My destination was nowhere glamorous, but it may be a place you’ve heard of. Perhaps you’ve even visited? I traveled to Pity-Party Land, and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to be back home. Let me tell you a little about it.
I unwittingly began packing my bags, one item at a time, when life with little ones at home frustrated me. Each time I mediated a fight, finished a load of laundry, or cleaned the pee off the bathroom floor again, I tossed another object into my suitcase. I zipped that suitcase and took off for my trip when I heard it again…that phrase I have come to hate. “You’re so lucky to be able to stay at home with your children.”
Yes, I am so lucky to have no time to myself…so much so that I usually have a 2-year old escort when I use the bathroom. I am so lucky to know all the words to the movie “Cars,” but to not remember the last time I watched the news. I am so lucky to juggle the checkbook like a one-man circus act, strategically paying bills so as to not overdraft the checking account. I am so lucky to drive an almost 14-year old minivan that needs hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars of work. Lucky? Why do people keep telling me that?! Do they not see nor understand the sacrifice that accompanies this job?
And with that, I was on a jet plane to Pity-Party Land. And I planned to stay there for a while.
The trip, however, quickly turned sour. I was miserable. I knew that this is not where I belonged.
This morning, as I wiped away sticky finger prints and fly poop on our front window (yuck, I know!), I began praying for family members. Immediate and more distant family members, I prayed for each by name, and I was a bit amazed at the significance of their occupations. Not only do they get to bring home a paycheck, these loved ones have major influence in their workplace. Some family members work for school districts, teaching or providing food for hundreds of students each day. Some family members work in the medical field, giving physical care to those in need. Other family members work in the farming industry, inventing and/or repairing farm equipment that helps to produce food for the entire world. Some family members work for local churches, helping to spread the gospel to those who don’t know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Another family member does repair work for a living, bringing relief to the people whose items he’s able to fix. Impact. Far and wide. That’s what these loved ones have.
As I buffed and shined the window, it occurred to me that while my job as a stay-at-home mom might not effect the hundreds of people that other people’s jobs do, I still have a place in this crazy roller coaster ride. My purpose, while not necessarily glitzy and glittering, is imperative. While I don’t believe in hearing an audible voice from God, He definitely spoke to my heart as I realized that my job entails very similar roles to those of the family members I had prayed for.
To my little family of five, I am a teacher. I’ve taught my fair share of lessons on everything from addition to how to crack the eggs for our morning pancakes. To them, I am a nurse as I kiss their boo-boo and cuddle them while holding an ice pack. I may not plant and grow the food we eat, but I sure do have a great time coming up with new, exciting, and healthy ways to nourish my growing family. While I may not be able to fix everything that breaks, I know my way around the garage and can use power tools, too. And most importantly, I may not have a degree in theology or work for a church, but I have the opportunity to live the Gospel every single day. My children need Jesus just as much as anyone else, and I can show His love through my care for them. They are my mission field.
My heart was immediately convicted, and I asked for forgiveness for my less than stellar thoughts and feelings.
And so to you…fellow stay-at-home-mom…I would venture to guess you’ve taken your own trip similar to mine. This job of ours is not easy. It’s not glamorous. It doesn’t pay a lot monetarily. But this job of ours is not to be taken lightly. It’s not to be downplayed. Are we, as many people often say, “lucky” to be able to stay at home? I would still say no…I’m not lucky. I still hate that over-used phrase. I’m not lucky, but I am blessed. Luck is not something God gives as a gift, but a blessing is. And this job of ours? It’s a gift. A blessing. And we are blessed indeed.
How about you? Have you, too, ever struggled to feel alive and alert in your calling? I’d love to hear from you!