Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thoughts on Homemaking

I have always believed since I was a small child that a mother's place was in the home. I don't remember being taught this, but I observed it. My mother stayed home, my father went to work. And even then, not so long ago, the majority of mothers that I knew stayed at home. Now I realize that this is a controversial issue in 2008, and I don't wish to stir up controversy, I only wish to share some ways that God is dealing with my heart. I do want to make this clear, however, in my home, where I was indirectly taught that a mother's place was in the home, I was also directly taught that nothing less than my best in everything was acceptable. I could not play after school until my homework was done, and in elementary school I remember studying for tests with my father, and if I was still missing even a few questions that he asked me, well the studying was not done. I was taught to write neatly, do things completely, and I always knew that I would go to college. It was expected, assumed, and I never thought otherwise. So off I went to college, where I majored in fashion design, with every intention of having some huge career in New York City. Obviously that did not happen. And I even remember when making the decision to change my major, I told my mother that all I really wanted was to be a mother. But that was not an optional major, and reality showed that I very well could be single for my entire life. So I decided to choose a major that I would be happy with, that would be fulfilling if God gave me a life of singleness, and so I chose teaching. Because then I would still invest in young lives, and better yet, I would immerse myself in literature and writing. And what do you know, I fell in love with my major, and once I was actually in the classroom, well, I fell in love with teaching and with students and with, well, being in the classroom.

I am a big believer that truth is a very separate thing from emotion and feeling. I have to believe this because my emotions are so unpredictable, so I stand on truth. I fully believe that it is truth that I am to be at home with Ada, being a homemaker. And I always thought that I believed this to be a worthy profession, a high calling, a privilege. What I have found, however, now that I am home, is that there is not much glory in it. It is very daily, and at times, it makes me feel very unimportant, and I am tempted to want to go back to work. And this is where truth comes in. God is showing me in huge, huge ways that I am believing lies. And if my job is to teach my daughters the art of homemaking, well I must learn it myself, right? Again, this is not a post about whether a woman should stay at home or work, it is a post about my believing the lie that because I stay at home with my children, my job somehow makes my education useless or makes me somewhat worthless. How crazy is that? I even wrote a persuasive paper in graduate school outlining all the reasons why a graduate degree would benefit me if I were to stay at home with my children, and yet, I find myself forgetting what I wrote. In the midst of all of these feelings that have surfaced at the start of another school year, I find God sending me little messages, or not so little messages, about all of the reasons why he has called me to be a full time mom. And more than that, He has encouraged me so. Which I find so comforting. I don't feel so much disciplined by Him, but more reminded of truth. Of truth about why this job matters. And of truth about my sin and my pride in wanting a job that brings glory and acclaim. And truth that I must believe in homemaking if I am to teach my daughters that they are called to be homemakers in a world that is becoming more and more anti-homemaking. I am still in process, so forgive me if this post is somewhat unclear. Just know that I will probably revisit this topic more over the next months, years, lifetime even. And for some encouragement of your own, please check out this blog. Every time I read it, I find myself in tears because I feel like God is reminding me that He notices the job that I do, and that is enough. That is all I need.


CityGirl said...

i really enjoyed this post! thank you for sharing. nothing was offensive at all. i am so glad that when i have a baby, that i will have this group of mothers to lean on. :)

The Tabbs said...

Hi, you will think I am crazy but I came across your blog through my friend Alison Cali's links on her blog. It is very interesting to read others thoughts on homemaking. I am also a teacher (3rd grade) and been married about a year and I have been regularly thinking about whether I will stay home with my children when I have them. Your thoughts are very thought provoking for me. Thanks for sharing! Rebecca

Dana said...

you do not know me. iam a stalker. a friend of ashley and adam. i just want you to know that you are not alone. it is so hard becoming a stay at home mom after you have been in the workforce.

first of all, i enourage you to find a fall bible study. it is so wonderful to be with other women studying god's word. especially women who are 20-30 years ahead of you. they are a priceless source of encouragement and godly wisdom.

secondly, keep listening to your heart and turn a deaf ear to the evil one. you are right where god has called you to be. it is so evident in your blog that you and your spouse have not come to this decision (of you being home) lightly or in a hasty manner.

third, keep trusting, and asking the lord to give you peace each day and to bring you the desires of your heart. that you will be happy and fulfilled in him at home.

and lastly, give yourself the freedom to enjoy being home. i found myself feeling guilty because i enjoyed being home. guilt is an exhausting thing to deal with! enjoy your time with your children. being home is a gift!

your baby is beautiful!

Ashley said...

LB, I am so encouraged by your post! You are always SO honest, and I love it! You are RIGHT ON in your assessment of what is going on: 2 Cor 10:5 says, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." We will pray that you continue to do this - discerning between what is truth and what is emotion. Praise the Lord for women like you who live this life!

Milla said...

I loved your post, LB! I loved your balance between the importance of education and homemaking, as I sometimes wonder "what's the point!" when I eventually plan to be home with my family! Thanks for sharing...