Not Called To Be a Mom

Not Called To Be a Mom

Christie Purifoy


It is autumn, my favorite season. I count my blessings.

After a dry end-of-summer, there is rain, rain, and ever more rain. The dogwood near the hammock has turned its deep, dusty red. My three big kids are back in school. There are quiet mornings again, just the little one and me. There are tea-party afternoons again, when we are all back together.

Yet even blessings can weigh you down and wear you out. Three sets of homework every night ask more of me than I have to give.

We like to speak of callings. We acknowledge the dignity of difficult work when we say I am called to this.

Parents do the same. I am called to mother. I am called to father.

But I have always imagined a calling to be…


the revelation of something already present. A gift for writing meets God’s call to write. Or teach. Or encourage. This is calling as the meeting place of God’s purpose and your talent.

Which is why I have never said I am called to be a mother. I am blessed, richly blessed, with four young children, but I have no particular talent for the work involved. On tired afternoons, I might even say my need for solitary, quiet time makes me especially unsuited for the job.

Perhaps I have misunderstood the word. Perhaps a calling has nothing to do with talent or giftedness or any kind of suitability at all. Was a poet shepherd suited to battle giants? Was a young boy asleep in the temple especially gifted at hearing the voice of God?

It seems he wasn’t. Three times Samuel got up from his bed having confused the voice of heaven’s King with the voice of his master Eli.

And so I acknowledge all the ways I can never measure up to the blessings I’ve been given. But I will follow in Samuel’s incompetent but faithful footsteps. I will say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Because our God calls.



Christie PurifoyChristie Purifoy earned a PhD in English Literature at the University of Chicago before trading the classroom for a farmhouse, a garden, and a blog. Her book Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons will be released by Revell in February 2016. Connect with her and discover more about a Victorian farmhouse called Maplehurst on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.


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