number slightly (gave birth to 7 and have raised 6. Number 7 is already in heaven) but this life is the one I wanted and I wouldn’t trade it any other way. God bless you Sarah the world needs more women such as yourself who are courageous in their faith.

  3. Jessica says:

    Sarah,
    What a powerful post! Thank you. I am going to link it from my blog for all my mother friends who are struggling right now with “living the life they have wanted.”

    Oh the messes. And the interuptions. And that feeling that my blood may very well start to boil. But the smiles and laughter and pure joy. So, so worth it.

  4. Sue Schieman says:

    Beautiful! Did anyone ever tell you that you are too smart for being a housewife? I got that all the time, even from my own mother, who was a SAHM all her life after she got her degree in nursing. She fully expects me to go to University any day now. A formal education, in her mind, is the end all and be all. She doesn’t really “get” unschooling. When I planned on having my family young (after having already met Paul at 15 and planned to be married young – I was 21) and skip the whole educate yourself for a career, I got a lot of “What if your marriage doesn’t work out”, “What if you have to go out to work?” etc. I figured I’d deal with those situations if they ever happened at the time. I trained as a hairdresser only to be able to cut my own family’s hair and make a few bucks doing perms on a Saturday, which is exactly what it has turned out to be. You couldn’t pay me a million bucks to work in a salon.

    I planned for my life also, except the homeschooling part – that was a surprise. And as much as I still wonder whether another child is in God’s plan for us, I always thought 4 was a nice number!

  5. Lori says:

    i’m living the same dream life…God is so good! may He give us the patience, wisdom, & strength to persevere and keep us reminded of His saying “yes” to our request ❤

  6. rebeccah Brann says:

    Whenever I don’t want to get up at 4:25 to get started in phase one of my vida loca, and can’t even think about the malaise that will be the rest of the day…I say, “This is the life I chose.” No one makes me commit to the various, the sundry or whatevs. It’s a pretty great gig, over all, and with just a leeetle bit of organization, it could be even more ideal.
    Whenever I decide I’ve had too much of the responsibilities that fall to me as a wife and mother, I did marry a man, after all and there will be strife, I ask myself, “What’s the alternative?” Would it, could it, ever be better than I have it? And the answer is, profoundly, no. It is a wonderful life the way it is.
    I only wrote this to say, I get to have my dream life too though if this apartment could clean itself, really a dream come true

  7. Katherine Lauer says:

    Thank you so much for this amazing post. You give me such meditations. I certainly did not hope for this life from childhood, as I was raised amid divorce and by a feminist mother. I planned for a career, a lawyer, in fact. But, that said, then I became Christian, then Catholic, and my goal changed radically. I always say that God made sure I did not marry until after I’d fully converted because He was protecting me from making an awful mistake. By delaying me meeting a husband-worthy man, he got me straight into a solidly Catholic marriage in which we share the same vision. Thank God, thank God, thank God! So, yes, I had this goal (EVEN the homeschooling!) and got exactly what I asked for. My new motto, “I chose this life!”

  8. elaine says:

    I definitely did not want this life I have when I was younger. It has been an evolutionary process, step by step. If you told the me of 15 years ago that I would be a mom to (almost) 4, I would have said you were out of your mind. I don’t particularly like kids in general, and I was a “0 MAYBE 1” kind of gal for a long time 😉
    As far as your goal of a dozen, take heart. My friend, mom to 9, only had ~3-4 kids at age 35 🙂

  9. Hey there Sarah! So glad to be your friend! Really love your article, too. And pictures of your family…WOW, you guys have been very busy since I last saw you!!
    I have a brand new friend in our church. I love her to pieces. She had a life goal similar to yours. She is 30 years old, has birthed 4 precious children and adopted 2 Haitian girls, all whom I adore! Y’all would get along great!!

  10. JDunk says:

    I may be in the minority as a quintessential feminist reading your blog, but I just wanted to say I loved this post too! I think it’s wonderful to read and hear about women making such intentional, committed choices and owning them, whatever those choices may be. It’s a shame, in my view, that there is this cultural backlash against housewivery that is perhaps the predictable result of women not having as many choices for so long. I have so much profound respect and admiration for anyone who dedicates his or her life to raising healthy, happy, conscientious human beings, and I try to remind people of what a valuable (culturally, socially, and economically speaking) contribution that choice is when I hear the usual “It’s too bad, she’s way too smart to just be a housewife” line from anyone. Diminishing women’s thoughtful choices is hardly feminist. Anyways. Rant over. I’m glad you’re living your dream life and I think the lesson in remembering to be grateful is applicable to us all. Cheers!

  11. Rachel says:

    I adore this post.

  12. Helen Russo says:

    Beautiful! As a young adult I wondered if I’d ever meet anyone to marry…or even do anything worth while. God has His ways 🙂 I’ve been married 26 almost 27 years, had 5 dk (2 of whom are in heaven), homeschooled the 3 till youngest graduated 8th grade (was necessary to work-working for family though, love the ability to still be with my dk(s), lived life as best I can with what I have where I am with God’s grace and blessing-yes, I can say I am living the life I consciously choose….yet I need to be reminded of this too, as times change and the last one is almost ready to fly. Sigh. I don’t regret not having a career-that was/is my career, something that will outlive and out last me. I would do it all over again too.

  13. Mommy says:

    Sarah,

    You are very special. Thank you for this comment on your life.

    Your adoring Mom

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