Posts Tagged ‘theology degree’

With the big change of going back to work happening in my life, I have been thinking a lot lately about authenticity and integrity as it relates to me.

Now, when I consider these things, I may not be using the precise Webster’s definitions, but essentially, I define them this way:

Authenticity is how I am true to myself and Integrity is how true I am in my actions to my beliefs.

Now, with going back to work, I have found I am much much happier.  My overall joy level has significantly increased, and I think it is, at least in part, to the fact that I am having higher authenticity and integrity with this job (my definition, not Webster).

Now, am I sad that I don’t spend my days with my angels?  Absolutely!  It’s difficult to leave them each morning as I go on my way to work, but I think I am returning as a better person and mother.  I wish that I could say that I was built to be a stay at home mom.  I tried hard for the years I was home to live up to what I thought I should be, but underlying it, I felt a sense of lost authenticity.  I see stay at home moms each and every single day, who are meant to be exactly where they are.  Their children and their families are so blessed that their mother has not only had the call to stay home, but been able to financially and mentally step up to the enormous task of being a successful stay at home mom.

Do I feel like my kids are missing out on something in life by me working?  Absolutely not.  I feel like I am being authentic to myself and what I am being called to.  By following what I feel is God’s call to me to be where I am, I feel like I am having integrity.  I have also decided to continue pursuing my master of theology degree.

One particular completely external thing stands out to me is about a change in myself.  For the past few years, I have paid less and less attention to how I look.  I even gave up my shoe love and moved to runners for at least the past two years.  My job has forced me to start taking better care of how I look.  My shoe collection has the dust blown off, and I actually like getting up early and doing my hair and makeup.  I feel good about taking care of my self.  On the inside, I was the type of woman who dressed nice, but I drowned that woman in the idea that I didn’t need to look pretty if I was just home with the kids.  Now that she is back, I am surprised at how much I missed her.  I have even bought a few extra pairs of shoes to celebrate her return.

Now, I know how petty that sounds, but with taking care of how I look, I feel like I am having a better sense of integrity and it is moving to other areas.  I am trying harder to be on the outside, what my beliefs are on the inside.  To stop hiding it all away out of fear of rejection, or laziness (which is also something I struggle with).  I am being more authentic to what I am being called to.

It’s okay for me to want to look nice.  It’s okay for me to be overtly and comfortably Catholic.  It’s okay for me to pray out loud in restaurants for dinner.  It’s okay for me to talk about God in conversation.  It’s okay for me to disagree with other people’s opinions, and have open and adult conversations about it.

I laugh more.

A great song came on in a store I was shopping in, and I excused myself from a conversation and stopped with my six year old, and we danced our butts off.  That’s okay.  I am a fun person.

It’s okay for me to cry when someone close to me has a miscarriage.  It’s okay for me to express my pain and hurt.  It’s okay for me to hug my husband just because I like being close to him.  And to grab his hand and hold it in public because he always forgets.  It’s okay for me to choose friendships with people that love me for who I am and that I can share all of the geekiness with.  It’s okay for me to choose to not continue friendships with people who are hurtful or unjust.  I just wish I had paid more attention to the authentic voice inside me calling me to have more integrity.  My life seems to be much more full now, much more happy.

I think over the past few years I would have danced in public a lot more.  And laughed.  And cried. And just plain loved.

Thank God I listened when God called me back to working publicly in my faith.  He has changed me again.  Wonderfully and miraculously he has worked with this humble servant and helped me form into something more than who I was just settling to be.

Thank God for stay at home moms who have all of these qualities that I struggled with lacking.

It is because of all of us that this next generation has any hope at all.

PS: Our Mom/Dad blog launches next week!  The assignment?  Mother-in-Laws  🙂  Stay tuned folks!

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