I have been overwhelmed lately at the number of people who have encouraged me by telling me how much they are uplifted by what God has put on my heart. It astonishes me that people enjoy reading what I write; I have always preferred math to language arts! I was checking my MySpace blog earlier this week (for the first time in about 6 months! Sorry, MySpace!)...and found some old posts. Here's the first one I ever wrote. It was fun and humbling to see how God has worked on my heart over the last 3 years! I pray that God use this to encourage and edify you today!
Only by His grace-
This was written November 29, 2006 (Elizabeth was 8 months old; Abby was still a dream in our hearts!)
I had been told multiple times before Elizabeth was born that Will and I would get a lot of grief from people for deciding that I was going to stay at home with our child. I got a lot of questions, like "Why are you leaving teaching? It's been your dream since forever!" and "How could you waste your college education?" and "You're coming back to teaching after next year, right? This is only temporary until the baby's old enough to be in daycare?" and so on.
Then our sweet blessing Elizabeth arrived, and it seemed like all of the people in my life who had questioned our decision realized that she was indeed worth being home all day with!
I found recently though that the novelty of me being a full time mom has worn off for some people, or that people I don't know well seem to think less of me because Will and I do things the "old-fashioned" way. Somebody the other day asked me what I do for work. I told them that I taught math for 2 years before leaving to stay at home when Elizabeth was born. "Hmm," they said, "I see"...with that look of "Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that you're just a mom..." Some people are offended by our belief that Will is supposed to provide for our family, and his hard work allows me the privilege - the privilege! - of staying home with our child and someday, children.
Today's society and culture try to make people believe that a mom who stays home to raise her babies is worth less to the community and world at large. I am no longer instructing the minds of 7th graders in Windham, nurturing them and preparing them for "real life." My days are filled with dirty diapers, a half-clean living room, and trying desperately to make time to make dinner for my husband when he gets home while entertaining a cranky little girl. But it's also filled with small joys that teaching other people's children cannot bring: her first smile, when she's learning to sit up and reach for toys, when she squeals with delight when she recognizes herself in the mirror, and when she's learning to stand up on her own two feet.
As she grows older (and as any potential siblings do, too), where will my worth be? When I can return moral, responsible, strong, intelligent, compassionate, and faithful young adults to the "real world," there you will see my value to this world.
Isn't that the ultimate goal of parenting?
I consider it all joy to stay home. We don't make a lot of money, we don't have an SUV or an HDTV or our own $250,000 2-bedroom house with a 30-year mortgage that we have to charge on our credit card. We don't even have a credit card. We don't eat out very often (I cook. Real food. Very well.). And we are happy. Will and I, though our relationship is human and we have our arguments and frustrations, have a wonderful marriage. We have an amazing daughter. And most of all, we have a solid faith in the one true God who has a wonderful plan for us and for our children.
You may have thought that the title of this blog alluded to the fact that I was desperate to complain to you about staying home. The only thing that I am desperate for is living out the life that God has so beautifully prepared for me!
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10