Friday, March 1, 2013

This is my desire... (confessions of a SAHM)


Over sushi one Friday, I was talking with a good friend about being moms.  Parenting.  How we as moms often feel like our lives are one balancing act.  Yet nothing is in balance.  It's more a spin out of control, where has the time gone act.

She is a working mom.  Which I simply admire her so much for.

And to be honest, envy at times.

As we sat talking, she mentioned how she wish she was me.  How she wishes she could spend with her daughter the way I spend time with Brady.  I thought honestly who in the world would want to be me?  There is nothing glamorous about me or my life as a stay at home mom.

I humbly told her that I don't know how she does it.  Being a mom and working.  Takes a much stronger woman than me.  Then she said something that strike me.  "No, I think you have it much harder than I do."

I agreed there are days it's a real struggle.

But then I had to ask myself what is the real struggle?  The constant little person I have to tend to or the constant little person inside myself.  Known as pride.

Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a family.  I envisioned my life has a picturesque one.  Dream job?  Stay at home mom.  I mean if you've ever played the game "MASH" then of course, your life was going to be nothing short of wonderful.

Then you grow up and realize the game of MASH was so superficial and portrayed nothing what life would truly be like.  Even more so when you start to realize that this life isn't about things.  If only it was as easy as writing down your 5 dream cars & careers, the number of kids you'd like to have, the cities you'd like to live in, and your dream guy on notebook paper.

Our hearts, eyes, and minds become cloudy with the things of this world.  And this is where I find myself.  Being cloudy by my own wants and desires.

All grown up.  Living that life I dreamed of as a little girl.  With my dream job.  In a house thankfully, not a shack nor a mansion.

So why is it such a struggle?  Why do I envy my sweet friend who is a working mom?

Why am I not overflowing with happiness with this beautiful life that I've been given.  After all, it's everything I've always wanted and desired. 

Well from my past struggles, I've learned God does his best work when we struggle.  When we have no choice but to seek Him.  Seek His desires for our life, rather than our own.  Seek His Kingdom, rather than the world.

As I struggle with being a stay at home mom, I often find myself in awe of what God is showing me through His eyes and not my own.  Through His strength and not my own.  I also find myself drawing near to Him for every aspect of my life.

While drawing near to Him, I'm learning His desires for my life, look different than what my desires look like.  Learning that my purpose here is not to have those granite counter tops I dream of or that vacation I feel like I deserve.  Yet it is to serve Him.  To serve Him with all of being, not  just the parts I want.  It is about finding joy amidst my struggles.

Jesus tells Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:19, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." To which Paul replies, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Serving Him means serving my family.  Serving Him in my house regardless of what kind counter tops I have.  Or the job I have.  And delighting in my weakness, hardships, and difficulties.  Lord knows being a mother means all of those things plus more.

I can't pray for Him to use me, yet still be wishing I had the things of this world.

"In order to be used, we have to be broken..." -Jeremy Camp

Before I had Brady, we prayed about whether or not I would return to work or if I would stay home.  Obviously we felt that I should stay home.  It was what was best for our family.  We decided we would give up our own desires in order to follow God's desire for our lives.  Our motto has always been, "we can always make more money, but we won't be able to back Brady's childhood." so that's what I've clung to.

Because honestly, staying at home as been way more challenging than I could have imagined.  For so many reasons but the obvious one being financially.  I sit and think of all the things we could be doing if I was still working.  Like those granite counter tops, that vacation to Disney I've always wanted, and high-lighted hair every month.

Clinging to the things money can buy is only destroying what God really wants for me.  Clinging to superficial things is a sin.  Clinging to any thing other than Jesus is what Satan wants for me.

The reality is Jesus doesn't want my life to be motivated by money or career but by Him alone.  And what His will and desire is for me.

As I sat in my car Wednesday at the water's edge, cellphone dead, baby asleep in the back, sun-roof opened, Matthew West coming through my speakers I sat in silence as tears rolled down my cheeks.  I felt so alone, broken, and weak.  I grabbed my Bible and Lysa TerKeurst's book and began to read.  Something I haven't done in some time due to just going through the motions.  As I read I began to see the bigger picture of my life.  Not just the mundane tasks I face everyday.  Not all the tangible things I didn't have, yet all the treasures I do have.  Treasures that I'm storing up not here, but in Heaven.  But mostly, I begin to feel God's grace fall and walls start to crumble.  Walls that had built up since staying home.  Trying to justify "my job" as a SAHM, to no one but myself.

I had started to believe the lies that Satan was telling me.  I had started to doubt my decision of staying home.  I doubted my purpose here on earth.

Then I read this on page 126... 

The underlined parts hit me like a ton of bricks.  Brady woke up as it was time for the Farmers Market to open and I drove away feeling like a person.  My heart overflowed with joy!  My soul refreshed. 

Satan wants me to doubt my job as a stay-at-home-mom or my job as a mom in general.  He wants me to believe I have no worth since I don't make X amount of dollars.  He wants me to believe I can do better.  He wants me to believe that all those things, such as freshly highlighted hair will make me feel better or bring me happiness.

Of course it will bring me happiness, but it will not bring me joy!

"This is my desire to be used by you..." 

My desire in this life is to do whatever God has called me to do and do it with great pride and joy!  Not with a bad attitude because I feel like I never ever have a clean house.  Or because I feel like I never get a break.  Or because I can't afford a certain something.

I don't want those things to control me or my life.  I don't want Satan to have that kind of power over me.  I don't any mother or person to ever feel that whatever they do in life doesn't matter.  Because it does matters.

God created us to desire Him.  To crave Him.  To follow Him.  Not to follow things of this world.  Or follow the "shiny" things in life, like shiny new counter tops ;)

Desiring Him, means fulfilling your purpose.  Which means my purpose as a mom.  I was made for this job.  And there is no greater job.

But I can't do it on my own strength.  So that's why I have to chase after Him, instead of chasing after the wind.  Ecclesiastes 1:14 says that man's pursuit of the things of this world "are meaningless, a chasing after the wind."  Lysa TerKeurst has this to say about that, "Busyness, chasing after achievements, and filling our days with man-made idols will leave us feeling empty and breathless.  We must fill our days with a rich relationship with God in order to feel fulfilled."

I have to ask Him daily to empty me of all the things that don't belong (my pride, my selfishness, my desires, my wants) and fill me up with the things He wants for me.  Fill me with things that do matter.  Fill me with the things only He can give.







My home is my mission field.  Brady's heart is my mission field.  Which means my job as a SAHM does matter and it is where God has called me at this moment in my life.  Not in the classroom teaching, where I wish I was some days.  So I will allow myself to rest in that, knowing that there is no greater joy than following what He has called me to do.  Even if it hard or not as glamorous as I envisioned as a young girl.  Even if it means formica over granite...

So I will cling to my desire to be used by Him where ever that may be.  And I'll continue to be incredibly humbled by His love for me.  I hope you can find rest in whatever you are doing, where ever you may be doing it.  What ever your mission field may be; whether it be a stay at home mom, a working mom (which I applaud you!!!), or one of those longing just to be a mom.

May His desire be your desire... 

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9

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