So, I’ve been debating whether to write about my recent struggle. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to voice what is going on in my head, heart and life right now. Today, though, something happened that made me move straight to the computer to put it all into words here. I’m hoping that I don’t offend anyone, not really going to make any promises on that though since this seems to be a bit controversial, but that instead I make you think about roles, your views on them, and how you state them to others. It may sound harsh to some of you. I do not mean it in that way at all. I say it out of a heart of love and obedience, and I pray that you hear it that way and understand.
Since we left Chick-fil-A and started with Sonic here in Texas, I have continued to stay at home. I have been a Stay at home Mommy for the past 6 years. During that time, I have worked for Michael some supporting him and our restaurant doing some local store marketing, but for the most part, I’m home. During that time, I brought in a college-aged young woman 1 to 2 times a week to help me. Usually, for a few hours on those days so that I could do a couple of things in peace, such as grocery shop, or get my hair done, that sort of thing. There are some out there that would frown on that, but…I think there are some things a little more important you should be frowning on besides me getting my groceries bought sans children. Seriously. I love being home with my children. It has been an amazing 6 years to get to stay home with them. A huge blessing! If you’ve known me for most of my life, then you probably think it is amazing that I have made the decision to stay home. I mean, I use to not want children. I wanted a career. When that changed and I started having children, that was a shock to me as well as those who knew and loved me. I just want you to have a little background on me as I go in to where I am now in life. I love being home. It pains me to think about not being home while my youngest is not yet in school. I still don’t like cleaning, but I do it (and I think I do it pretty well) because it gives me joy to serve my family. That is my heart. Serving my family.
So, with that in mind, Michael and I have been praying over if I should go back to work or not. Now, I know there are those of you out there who just gasped and thought, “Absolutely not! What about the children??” I know that you thought that because today I felt judged for the first time in this decision that I have been struggling with for months. Honestly, there is nothing you could or can say that I haven’t thought of myself. That is why it has been a struggle. If it wasn’t a struggle for me, then I would say, “Take your best shot, ladies.” But it has been and it still is a struggle for me. So, with that in mind, I say, “Take a moment and listen. Then try to have some compassion and understanding for the other Mommies out there.” I mean…good grief, Don’t we as mommies add enough guilt and extra stuff to ourselves without others adding to it??
Now, there are definite reasons for me to go back to work. It’s not about wanting more things. We have everything we need and desire. And I am aware that God provides it all to us. We are grateful to Him who sits on the throne and provides everything and anything we have. It is ALL His and we hold it loosely in open palms as we know He gives and takes away. We are extremely aware of that having enjoyed great abundance at times and having lived through hardship. No, this is not about things. What spurs us to think about me going back to work is a higher calling. We feel the “call” to get out of debt. We want as little of it as is possible, and we feel like the Lord is asking that of us. So, for that to happen, in order for us to be obedient in the call, some things have to happen. One, the store has to make us more money (totally possible) or I go back to work and supplement our income to help pay it off in a year. Or, even better, both things happen and it happens faster. I’m not saying I will quit working when the debt is paid. I don’t think it is wrong to work and be a mommy. I actually like both things, working and being a stay at home mom. That doesn’t make me bad or wrong, no matter what you may think. It is my job to serve my family. That comes in all forms, ladies. I am going into this time of prayer and decision-making process with two thoughts in mind. 1. Lord, let me be obedient to Your will and do what You ask of me and my family with a joyful heart. 2. Let me have a heart and attitude of serving my family in this. I will make each decision with Michael (my fearless leader) and with the Lord, all of it keeping in mind the desire to be obedient.
So, what brought this on? Me putting my thoughts down like this? Like I said, judgment was put on me today that did not belong there. In truth, we are not each other’s judges. I understand the idea of church discipline and all of that, but that is not what I am talking about. We are called to give God glory in everything we do and go out and be fishers of men. We are called to love God and love people. My Bible doesn’t say, “Mothers you are to stay home.” As a matter of fact, my Bible says this:
” She selects wool and flax ans works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.” Proverbs 31:13-19
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
Now I in NO WAY am calling myself a Proverbs 31 Lady. I am, however, striving towards that and understand that I have so far to go. My point is this: Must we attack or judge each other ladies? Can we not realize that we all need encouragement and uplifting? We are to carry each other’s burdens, which can show itself in so many ways. Some of you are so good at this. To you I say Bravo!! Those that spend your time tsking over what so and so is doing or is not doing…well…I don’t really think I need to say anything else. You probably have gotten the gist of it. Young women are to learn from us. What are they learning from you and me?