So yesterday morning was M.O.P.S.
Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers.
It's an awesome program at the church here, and they gather up to 30 young Moms (and preschool kids...) for a morning, once a month. A break from their kids, a chance to make some new friends, an opportunity to do something about the isolation that often goes with being a young mom- and the double whammy of being a young mom out in the country.
Quite a few come from the city nearby, but most from the surrounding countryside, I think.
And the helpers!
I was surprised and impressed with the number of volunteers.
I was under the impression that the Malmo church ladies did it all, but there were so many women helping who were from the community, and from different churches who live in the community.
Really Very Cool.
At the beginning, after we were done setting up and before everyone came, the volunteers gathered in the sanctuary for a few moments of calming, preparatory prayer and an encouraging word.
We were asked to introduce ourselves by stating our name and how we identified ourselves that morning. (the theme was about identity, and knowing yourself apart from just being a Mom- I think!)
Anyway, everyone said who they were, and then tagged on, "Mother" or "Sister" or "Aunt" or "Wife".
I had a hard time thinking of what my "identity" was at that moment in time.
I said, "Mom"... but I don't know that I was totally honest about that.
I know I've blogged about getting back to finding out who "Lauralea" is, but I don't know if that's as much about identity as it is about finding time to do the things that I like to do.
I don't think I've really identified myself as being "So-and-so's Mom" or "Randall's wife".
I mean, I know that other people need those labels to be able to know how to slot you. I understand that for some it's important to know that I'm "The Pastor's Wife" or that I'm "Micah's Mom".
But I don't think I've ever really taken my identity from my role(s).
In the same way that I think Randall's been able to continue to be a successful Pastor, because he doesn't derive his identity from that role. If he were ever not a Pastor he would still be himself. It might take awhile to figure out a new role, but his personality, the essence of Randall Friesen would not change dramatically.
And so I think it is for me.
A new place, yes. A new role, maybe. New phases in life, definitely.
But new identity?
I think- I hope! this will be a saving grace when, (again hopefully!) in four years Micah graduates and moves on, out into the world.
If my identity has been wrapped up in being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, then I would be totally lost when the last of the kids has left.
But I'm looking forward to being a "Retired" Stay-at-home-Mom. I like the sound of that.
It will mean redefining my role, maybe, and rediscovering new ways of doing life, but I don't think it will mean finding a new identity.
I pretty much know who I am.
I'm pretty confident in what I'm about.
But I guess that question got me thinking, and I was a little uncomfortable admitting that I don't know how to define myself to myself in those terms.
I don't find my identity in the simple terms of "Mother", "Sister", "Wife"...
One woman said "Precious child of God", and maybe that comes closest.
To say, in one word, how I identify myself at any given moment is a difficult thing.
I guess I'm a complex person. And I don't take my identity from any of my roles.
I think it makes me fairly balanced.
Just hard to peg.