Sunday, April 15, 2012

We Really Can Have it All

By Shayne Moore

Julia Child, the famous chef who changed how American women cook and think about food, began her career when she was 50.

Nancy Pelosi, the sometimes controversial Congresswoman, first ran for elected office when she was 47.

Miucci Prada, the world-famous fashion designer who changed the way women dress and think of beauty, delivered her first fashion collection at the age of 39.

As a stay-at-home mother of three young children I used to suffer in silence. I felt isolated from the world. I knew, of course, I had influence in my own home and with my own children. And I loved my job. I loved being the mom. I didn’t want anyone else but me changing diapers, making meals, and sitting on the floor doing puzzles. Yet, something nagged from deep within. I knew there was more to me than domestic goddess.

I watched as friends, both men and women, grew up into their lives. They created businesses, received advanced degrees, traveled the world, and slowly built solid and respectable careers.

When my youngest went to first grade I panicked. What was I qualified to do? I had been an at-home mom for almost 15 years. Who would hire me to do anything? I felt behind. I was starting from scratch and I was almost 40 years old.

One night while visiting my in-laws in Dallas I could not sleep. I stole quietly into the family room to watch a bit of TV. I landed on a program, a biography of Julia Child. Up until this point I knew very little of the famous chef except for her quirky voice.

By the end of the program I was crying in the dark room. Julia Child had an entire life as a wife and mother before her world-changing career. While, I may be one of the only people who have never seen the movie Julie and Julia, perhaps the movie touches on the same theme that brought such inspiration to me. I was surprisingly moved by Julia’s story of finding her influence later in life. It hit me hard and my unexpected tears informed me of something in my heart I needed to listen to.

I was inspired by learning that Julia started by taking cooking classes. She didn’t start with a TV show or a best-selling cookbook. And so, taking my inspiration from Julia, I did the same. I just started. I gave myself grace to do only what was in front of me. Some days it was all children, all family, all groceries, cleaning and laundry. Yet I began to carve out time for myself, slowly at first, but it grew as my family grew.

Today I no longer feel isolated or sorry for myself. Rather I celebrate the fact that as women living in our generation we really can have it all. Maybe not all at the same time, but God willing, life is long and the possibilities are endless.

Shayne Moore, MA is the author of Global Soccer Mom: Changing the World Is Easier Than You Think. She supports and works closely with World Vision, ONE, World Relief and is a member of the World Vision Speakers Bureau. She sits on the board of directors of Growers First, an organization partnering with rural farmers to fight poverty. With an MA in theology, Shayne is an active speaker and writes for her blog ( and is a founder of Redbud Writers Guild ( She lives with her husband, John, and three children in Wheaton, IL, and can be found at and on Twitter @GlobalSoccerMom. Look for her forthcoming book, Refuse To Do Nothing: Finding Your Power To Fight Modern Day Slavery (Intervarsity Press).


  1. Shayne,
    I appreciate this reminder that many women start things "later in life" that take them in new and different directions. It's inspiring to know God may have chapters we haven't dreamt of waiting for us yet. I also appreciate that you close with "God willing, life is long and the possibilities are endless". I've been thinking about this quite a bit in the last year because I had a friend my age, a 37-year old stay at home mom, die of cancer unexpectedly. She didn't have the extra time to get to things "later". Her sudden death has reminded me that I might not have the time on counting on to get to those yearnings of my heart. I need to "just start" as you say and get to caring for all of me, even if it's in bite-sized pieces. As a healthy American I likely will live a long life, but I don't want to take today, and the opportunities it provides, for granted.

  2. What a great reminder that God isn't finished with us ever! Sarah thought for sure that she was useless for God when she was 90 but God had an entirely different plan for her and his plans for us are the same - never ending! Also, FYI, Julia Child never had any children, but appeared to have a full life with her husband Paul.

  3. Thanks for the keen insight here. We just adopted two young ones and now have four kiddos under our roof. It is a blessing, but I do find myself wondering where God might have me go "next." I tend to look outward towards my sphere of influence and it turns out He's given me four precious lives to influence right here in my own home. I will keep my spiritual eyes and ears open for His leading... Until then, I wait for God's perfect timing.

  4. Thanks for this article! I really appreciate this line: I was inspired by learning that Julia started by taking cooking classes. She didn’t start with a TV show or a best-selling cookbook.

    Too often I expect my goals to be easy and instant. I need to keep being reminded to just do the next step and trust God to take me where He wants me to go.