Being a Stay at Home Mother is the best choice that I have ever made.
I feel tremendously blessed that in this day and age, my husband honors my role as wife, mother and teacher above the commercialized standards of wealth, money and position. I see it as a privilege to make the choice to stay home and raise disciples as a sole focus instead of dividing my attention between work and home. It is a deep responsibility and a weight that I happily bear…
Most of the time.
Let’s face it ladies. There is that percentage, somewhere between 10-15%, (or however much you care to admit to…go ahead, no one can hear you!) of the time when you feel a little baffled by it all. We mothers are one of the only occupations in the world where the job description is consistently inconsistent, you are on call 24/7, physical stamina is in constant demand but short supply and where basic life skills such as nose-blowing, hand washing and crisis management are always on the task list. Your subordinates actually run your day most of the time, wardrobe malfunctions occur hourly and sprinting through the aisles in Wal-Mart toward the family bathrooms (No, Mommy I have to go NOW!) is the most often practiced form of exercise.
But those of us that are called to this task love it. What strange women we are. To actually find fulfillment and relish in such a role. To enjoy every sticky embrace, slobbery smooch and missed-my-hand-but-wacked-my-nose-high-five. To persevere through the chaos and ignore the unfinished laundry. To frolic carefree amongst the strewn Legos, past the wasted rolls of toilet paper and…
Wait just a moment. Is something sounding a little off here for you too? I mean, in the course of my average day, that last paragraph is a bit of a dream. In all reality, there are days where the laundry, sticky hands, wasted toiletries and chaos can be overwhelming. Relish? Enjoy? Persevere? How about survive! There are days when keeping your head above water is really the only goal. Well, that and not being tied up in a corner somewhere by your 6 year old.
You see, we live in such a performance based society that it really is difficult to see ourselves not achieving; even when it’s something as simple hot dogs vs. steak for dinner. There is an unspoken belief in our society as well, that if you are home all day long then your home, children, husband, et infinitum must be perfect. The pressures of performance, production and output can mount rather quickly and take a toll on our emotional psyche, self image and perspective. That is, until we look into God’s awesome word.
We often remember the great men of the Bible for their moments of triumph, but rarely do we reflect on their marked moments of weakness. Abraham was a liar, Elijah battled depression and Peter was a plagued with doubt and fear. But today, for our mothering hearts, I want to look at David. A man after God’s own heart, and the giant that he could not defeat.
2 Samuel 21: 15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”
I am wondering if you caught that at all. David, giant slayer, knock down drag out warrior of the day, big man on campus King, was exhausted. And because of his exhaustion, he was almost defeated. But did his mighty men taunt him? Did they question his rule, his authority? No. They provided solutions. Abishai killed Ishbi-benob and then they men declared that his light was too important to risk his life again. Home he must stay, to be protected and kept safe.
Do you see the parallel?
Are you exhausted? Has the laundry pile up overwhelmed you and do the dirty diapers have you cornered? Is the giant of perfectionism and production threatening to tear you to pieces and kill you with a Goliath sized sword? Has your mop and sponge become more vital to you than the sound of your children’s laughter and your husband’s warm touch? Is your image as Mom of the Year killing the light inside of you? Then stop, get off the battle field and let someone else fight that fight.
You are far more important than your production. There is a light inside of you that keeps your family going that is far more vital to their success than clean dishes. There is a light inside of you that will send mighty men of wisdom, truth and love into the enemy’s camp against your family far more effectively than a vacuumed floor. There is a light inside of you to mend broken hearts, laugh in the good times, pray through the struggles and guide in the darkness that is far more important that any outsider’s expectations.
So relax. Give yourself grace Mom, and focus on the light. If anything is going to make you tired at the end of a day, let it be because you shone so brightly that you gave all you had. Not because the floors are prefect and the dinner spot on. The warriors in your life need you more than what you can do.
Shine on sister. Shine on.