IntroductionI will start out by saying that I am a Christian, a sinner that Christ has graciously and sovereignly redeemed. And because I aim to make Him Lord in every aspect of my life, this site/blog will inevitably contain references to the Christian faith. So for those who are adamantly opposed to Christianity, you have been forewarned! That said, I do hope that Christians and non-Christians alike will find my posts to be informative, interesting, and encouraging. As it says in Colossians 3:16,17 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom... And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (NIV) As a stay-at-home-mother (a.k.a. SAHM), I often get asked by those who have no children, "What do you do all day?" Or by those who do have children, "What did you do today?" My usual reply is, "Um, not too much. I went grocery shopping and then to the park with the kids..." I find myself asking myself the same question at the end of each day, "What did I accomplish today?" It's quite a sobering, and sometimes even depressing, question to think about, because usually the things we do - the ones that we can write down on a "to do" list - numbers around what a two-year old can count to. I recently came across a newspaper clipping that really put what I "do" into a nicely-worded column:
When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces checkout-line screaming. It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes other 15. It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier. It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It's resisting constant tempation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense. It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything - language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.Reading this column (you can read it in it's entirety here) not only made me laugh but made me feel better - about myself, as a person. And it got my thinking, why is that? How is it that I feel so much happier after reading, what is essentially, my job description? And I think the answer is in validation. To know that others know that what I do matters. That I'm worth something even if my "job" doesn't require that $120,000 degree I spent four years getting. That I'm not just leeching off of my husband for money and sitting around eating bonbons all day. That my role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and in-law is challenging! And not only do I need to feel and BE TOLD that I'm appreciated, I need to feel UNDERSTOOD! But not just all that. I realized that being a mother forces me to recognize and acknowledge just how sinful I really am and exposes those parts of me that would rather stay hidden. When you are constantly reminded just how impatient, easily angered, selfish, lazy, prideful, and ungrateful you are every single day, it can really wear down your spirit. And that's why it's so important to constantly remind and preach the gospel to ourselves (and each other)! To remember that our worth comes from the fact that we are redeemed - children of God - justified through His grace, and being sanctified every moment of every day for His glory!