I never wanted to live in the suburbs. I either wanted to live in the center of a bustling city like New York or Chicago, a walk away from anything I could ever want or need, or in the middle of nowhere, in a place where millions of stars could be adored on any clear night. The suburbs were not made for me, and I not for them—or so I thought. I am pretty sure God had a good laugh over all the times I took a stand against the suburbs because he knew (really knew!) how much they would grow on me. Close to the museums, the parish, and the school that we love, and the family that offers us immediate support whenever we need it, it is hard to imagine living anywhere else, especially in this season of motherhood.
When I look around where I live today and think about all the times that I cursed places like this, I have often been guided by the Holy Spirit to re-focus on the bountiful blessings with which suburban life has graced my life as a mom. God formed me for life as a mom in suburbia, for he knows well the plans he has in mind for me, giving me a “future of hope” (Jer 29:11). God knew that I would be here someday, so every small step in my mothering journey that I have taken has prepared me for the life I could not have imagined on my own.
As I look around suburbia through the lens that Holy Spirit has offered, taking the kids to and from school, sitting in post-church traffic on a Sunday afternoon, or the summer walks that my children have grown to love and beg for even on the hottest days of the year—all of those simple days that I once cast away as being too boring for a life like mine—the ordinary life appears to be an absolute dream. And once I embraced the plans God had for my life as a mom, especially the unexpected places he led me to, I also uncovered that not only did he craft plans for me beyond what I could have imagined, but he did so with such great care that any suffering endured has already been lifted by his grace. He has filled my future with hope—a hopeful motherhood full of laughter, adventure, and joy.
Isn’t it incredible that God knew that all of us moms would be living our lives just as we are? How incredible is it that he thought we would be worthy of the grand lives we lead as mothers? God’s plan for us, the journey he guides us on, and the places he brings us to are far greater than our grandest dreams—for he knows the plans he has for us, even the once cursed suburbs that we will find to be one of our motherhood’s greatest blessings.