Breaking Out Of The “DO” Mentality

People ask you some interesting questions once your children are grown and out of the house and empty nest season has hit. One particular question has been asked more times than I can count.

It is the question, “What are you doing now?”

It is as though there is some grand expectation that once the children leave, you will do something big or go back to school, or if you have stayed home, you would go out and get a new full-time job.

I have chosen to stay home for a while to work on writing a book, a blog, and maybe some other things. The responses I have received have caused me to not tell anyone else about it when they ask me the question. It seems so insignificant when I say it out loud.

It has left me thinking about this season and just how our “do’s” have become our identity. As a stay-at-home mom, I did a lot of things. I helped with homework and got the kids to school. I dealt with doctor appointments and sibling strife. I played games with my kids and tried to take time to talk with them and be with them. I helped in the youth ministry while one of the boys was there. I cleaned the house, washed the clothes, and cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I worked at a school primarily part-time while the boys were at school. The list goes on.

Sometimes when most of our “do’s” go away, we feel we aren’t worth as much anymore.

We tend to put this on ourselves and one another. Women are famous for making things a competition and comparing with one another. Me included.

As I have been working through this season, I have been talking to God about this issue. Am I what I do or who and whose I am?

I have done many things because it is part of the role or because I am trying to prove something to myself or someone else. Sometimes it has been because I felt like I had to, and many times it has been out of love for my family.

But what happens if all our doing is taken away? What is left? Who are we?

God has been renewing my mind on this topic. To move forward well in this season, I need to let go of the lie that what I do defines me. I need to release my need to be validated by what I do or don’t do.

On a personal level, I have been evaluating what my priorities are for this season. I have been asking God what His priorities are for me. As I have been making a list and spending time bringing it to the Lord, this is where I have come.

I want to BE a committed and obedient child of God

I want to BE the best wife I can be.

I want to BE a great mom in this season with Adult Children.

I want to BE a good friend to those God has placed in my life for this season.

I want to BE the best writer I can be, sharing God’s messages on my heart.

I want to BE a Godly example to those around me and share the love of Jesus wherever I go.

I want to BE a faithful church member and Deacon.

I want to BE a good steward of myself, my time, and my finances.

I want to love everyone in this season well.

When I look at this list in front of me, I don’t see anything about doing. I do see who I want to BE in this season. I see who God wants me to BE in this season.

As I have had to continue letting go of the past seasons to move forward into this new one, I have had to release what I think I need to DO, for who God is calling me to BE.

Do you struggle with finding your identity in what you do? No matter what season we are in, this can be a battle.

I want to encourage you today to sit for a little while. Ask God to show you what His priorities are for you this season. Let Him show who you are in Him and who He has created you to BE!

Make your own list and keep it in front of you.

As I continue to move forward in this new season, I pray God continues to walk with me and help me BE all He has created me to BE here and now. I pray to let go of all comparisons and internal competitions, and when I am asked the question, “What are you doing now?” I can respond well and unashamed.

May our identities only be found in the one who created us intentionally and uniquely. May our worth only be found in Jesus, our Savior, and may we BE all we are in Him today and every day!