Confession time. Confession #1: I used to watch Desperate Housewives. I know, I know. Not really a show that is worth the time or thought and, more likely than not, a few brain cells atrophied during the watching of the insipid show. But you know what I noticed? Those women were all desperate because they were not content. But contented people don't make for very interesting story lines, do they? Confession #2: I really like being a housewife. I prefer the word homemaker, but whatever you call it, I like it. A lot. As with any profession, we'll talk about the use of this term in a different entry, there are days that I don't like the circumstances of that particular day and can be tempted to look to the other side of the fence, but I am so thankful for this job. What a joy and privilege!
When I left my teaching job to become a SAHM, many people questioned my decision and many people thought my husband and I were absolutely nuts to choose to live on one income. More than one person questioned why I, as a college educated professional, would choose to do a job that clearly did not require an education. Those were valid concerns and I think most of the people who brought those points to our attention were simply trying to be helpful and provide counsel to us. But the bottom line is that we were extremely convinced that the Lord called us to this lifestyle. And how very kind He has been to us in allowing us to have this call upon our lives.
While following this call meant that I would lay down a job I absolutely loved, it also meant my husband would have to make some sacrifices. This choice means that my husband carries the entire burden of financially providing for our family. But isn't it a beautiful thing when the Lord provides for both spouses to share in the sacrifice of a call? The financial sacrifice of this call means that we must plan ahead for many things, we shop consignment stores and we sometimes turn down various invitations that are out of the budget. But it also means that we have learned how to communicate about finances and view our finances as a team effort. Again, what a kind provision!
There have certainly been days when I do not find much excitement in cleaning toilets, folding laundry and clipping coupons. Being a SAHM is not glamorous. It is not lucrative and sometimes it really isn't fun. There are no sick days and there is no retirement plan. But praise the Lord that His word does not say, "If you are famous, if your job makes lots of money, if your job reaches hundreds of people, if your job is viewed by the world as noble or important, then do it as unto the Lord." Nope. He tells us to do everything as unto Him. Everything. Cleaning toilets. Changing bed sheets. Changing diapers. All of those things are to be done as unto Him too. Certainly that will look different for each of us, but for me that means that my attitude about these chores must be one of joy. Joy because my children are watching. Joy because the Lord has provided earthly items that make our life on earth more comfortable and those things must be cared for. Joy because I have the physical and financial ability to care for those things. Joy because Jesus calls us to joy.
We are now 6 years into this call and the Lord has made the puzzle pieces of our lives- the odd and uneven edges of our desires, schedules and needs- fit very perfectly together. He has been gracious to show us where we each need to shave a little bit off of our own pieces so that we can fit our collective pieces together more effectively and more securely. Because I am able to pursue the dream of full-time mom and wife, my husband is able to pursue a dream he has that would be completely impossible for him to pursue if I were still teaching high school. At the beginning of this journey we had no idea that this call would actually open doors for new opportunities. But even in the midst of that, we still must lay down certain personal desires so we can each serve each other's call.
So now we get to another confession. Confession #3: Sometimes I buy into the lie that being a SAHM is a waste of intellect and is really not all that important. But the truth of the matter is that those thoughts are lies. No kid ever grows up and bemoans the times Mommy sat and colored with him or played pretend with her or just cuddled up when the thunder was scary. No Mommy ever looks back and resents having been the one to encourage the first steps or first words or having a temporarily messy kitchen because a 4 year old wanted to try measuring the flour. So to you, fellow SAHM, be encouraged. What you do is important eternally. It is. Jesus sees every diaper change that is done with joy and gentleness. He sees every shirt of your husband's that is diligently ironed because you know that is important your man and your doing so will be a blessing. And He says, "Whatever you do, do it as unto Me." Because it is that important.
The Art of Not Over-Doing
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