Maggie Bowling
About the Author

Maggie, guacamole enthusiast, lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and four kids. Talking about truth and making new friends are among her favorite things to do, as well as hanging out with kids, dreaming about travel, and watching Parks and Rec.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Maggie,
    Thank you for your honesty!! It’s refreshing. I think many of us who were stay at home moms hit that wall (eventually) of “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I worked as a preschool teacher until I was sidelined by two major surgeries. In my recuperation I took up my writing again (a prompting by God) and started a blog. I enjoyed it, but still didn’t feel like this was my “calling”. But, like you said, I kept putting one foot in front of the other. My writing put me in touch with a wonderful man I now call my “son” in the Middle East of all places. That began my interest and work with the small Christian school he was trying to get going. Long story short, I walked through the process of starting a non-profit ministry and we now have 43 full time sponsored students. I say all this because if you would have told me five years ago that I would be heading up a non-profit that supports Christian education in the Middle East,, I would have looked at you like you were crazy!! Funny how God works when we put one foot, obediently, in front of the other. Praying that God would reveal your calling and in the meantime, give you peace and hope as you walk through the desert place. He has not forgotten you!!

    • The article was outstanding, absolutely touching and I totally got it. God is so awesome that at such a time as this, when my needs were so frustrating He used email to answer my soul. Then there is the follow up from Bev and I thought this is so amazing how these two women can put into words how so many feel. Thank you and may God continue to bless you and use you to His glory.

      • Sharon, I felt the same way. The email and then Bev’s response ministered to my very soul today. I am a first grade teacher and school starts back in two weeks for me. I had a surgery a few years ago that did not go well. It has made my ability to work so difficult. I have applied for jobs outside of education as I have a business background but nothing has opened. I dread going back to school because the physical demands are too much for my body. As a single mom, I have no choice but to have to work. I looked into disability but in my state, I can’t be employed if applying for disability. A catch 22.

        I needed this today and thank you for your transparency and honesty. I have felt like you during my difficult season.

        • Oh, Kathy, my heart began to ache as I read your comments. I was an elementary teacher for twenty-six years and agree wholeheartedly: the physical demands of teaching and caring for little ones all day ARE strenuous. But I am thanking our all-sufficient God that he supplies all our needs (Phil. 4:19), and pray you experience the fulfillment of this promise BIG time! Lord God, take care of my sister, Kathy. Give her doctors wisdom to help her overcome the physical challenges that weigh her down, give her strength and energy for each day. We thank you in advance for your intervention on her behalf. In Jesus’ powerful name, AMEN!

          • Nancy,
            Thank you for your kind words. No one really understands what the demands are like for teachers unless you have been one. To work in a toxic environment makes it even harder. My administration is not nice at all. They show favoritism, lie, treat me very poorly. I love my students at this school. Very poor area. It’s a ministry and its my hope there will be a positive change for the principal. They already moved the asst. and that was a huge positive change. If you think about me through out the school year, please say a little prayer for me. I would appreciate it.

        • Kathy, this is a reply to YOUR reply; not sure it will appear at the bottom of our conversation or not. Just wanted you to know I’ve added you to my prayer list (actually, cards, to be more accurate!) and will lift you up regularly! Sincerely, Nancy

    • Thank you for the article that stat s so well my heart. And thank you to Bev for the follow up….

    • That is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. I am also a mother searching for the grown up version of herself. This gave me hope. I will continue to be obedient and wait on the Lord.
      Your sister in Christ.

      • Julie and ladies,
        I love being part of a ministry that is part of the larger picture of building God’s Kingdom (and in such an unlikely place as the Middle East). I invite anyone searching for their “grown up” role to visit our website at If transforming lives through Christian education “floats your boat”, we would love to have enthusiastic people who like to share Good News on our team. Feel free to contact me through the website (email address is on the website) or through my blog. When we wait on the Lord, He is truly King of the Surprising outcome!! ps. These are not “paying positions”, but as I say, the “eternal benefits plan” is AWESOME lol.

    • thank you i am 41 missed the family and motherhood part but find it hard to find purpose at this age

      • Alli,
        I believe that God has purpose for us at all ages. I am encouraged that, in the Bible, He didn’t call mere mortals to their highest calling until they were in their latter years. I do believe that some years are spent in the “sweet spot” and many others are spent in waiting and preparation. Obedience to God in daily everydayness is a great and fragrant offering. Our ultimate purpose is to love Him and to love others as ourselves. Sometimes it’s that simple… praying for God’s guidance for you.

    • Bev,

      Thank you for following God’s leading. I’ve been praying for Redeemer Christian School. So happy to hear you have 43 sponsored students. The work you are doing is helpful to many.

      Blessings 🙂

  2. Maggie, Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. I am in such a similar season. I am not a parent, but at age 36, have been a nanny for 7 years and have given my notice to my (2) jobs that I will be leaving in just over a month. Actually, I have both jobs 8 months’ notice, but the time is closing in now, and though I’ve seen career counselors this year, taken a course on “Life Vision” and prayed for inspiration and God’s leadership on where to go and what to do next, I still don’t know what I’ll be doing for work when my jobs end in 6 weeks. To make matters a tad more complicated, I did do some work I was very passionate about for a few years on my twenties, but there were pieces of it that I essentially failed in, and the failure has continued to sting and leave me far less confident than I once was.

    But I say all of this to say that I understand what it is to not know my life “Calling” or “Passion” or even how to just get a semi-meaningful job that will also pay the bills. This is a challenging, faith-testing season for you and for me. And I have too often been actively faithless about whether God actually has good works that He planned in advance for me to do, too.

    But the truth, as we know, is that God’s truth trumps our fickle feelings and He does INDEED know the plans He had for us. And they are to prosper us and not to harm us. They are to redeem every broken piece of our hearts and lives to bring glory to His Name. They are to use us to bless others and draw others to Him by the power of His Holy Spirit working in us. And as you said so beautifully, if we will keep our eyes fixed on Him day by day, hungry for His presence, His word and His will to be done in us, He WILL lead us step by step on the path He has most definitely prepared for us. We can trust our “safe leader, our true mountain guide.” (From Psalm31:3 in the Message.). And Psalm 119 (in any version, but it is esp beautiful in the MSG in this context) has been such a faith building text for me this year as it has this beautiful imagery of the PATH woven throughout the psalm. Perhaps it might encourage you, too.

    Thank you again so much for sharing and encouraging me today, Maggie. Will pray right now that God leads you to just the right next place for you to work and serve, that it will come sooner than you expect, and that He will encourage and fill your heart every step of the way there and beyond.

  3. Maggie, Thank you for writing these words down for us to learn from! God doesn’t reveal cards all at once – but you’re right…He does show us day by day where we can use the desires he is growing in us in fresh ways. As a 40 year old Momma of 5, I get this season so much. Blessings! Jen

  4. Mornin’ Maggie!
    Three words: I. Feel. Ya!
    I’ve been in this same season for a while; sometimes the foot is heavy to lift. The Lord gave me Psalm 69:32,33 this am, “The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; He does not despise His imprisoned people.” 🙂

    Thx 4 sharin’… echoes of my own <3

  5. This is me too! I have been searching for a little additional income while I’m off in the summer (high school secretary) and have found nothing. Been putting one foot in front of another and still being mom to 16 and 18 year old boys and wife to xx year old husband 🙂 trying to listen for God’s voice, but no job right now even though college bills are almost upon us. Darn, I wish God was a little early sometimes because it would calm my nerves, but then I guess I would have less to talk to Him about. He is perfect!

  6. Maggie,

    Funny how voicing your frustration encourages me because your feelings are mine, too. How you feel resonates with many of us sisters, but we also have hope in Christ that he will make His way clear.

  7. Maggie, thanks be to the Lord for this wonderful grace in your words. Its so hard in the waiting sometimes-I so understand where you are as I am too :p Yet He is faithful and true and unfolds His plans for us one day at a time; we just have to be patient (which is where I go Ugggh! and have to remember that He desires obedience not sacrifice) May we each keep our eyes fixed on the pioneer and perfecter of our faith who gives us light for each next step in finding our passion and His plan 🙂

  8. Right there with you, Maggie! I’m 55 years old and graduated my fifth child in May which ended a 20-year homeschooling career. Now what? I kept wondering what would be my next “big” thing while I was keeping busy with all the “little” things and came up with the same solution as you. Here’s to enjoying where we are on the way to where we are going!

  9. I’m there too. Just finished my MA in Professional Counseling but realize my health has tanked and I have to wait to start that new thing. We just said yes to my son joining travel baseball. We’re in Atlanta too if you ever want to talk.

  10. “So I am stepping out in deeds prompted by my faith.” – YES! Sometimes, we have to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that God has “got this”, even though we’re not exactly sure where he’s leading. It reminds me of the scene in the movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, when he realizes he must take a “leap of faith” to find what he’s been searching for… That is SO not easy for those of us who tend to want to get things done and make things happen – NOW! It’s funny. I thought that, by the time I reached my 40’s, I would have a pretty good handle on how God wants me to live my life; knowing my purpose and having a CLEAR vision of what He wants me to do. Ha! Not even close! I still have A LOT to learn when it comes to patience, obedience, and surrender. Thank you, so much, Maggie, for your post! It really helps to know there are other Moms who are going through the same “life phase” and struggling with some of the same issues!

  11. Hello Maggie; Today is my 81st birthday. I too remember walking in a park in tears crying out verbally to God, ‘What do you want me to do now that I am a grown up woman’?. I had the privilege of staying home with our 5 children for 12 years, did many part time jobs when our youngest started kindergarten. Now she was in high school and I was ready for more. I did many jobs trying to find my place eventually ending up at Pacific Bell. God let me do every other kind of work I thought I’d wanted to do before opening this job that gave me a good income and retirement benefits. We have been retired for 21 years and taken some amazing trips. God is so good!! After many moves we are now settled in a retirement community in Southern CA. I can look back at our life and see how God provided and with joy look at our children’s lives and know He will provide in a wonderful way all of our provision in the years we have left. God bless you in your search and know that he will lead you where He wants you to be. Jonie

    • My heart is moved Jonie by your post and by each post I’ve read.❤️I’m 53 and feeling the same way many of you have mentioned. We are all in this journey together! Lord keep our eyes on you as we focus forward onto the path you lay before us.Chin up focus forward!❤️

  12. As a 68 year old who has “been there”, I would say you are right on target to watch God’s plan for you unfold, in his time. One day you will be amazed as you look back and see how he wove your gifts and talents into a unique “calling”

  13. Love your post! Being just a few months away from 50, I’ve had to learn something in my 40s. Transitioning from one season to the next always takes more time and grace than I anticipated. I am slowly learning to hold loosely in hand, both today’s needs and clarity of story for tomorrow. God has repeatedly been able to weave the two together. What grace awaits you. Keep walking, it just keeps getting better.

  14. Oh. My. Word.
    Girlfriend I am right there with you. Like exactly. And this is exactly what my heart is saying, but couldn’t find the words to convey.
    Just do it- thanks Nike- are pretty much the words that are keeping me moving forward. I am finally finding rest, in the “doing” of life without it having to be “ministry” minded. But bearing in mind that it all is… Just maybe in a different capacity.
    Thank you so much for sharing!! You have truly encouraged me today

  15. Hello fellow life traveler! My two children are young adults, my husband of 29 years left me and this stay-at-home Mom is gingerly taking it one step at a time. I so appreciate your words on “Mother” being the only occupation some women are capable of. Also the coined words, “calling” and “passion”. It’s as if our past endeavors were not real or significant. I so needed to read what you’ve have shared.
    Here’s to the journey, one foot forward, then the next.
    God Bless!

  16. Wonderful and true words: “if I start walking into my interests and using the gifts He has naturally bestowed on me, that somewhere down the road I will find myself in the midst of a great passion.” This happened to me. Though I’d always dreamed of pursuing writing full-time, I took a job years ago in an industry I never saw myself as passionate about. What started as a way to pay the bills has turned into a passion. I’m still pursing writing, but I’m now also excited about the other plans God has for me. He has prepared so much for us!

  17. Thank you for writing. At 50 I too can relate. We started later, building our family through adoption, and I am now hitting that wall of what I want to do when I grow up. Why don’t dad’s have this problem, it seems to be only a mom’s issue? I wish my husband could understand, but as well meaning as he is, I also get the “being a mom is the greatest calling”, along with being a “pastor’s wife”. Thanks again. Good to know I’m not alone in this!

  18. Well put! I’m sure this strikes a heart chord with most of us. I love the way you circled back to the simple calling we all share to simply do the (often mundane) thing the Lord has put in front of us, and to try to do it with right attitude. Go to work, mop the floor, pay the bill. The struggle is real.

    Makes me think of our babies, how they groan and whine when they’re on the brink of a new developmental milestone. The frustration of trying to figure out how to crawl, then walk . . .

    Calling is probably meant to be a broader term than the way we use it. One day, as we’re plugging away, making a habit to do today’s small acts with great obedience–but keeping our eyes up–we suddenly recognize a God-given dream which, when we step toward it in obedience, is followed by opportunities seemingly custom-made for us. He is faithful. We will crawl, walk, run, then dance for him 🙂

  19. How well I understand this waiting game. I will be 66 soon, and there are days I feel lost and alone although in faith I know He is with me.

  20. Hi Maggie, I’m from Atlanta but I’m out in the slower paced burbs. I just wanted to encourage you and the other ladies today. The Bible says our gifts and callings are irrevocable, He won’t take them back, and seeking Him will give you answers, take a step back and let Him guide you. Being a mother is a calling, though I understand what you mean by cop out. If that is indeed a woman’s calling, and her children grown there is a desperate need for foster parents. Being a good mother is a calling is what I should have said. I’m sure there would be people who would love to have those homeschooling moms to tutor or teach their children. I’m not being paid to blog but I love it. I will be praying for us to recieve the plans He has for us, and Kathy don’t give up, God has something for you, healing is better than disability, and finding people to help and love and something you love is a way to restore it. Have you considered starting your own business? God bless and guide you all, there will always be someone who cares about and needs each one of us. Even besides, Jesus.

  21. Hi…How I have related and enjoyed all the sharing on this subject. I’m almost 80 now and many ‘seasons’ have gone by…believe me, there’s always a new one! But, back in my 40’s, I remember waking up one morning saying to myself….now what? I need to dig in and find another calling, but “they’ve changed the rules since I brought up our 2 sons.” All the commercials then seemed to say…” you can have it all…!” Whatever ALL was???

    Well, God did help me through the next season and brought growth and more maturity into my life as I learned to embrace each new thing. I even ran away from home….became a flight attendant…thinking I could grow up by escaping the caregiving role I had so positioned myself into for many years. It was a good thing, but pretty scary at almost 50! Well…we just never need to stop growing and God does open new doors that may seem scary at first, but as we get used to the “new”…another beautiful awareness comes to us, and we just continue to learn as we go. It’s OK to be confused, but the new paths that open can be so very rewarding and new people come into our lives that help us on our way.

  22. Maggie, I loved your story so far. I had been thinking about these things myself lately, After reading some good story’s like yours and I realized we are suppose to be about our father’s business every day. Then I read a few verses more and it says Don’t Worry, you can start today. I don’t get out much but God has said he will lead us! I’m following! I love you! Lori Moore

  23. I had a few moments so I picked up my phone to read a blog or two. Your words could have been spoken from my very mouth. By the time I was done reading, I was crying. I’m in the same spot of life you are. My husband keeps telling me that as I do the necessary, God is using every experience to shape and mold me for his glory. My necessary doesn’t leave time for my passions, but I have moments of hope when the necessary opens opportunities to learn more about my passions. I have an unexpected one this week. I will go, I will sit, and I will learn. Later down the road, I know that being faithful to the small opportunities God has sprinkled along my path today will help me in who I am tomorrow.

  24. Hi Maggie, I dont know how to put it words but I’ll tell you none the less. God, more than anyone else or even yourself , wants you to know His will for your life. Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ” Seek God first. Seek to know Him and be with Him first. You have to know the King first before He gives you your assignment on this earth. The answers to your questions will follow. You have to know the Master before you can serve Him. Dont ask what’s next but ask for God. Thirst for His presence in your life. Start with Him. Its never about our calling but its about our King. I dont mean to sound self-righteous here but as a sister in faith, I would want you to live life to the fullest, the life Jesus promised (John 10:10) If your are willing, you can read further down.

    If your earnest to know God:
    1. Take time with Him daily through His word – the Bible. Grab a pen a notebook and meditate
    5 verses, 10 verses or a chapter depends on you (I recommend you start in the book of John). Pray first before you start your devotion, you can sing songs, worship Him. Then on your notebook, you can right your insights (what God is telling you), the verse that touched you, your application, yoru prayer. Make it a habit. Feed your Spirit everyday.
    2. Pray and pray a lot. Talk to God and listen to Him. When you pray, God moves.
    3. Obedience. Whatever He revealed to you, if He is convicting you in some area in your life, no matter how trivial or small it maybe in your sight, obey His voice. Be faithful in the small things.
    4. Have faith. Trust Him. Ultimately, the Holy Spirit that is in you is your number one teacher. He will teach you in all things. John 14:26

    Finally, sharing to you Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

    God bless you=)

  25. Thank you for sharing! I am in a similar place. I lost my job two months ago and have been looking for another one and it’s difficult. I am fortunate that I am getting married and my husband will take care of my needs, but I never wanted to be unemployed. And I agree with you re a calling – there are things that I could do just to make money, but I really want something that I believe in. I pray for both of us to find not just a job but a passion!

  26. Thank you for writing this, maybe it will be a lifeline for me. I’m 55 and left my lucrative job — which was getting increasingly harder physically & emotionally — about 1 1/2 years ago. I searched, feeling God had to have a place He wanted me that would use the best parts of me, but have never found anything that fit that and paid what my family needs. In the process I spent my non-retirement savings and accumulated debt. Now I’m working at an entry-level job in hopes (but no guarantee) it will lead to something better in time.

    I’m too ashamed to say to anyone I know that for the first time in my life i doubt whether there’s a God who cares or something I was planned to do. If there is, I’ve failed Him and my family because I sure haven’t found it. And I feel so ashamed of being a poor role model for my son. It’s hard to know I’m considered “old” (aka irrelevant) in the eyes of my coworkers and my college-age son and that will only continue with time. Joy is rare… I feel like there is nothing left but grinding duty to look ahead to until I die. And this is with me already being on an antidepressant and anti-anxiety med.

    Thank you for a safe place to share this.

    • Slowlysinking – hang in there! Today is “Day 1 of the rest of my life.” I lost my job 3 weeks shy of the 5 year mark, and I am seeking what’s next and trying to stay motivated and “relevant” and it is dang hard to care right now. I’d rather take a weeklong nap or run away to Mexico. (My kids are 6 and 7. Chances are the hubs wouldn’t appreciate my flight from adulting.)

      God is there. He has not forgotten you. Don’t sink into that belief. He is holding you and protecting you from pitfalls, even while it seems you are floundering.

      I struggle with depression and anxiety too. It is frustrating to apply for jobs and have door after door close. I have seen God’s hand at work in my life so many times – always in hindsight. In the midst of any struggle it is difficult to see just how much I am being held.

      I’m right there with you, and I encourage you to pray for God to reveal himself to you. My own prayer these past weeks as my job came to a close (not my choice, by the way), has been “Jesus, restore my hope.” When I have lost the heart to say more, I’ve uttered these words again and again, meditating on them through tears.

      Jesus, restore my hope. Jesus, restore my hope. Jesus, restore my hope.

      My prayer for you in the midst of your struggle is that Jesus will restore your hope beyond the circumstances of this life.

    • Slowlysinking,

      I’m praying for you. May God send a good job your way, peace and contentment to your heart also! He is our there caring for you. My life verse: “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you”. Jeremiah 29:11. He has great plans for you. hang in there sweet sister. By persevering you are being a good role model for your son. God is in control and will work all this out for His good and glory!

      Blessings 🙂

  27. Wow. The number of comments already posted here indicate the commonality of your experience, Maggie. I, too, want to thank you for your honesty and example of perseverance. My circumstances are somewhat different than yours (I’m an empty-nester for one thing), but your thoughts and emotions sound very familiar! The paragraph about walking into my interests and using the gifts God’s bestowed resonated with me and encouraged me greatly. Thank you, Maggie!

  28. Maggie,

    I understand your situation. I quit my full-time job last June (2015) to better care for my aging dad. My thought was to work part-time. That has not worked out. My dad had multiple medical issues. He was on hospice, dementia got much worse, was hospitalized earlier this year. It seems like I’m needed here for now. Some day I will be looking to go back to work either full or part time and I know it will be hard–I’m 51. I loved this “Works completed for the Lord are never in vain, and I have hope that their small accumulation will turn into a beautiful story when our hands are finally at rest.” Each day now I can rest assured that God sees our trials and will repay us for all our good deeds.

    Praying God sends a good job your way! Blessings 🙂


  29. I resonate with your words… even turning 40 in a couple months (!). I also have been a stay at home mom for last several years. I started working part-time a couple years as a substitute teacher but my heart is led toward other things like ministry and writing. God will see us through in our passions, even if that means there is more to discover. I’m glad I came across this article today. Blessings to you!

  30. I have cerebral palsy. I tend to do everything slowly. When I heard God tell me to blog I told Him He had to be kidding. Since He made it clear He wasn’t I obeyed. The practice of blogging helped me prepared for writing my memoir, It Takes More Than Legs to Stand.

    The things we do every day seem so mundane it can drive me to despair. But I’ve learned that God uses today to prepare me for what He wants me to do tomorrow.