Last night, I shared a meal with a group of ladies whom I love. As I sat with them around the dining room table trying to keep up with the ongoing, ever-morphing conversation, I found myself having a hard time coming up with significant words to add to their lively banter. In the span of about two and a half hours, we touched on everything from politics to hair color- and coincidentally, I don’t think the two have ever been so closely related in our nation’s history.
We are an eclectic bunch. We are not all from Texas. We don’t attend the same church. Our husband’s professions couldn’t be more different. We have one darling single girl who is waiting incredibly well. We have Moms with kids in preschool, no school, public school, home school, private school and even college. Our ages range from BARELY 30 to mid 40’s. Sitting around the table at a loss for words (a rare occasion for me), I thought about how I “happened” into this group and how I have found much to respect about each one of them. My favorite point of admiration is that each of them, at some point, chose to make their family top priority. For some, this decision was not a huge deal. For some, it was, but nonetheless, when Baby #1, or some cases Baby #2, made the grand entrance, they walked away from "full-time" positions in skill affirming jobs choosing the truly full-time, not so esteemed job of making home which includes everything from making potentially life altering decisions for people to learning which brand of band-aids really stick to finding the absolute yummiest chocolate chip cookie recipe. You’ve seen the list. Not so glamorous. Not much on it that would cause someone to say, “Wow. You are amazing.” Not likely the skills that would land you on the cover of your favorite magazine or in the hot seat with Barbara Walters. What I do know is that our decision to be at home, more than not, in order to make a home for our family to enjoy, to raise our children and to be available for them (all on the foundation of Christ) will bless our family for generations to come. We truly have no idea what the impact of what we have chosen to do will be on our family that follows. No idea. When it comes to passing on our faith to our children, there is no measuring the impact. One of the ladies around the table just sent her beautiful 18 year old to college. This young lady has been faithful to walk the road less traveled modeled by her parents and the best part, she still adores and enjoys her parents! Her foundation in Christ is strong and secure. For these parents, at this stage of the game, what more could they want? Absolutely nothing. Impact made. Invaluable.
Everything in me believes that my being available for nearly every sporadic conversation that happens while passing through with the laundry basket propped on my hip, while answering emails, while cutting up broccoli for dinner, while driving them all over the county, while trying to make sense out of the family calendar, while admiring their Crayola creations is significant —added up over days, weeks, months, years—it makes up their little life and it is absolutely significant. My job is of the utmost importance- a highly esteemed position in the eyes of God. Sounds funny, I know, but the ONLY reason it sounds funny is because we don’t hear it often enough. We hear something else from the culture in which we find ourselves immersed and it makes us flounder in our belief that God gave us one of the most significant roles on the planet--a Mother. No one, and I mean no one, can BE for our children what they need. I am WHO Julia and Brighton need. As I submit myself to God, He will carry out the work through me somehow, but again, availability is a key. Certainly, someone might can “do” for them what they need, but, even then, they may not know who likes ham, who likes turkey, who likes crust, who doesn’t, who likes their sandwich cut into triangles, who likes squares, who wants their apple peeled, who doesn’t-- and that is just the column under "food". Who cares, you say? Gotten it wrong lately? Big, big deal. Somehow, "Mom" doing it makes all the difference.
So Moms, between sharing Christ and serving up your best cookies, keep your chin up. We are accomplishing great things- things unimaginable but also unattainable without Christ. The mantle of homemaking and mothering is beautiful and intricate. It is an honored, colorful cloak—one worthy of aspiration for us and for our daughters. Our role is critical and God ordained. Let us live it fully and to the glory of God.
(I know for some of you, the greatest desire of your heart is to be home with your kids, but for some reason or another, it is not reality yet. I encourage you to keep praying, keep hoping that He will show You how. Don't give up because it is more than worth the asking and the waiting. The reward is eternal.)