Something has been on my heart to share for a long time now. I have wrestled with it for months, trying to figure it out or even if it was worth sharing...but something happened today that solidified my choice in sharing this with you.
About a month ago, I was asked to help out in the nursery at our church. We had our first meeting today where we filled out paperwork and went over the rules and guidelines. Our pastor came in to give us a mini lesson and pray over us. He asked if we remembered the story of Moses...and to be honest I had to think about what he really wanted me to remember. I overheard the nursery director say something about us preparing our own lesson plans to bring in for the kids. I kinda freaked out and had to get something off my chest.
I am not a "kid" mom.
I don't know how else to explain this but I know there are other moms who feel this way. I have talked with them. You could say I'm not a fun mom, or I struggle with pretend play. Or you could say I don't really enjoy playing at all. You could also say that I don't enjoy tea parties or board games...or even practicing numbers and letters, and you would be correct. I had to just say that I am not the kind of woman who would sit and plan a bible lesson for the kids and come in with crafts and stories. I just wouldn't.
I am the kind of mom who loves to hold crying babies. I love to breastfeed and change diapers. I love to stay up late and rock my babies to sleep. I love to nurture and soothe...I am good at it. I love to clean up boo boos and speak life and courage into my kids. I love to pray for them. I love to pack diaper bags and picnics and go to the park and watch them play with other kids...or just sit and watch the ducks and talk about creation. I love to paint and draw with them...and I love to fold their laundry and tuck them in bed. I love to brush their hair and put on clean jammies and cuddle. That's me.
And I found myself delving into the story of Moses today and his mother. I just could not believe that God had placed me in this tiny room in a church in a small town in Texas today...only to hear about her. I just knew there was a reason I feel such a strong pull to stay here at home with my kids. We knew from the very beginning I would and we have never second guessed our choice, even in our toughest financial challenges...
After Moses was put in that basket and sent down the Nile...it ended up that Pharaohs daughter hired his own mother to be his caretaker and she had 3 maybe 4 years with him. Moses grew up to be one of Gods greatest leaders. I could go on and on about Moses here but its his mother that has sent me into a tailspin today. Instead of seeing her son killed, she had enough faith in God to let him float down the Nile...then raise him herself for those few years, only to set him free again. I cant even imagine how much faith you would have to do what she did. And even more, I am so wishing I could go back in time and hear what she was whispering into his ear and speaking into to his heart as she was caring for her son. And knowing what kind of man Moses grew up to be and everything he was, I think we all know it was because of the short time he had with his mother. She knew she had limited time.
And so do I.
My girls would probably learn their ABC's and the days of the week and how to count to 30 a lot faster if they were in daycare or in a traditional preschool setting...remember these things aren't really my strong point. But when I meet God, I know that's not what is going to be on his heart for me. I will be judged at how I used my time and where my heart was. The fact is, we don't have alot of money. And there are times we struggle financially...but I still have faith in my God that he is bigger than all that. I still find myself in awe of how he provides for us, while I stay at home with them.
I came across a scripture today that has just blown me away...and convicted the pants off of me.Oh the timing.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5 15-16
What a strong message for such a broken society with other plans. And I am one of them. My God forgive me for not putting your desires first and living for me, and not you. Forgive me.
My hope, my prayer for my girls is that I have done everything I possibly can to prepare them for what is to come in their lives. I have recently been able to release alot of fear to God regarding them, understanding that it is not my job to protect them as much as it is to prepare them. And I simply cant justify my time spent out of my home, as time invested in them.
Now here comes the part where I tell you how much I fail at this. There are days I wish that I worked outside my home, although they are very few and far between anymore. I miss adult conversation.There are days when I just want to sleep until ten and hire a cleaning lady.I do sometimes cringe when its 3 pm and its hot and the laundry is piling up and dinner needs to be prepped and Grace asks me to read her a story, and I just say no. And there are most certainly times when I would rather paint than do anything at all. I am not always the wife and mother God wants me to be. But that's ok. I will never measure up to the standards the world puts on women to be everything to everyone. I cant do it all. And I don't enjoy it all. But my heart fills up and tears start flowing when I get to show Jesus to my Grace...when we have moments when Grace asks me the tough questions and I get to be the one to answer them.Or when I get to pray for my Lucy when she is tired and is having a meltdown. I get overwhelmed with gratitude when I get to be the one to take Grace to her dentist month after month and speak Gods courage and love into her heart so she can overcome her fears...and then joyfully share in the moments with her when she finally overcomes them. I just know that she will remember these times and remember the lessons I have filled her up with and I think about all the opportunities I would miss out on if I wasn't here.Nothing makes me happier than spending my days, my hours, my minutes with my children. Nothing. But I didn't always feel that way...
There were periods of time in my life when I felt like I wanted to just run from it all. I felt like I wasn't as good of a mom as you are or she is...so I felt like I should just give up the responsibility to someone else. So I started praying about it. I asked God to give me the heart for my children that he has for them. And as impossible as it seems because his heart doesn't even compare to mine, he answered my prayer. And it all of a sudden became okay that I wasn't doing art projects everyday or we weren't reading books everyday. It became okay that I wasn't doing all the pinterest projects or even blogging about motherhood. Its all okay. I am everything I was meant to be, because he made me. I am not mother of the year, whoever she is.
I can say for sure that no amount of money or desire I have would keep me from this precious time I have in front of them. This is it. This is really it. I have been trusted with these little people and I want to give it my all. Even if my all is them helping me pack boxes or the two of them playing by themselves for a few hours while I work at home. I have no guilt in that. I have no guilt that sometimes we eat slices of cheese and strawberries for dinner at 9 pm because I am still here. And I am still the one sharing the gospel with them and just reminding them each and every moment I can that God loves them. And there is no amount of money or education that will compare to that truth. He alone is the bread of life and nobody but God himself will ever love them as much as I do.There is grace for me when I am weak and overwhelmed and there is grace for me when I fail them. And I do every single day. But I am still their mother. I was created for them and they were a gift to me. I stand firm in my choice and my freedom to do so...and I am praising God with all i am that he has given me this opportunity to create income and sustain our family in this rough economy. I am embracing our new ways of cutting costs and budgeting. I am actually happier being more frugal and obedient and less in the flesh. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth.
There is nothing that cant wait for a few years. No dream that I have with my art or writing...nothing is out of Gods timing. I am in it for sure. I am right where i am supposed to be. I have finally come to a place where I don't feel as if I am missing out on anything. There is no job or degree or any amount of money that would lure me out of my calling. I am a mother. I am a wife. And I am a child of the most high. And I am far more concerned with what he wants for me than what I think I want for myself. I would hope one day my girls would understand why we didn't take lavish vacations every year or why they ate pasta and PB and J sandwiches for some months...and I am praying for anyone struggling with this choice. I know its hard sometimes. I too have been known to put my faith and my security in a job or my bank account. But the fact is, those things are fleeting. And the time is short. And the world is an evil place. And I find much more security in Gods word and his promises for me and my family. And I want to make sure I have every single opportunity to fill my girls hearts up with his promises, so when they face this evil world, when i have to finally let them go, I will know I did everything I could.
I will have no regrets.