Wednesday, September 2, 2009

...Workers At Home...

"...workers at home..." I know that this phrase from Titus 2:3-5 has the capability of being a sore spot in many circles today and may not even be considered to be politically correct. However, this was God's ideal plan for us as women and our homes, not to hold us back or to keep our talents hidden (don't forget, He gave us our talents to begin with) but to allow us to flourish and to bring up the next generation with a love for Him and who He is. As you read this, please understand that at one time, I did work outside of my home. However, once we had a baby both Brian and I felt that it would best serve God, our family, and our daughter if I stayed home with her. I know that with our present economy and with each individual situation there are women who work outside of their homes either by choice or by necessity, and I am not here to condemn you in any way. As you realize, we are going through Titus 2:3-5 word by word and phrase by phrase. What I have written is what God has shown me in my own walk with Him.

Many times I am asked if I work. When most people ask that question, they are asking if you have a paying job outside of the home. Well the answer to that form of the question is, no. But if the question being asked is am I doing some form of exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil, then the answer is most definitely yes. (definition from Many times as women who stay home, we are looked at as living the easy life with nothing to do all day but watch TV and talk on the phone, and I'm sure people think we get bored out of our minds. But anyone who has ever tried to do the job we do quickly realizes that our ability to complete our responsibilities is essential to those living on our homes.

I'm sure that if anyone tried calculating what the pay scale for a stay-at-home wife/ mother would be, we would find ourselves valued at more than could actually be paid. We cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, garden/landscape, look for ways to save money, in some cases are the financial accountants for the home, do the majority of the child care (while our prince is out working so we can stay home), plan events and family gatherings to keep everyone in touch, teach our children (whether you home school or help with homework, you are their greatest teacher), nurse the sick and bandage wounds, counsel the broken hearts of our children and listen to the frustrations of our husbands, record the memories made in our families, organize our living spaces, refurbish furniture to decorate on a budget, and so much more.

There is never a dull moment. It is never boring. I have had so many adventures being a homemaker (remember my two washing machine floodings, the Quizno's scavenger hunt, trying to warm up our well pump with a hair dryer after loosing our water during an early freeze- from the Yahoo 360 posts), so much more than I ever did when I was in the workplace. My best memories have always been made at home, and I believe it is my job to help make wonderful memories for Brian and Addie. Each day is an adventure.

I can make my own schedule, either as simple or as hectic as I want it to be. And I cannot tell you how much stress this particular point has relieved. I went back to the school I taught at a little over a year ago with a 3 month old Addie, and one of the first things I was told was that I looked so relaxed, happy, and stress-free. There was a reason for that. I had no stress. Technically, when your only deadline is dinner, how much stress can you really have? I have chosen to keep a very relaxed schedule so that I can enjoy life with my husband and daughter. I know that some people value being able to make their day sound like a constant on-the-go-so-much-to-do-where-will-I-find-the-time lifestyle, but I don't believe that is the lifestyle that God has for my family and me. Have I had days like that? Yes, but they are few and far between. Do I like to accomplish a lot in my day? Yes, but I am also learning to balance the important and the unessential.

If you have never read 100 Ways To Simplify Your Life by Joyce Meyer, I would encourage you to do that. Just within the first chapter (each chapter is literally one page), God spoke to me about relaxing and doing one thing at a time. I was trying to accomplish so much in my days, that I was multi-tasking above and beyond the normal and not enjoying a single thing I was doing and wearing myself out. I was doing this just so I could get to that, and doing that just so I could get to the next thing on the list. I am now doing one thing at a time and enjoying it, even though I still have to remind myself not to stress about the next thing on the list. I'm still accomplishing things in my day, the house is still in great order, but I am not overloading my schedule or myself.

In our homes, there is always something to do if you are self-motivated. Treat your position as a worker at home as you would a full-time job for an employer. The One who has given you your position expects you to do your best in it. Your husband and children will benefit from the attention that you give to being a wife/mother. You are not doing your job for any one else. Do it heartily as for the Lord.


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