|An epic week long camping trip with these four|
Today if I filled out a resume of what I do, what would I currently be able to write down? I make food. Lots of food. Got a social: Tonya's bringing the dessert. Got a breakfast: Where's the cinnamon rolls? Come over to our pad, there will be a big dinner waiting for you. My other ministry? I'm a wife, and a mom of 4 or more, depending on who God sends our way. Yeah, I homeschool too. How did I allow my ministry to be reduced to this? Maybe it's the fact that at the end of a homeschool day with four children, two of which have educational special needs, I'm so exhausted all I can do is show up at church with an expectant heart to suck in all the encouragement from the Word and worship I can. I simply can't pour into others after pouring into my kids all week. When opportunities come throughout the week, I rarely can make it unless it is little kid friendly. Because of Kris' job, I have to be with my kids most evenings too.
If you feel motherhood has you in a "rut" where your ministry is reduced to being the cook, teacher, and caregiver, you are not alone. Society has placed us at the bottom of the important type of people list. They think we should be in the workforce. They think we should come out of our houses and do something significant for a change. We obviously took the easy, lazy way out of deciding to stay home when we are able bodied workers. What a luxury!
|When I was as sick as a dog these four took a snow day and built this along our driveway|
Here are two excerpts from Dr.Phil.com's website concerning being a stay-at-home mom:
Making the decision to stay home with your kids or join the workforce can be a difficult process. There is no right answer. Dr. Phil encourages each woman to make the choice that brings her closest to fulfilling her hopes and dreams.
In support of mothers who choose to work, Dr. Phil says that many women hope to be a parent and pursue a career and they often become depressed when they are stuck solely in a parenting capacity. "If the child is mothered by a parent who is feeling frustrated, and depressed and empty, that is not a good thing," he says.
THESE are the lies we are fed. THESE are the messages we hear in our culture. THESE are ways for the enemy to tear down our calling, little by little, until we decide we have no value at all for God's kingdom. "Fulfilling her hopes and dreams..."? Seriously? So it's all about us? And then Dr. Phil implies staying at home often leads to depression and feeling empty? Oh yeah, it's because she's doing nothing important, right? Hogwash.
Several months ago I posted about struggling with the decision to quit homeschooling. This would have freed me up to "do more for God". At the end of the post I concluded that by leaving the calling I had to teach my children in our home I was going to be missing out on a blessing. That's because I was in fact doing exactly what God wanted me to do, even though it didn't come easily or naturally.
|Home life: planting and growing|
Don't see yourself as insignificant just because you don't draw a paycheck or teach in your church. Don't beat yourself up every time you hear about new opportunities and realize it conflicts with nap time or class time. Don't let the enemy whisper "You need to do more". Satan and others lay guilt on us, but the Holy Spirit convicts. Please remember if you are convicted you need to serve in a certain area and know it will not take you away from your primary calling, obey His leading and don't let anyone or anything sway you from the doors He is opening for you to walk into. Many moms can wing teaching at church or serving in other areas and shouldn't make excuses if God is truly drawing them to serve. I'm simply saying we shouldn't all feel pressured that we HAVE to. There is a difference, and we don't need moms in our churches who serve simply because they feel it's their duty to do so. It not only strains them of energy and time with their children at home, but it also prevents the person God wants from serving in that role the most effectively.
|What if I had sent them to preschool and missed out on doing this with them?|
But if God has provided adequate income to care for your family's needs (note I didn't say wants)***, lift up your head and find joy in where you are. No one else can replace what you are teaching and modeling to your children. Enjoy the moments, the memories, the milestones, and don't let this world get you down. You are doing ENOUGH. And that is a pleasing sight to Your Heavenly Father.
***This article has a lot of truth in it when it comes to the cost of staying at home vs. joining the workforce for a second income: http://www.everythingtosomeone.com/2016/02/22/the-true-cost-of-a-second-income/