Monday, January 30, 2012

No Apologies

I used to struggle with the fact that I was a stay-at-home mom.

I was used to working all day and now I just felt like I sat at home with a newborn, trying to find a purpose.  I'd always been an on-the-go girl, and having a newborn kind of put a damper on that kind of lifestyle.

Then there were the other kinds of things like feeling guilty that I wasn't "out in the world" sharing my faith or doing mission/outreach projects or being more involved in my community or church.

The more kids we add to our growing family the more my mindset and perspective is changing and being realigned (I tend to be a slow learner sometimes).

I no longer view my day as just "sitting around".  My daily to-do list is proof enough of that and I have plenty of "on-the-going" to keep my mind from slowing down at bedtime.  In fact, these things that occupy my day (and these are just the ones that don't have 2 legs and 2 arms that follow me around the house all day) ARE the acts of love and service if I change my perspective to allow them to be.  They just happen to be for the people that live under the same roof as me.

I feel more freedom saying that I'm a stay-at-home mom now more than ever!  I see that my children are growing up so quickly and that I really only have a short amount of time to help them shape who they are and what they believe before they begin making their own choices and decisions.  And if you really think about that too long you may begin seeing your own job as a mom in a whole new light.

Then there was that feeling of guilt for not being out in the world sharing my faith.  Well, I'm still out in the world, just not in the work world, and my friends are other moms (and other women) who help encourage and support me as a wife and mom.  Just think about your child's dance teacher, soccer coach, or the grocery clerk who rings you up on your third trip to the grocery store that week.  These are all open opportunities to be who you are in Christ.  We may have to be intentional in a different kind of way at this season of our lives, but we are in no way NOT being a light in this dark world.

And now for the biggest mission field for a mom.  Her family!  I am a sinful woman saved by grace and my children know who I say I am, but are they seeing me act it out on a daily basis in front of them?  I am ashamed to say that yesterday was one of those days where I probably could have just shared my faith with a complete stranger and walked away easier than I displayed my faith among my own children who had to see this tired mama rant and rave in exhaustion instead of parent in that grace that God has given me to parent.

Being a stay-at-home mom who homeschools and administrates a ministry is the hardest job(s) I've EVER had and I will no longer make apologies or feel guilty about it!  I am working on saying "no", even to fun activities or outings, if it means that I can keep myself more level headed in my "mission field" because that is my priority and I don't want to miss this very important opportunity in the 4 (almost 5) little lives that God has entrusted me with.
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