Sitting on the couch with a pile of laundry beside me and the sound of the washing machine faint in the background, I find myself staring out the window. I feel as if I’m sitting there in my mundane day, watching life pass me by. The leaves change and fall off the tree and float slowly to the ground. The trees are bare for a while, but soon have buds on them, springing forth new green leaves. Again, they change color and float to the ground. On rotate. 

I’m awakened by a cold hand touching my arm. My 5-year-old is needing some more “Cow Chocolate” (aka chocolate milk). Her request fully brings me back to reality. My reality of doing the laundry, washing dishes, feeding the familyall on repeat, just like the seasons. 

As I sit here in my cozy home, I watch all of my friends out there chasing their dreams. I see them get the job promotion. I see them get the new car. I see their beautiful new home. 

Meanwhile, I’m now laying on the same couch, staring out the same window with my little one laying on me sleeping. She hasn’t felt the best in the past couple of days. 

RELATED: The Ugly Truth of an Overwhelmed Mom and Resentful Wife

I scroll Facebook seeing the successes of my peers. As they climb the ladder, I’m stuck here staring at the pile of dishes in the sink I need to tackle.

I watch them in their fancy clothes with their hair and nails so nicely manicured, meanwhile in my slippers and my hair in a ponytail. No reason to fix up, no one sees me here. 

All the feels begin—jealousy, resentment, frustration, depression. 

I toss my phone on the couch as the timer on the washing machine goes off. 

I have so many dreams, so many plans. But by the time my kids are grown, I’ll be too oldeveryone else my age will be getting ready for retirement, and I’ll be starting over. 

My degree is collecting dust in one of the filing cabinets in the closet, and as I ask my kids to please stop smearing boogers on the wall, I feel the dust on my brain has gotten pretty deep too. My intellectual conversations consist of counting how many noodles on a plate and discussing the many sounds that “a” makes. 

Life seems to just pass me by. 

But wait a minute. I made this decision. Very prayerfully, in fact. 

I made the decision to set aside my desires, my dreams, my plans, and make my family #1 in my life. (I am in no way diminishing any mother who works and is successful. In fact, you go, Momma!) But for me, what I feel like I am supposed to do is be at home. To be here for my family. To have clean clothes for them to wear, to have the house clean when they come home (for them to dirty). To be available if they or anyone else needs me. 

Life in fact could pass me by if I just sit here and let it. Or, I could choose to live. Right now. I could get up and make my house a home for my family.

I’m not doing nothing. I am pouring into my children. I am making my house a safe place to come home to.  

I could choose to not let the time waste away and use my extra time to find myself in God’s Word and in prayer. To work on my attitude that I have sometimes. 

RELATED: Embracing This Mustard Seed Motherhood

I could get up and go fix my hair and put on something besides sweatpants and look nice for my husband when he gets home. I said, “No one will see me,” but he isn’t a no one. 

I can choose to stop categorizing job promotions and more money as the only measure of success. 

I can choose to open my eyes and realize my kids with their good grades, good manners, and hearts chasing after the Lord are my successes. 

Life won’t pass me by if I am living in it.

Please excuse me, I think I’m going to finish folding these clothes, get dressed, and have a cake ready to celebrate our successes when my family gets home. I’m going to not let life pass me by, I’m going to live. 

Callie Kelley

Callie Kelley is a (pastor's) wife, stay-at-home mom of three, and a Christian blogger.