Monday, January 6, 2014

Teachable Moments

For a long time (probably about 3 years) I wanted to "have a job"--let me rephrase that.  I wanted to get a pay check.  Just an FYI for anyone who isn't a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM), or is delusional about what really happens in a day in the life of a SAHM.  We work. Hard.  It's messy, and emotional and no set guidelines on how to do the job well.  Stephen (my sweet husband) and I had this conversation the other day (a few weeks ago), "No one in their right mind would continuously do a job over and over just to see your hard work be messed up again & again, and work with people who continuously do not listen, and often do opposite of what you ask them- [we call those "teachable moments"-- although, I'm pretty sure I get more out of these "moments" anyway].  Do all of it with no days off- often working night and weekends- no vacation time, no sick days, no paid overtime, no lunch breaks- nap time and bed time are the only rest periods, and those are optional.  Who would submit themselves to that kind of abuse stress, for no immediate return on investment???  Some people may not always like their job, but at least can relax on their days off, with that nice wad of cash just deposited.  Ugh.   I just want to go work for someone, and get a pay check, and a lunch break and adult conversation and be able to leave work at work...and not clean my kitchen 3 times a day.  Jealous of moms/people that had "a real job" - not everyday, just on the "hard" days.  

And then one day I got sick.  Really sick, for the first time ever.  I had the flu (the real flu, influenza B, not the "flu" people get every winter with their runny nose and coughing- I'm talking ER, thought I would die, cannot move flu), I also was dehydrated and had strep throat.  Sick.  3 days later, I got a 24hr stomach bug.  Worst. Days. Ever.  About the 5th day into it I was laying on the couch (as if I could go anywhere else) watching cartoons with Brynnen while Graycen napped.  It wasn't a big revelation, or flashing sign, it was at one of my lowest, weakest moments God opened my eyes.  I am so grateful I can lay here on this couch, with this little girl, wearing sweatpants, looking all kine-a crazy.  No where to go, no using "time off," no missing out on pay, or having to work late to catch up (well, besides that darn cleaning- but that will always be there).  Over the next few days God really opened my heart and eyes to what a blessing it is to stay at home with these kids.  Sitting in Graycen's room letting him crawl all over me, coloring with Brynnen, cuddling with both of them, wow, this is amazing.  I get to do this every day- uh, yes some days I wish I didn't have to get up and be "mom"- but those are days that God teaches me the most.  About me, about Him and about our purpose here on earth (for HIS glory, not mine).  I am not at all a perfect mom, most days I strive to be a "good" mom.  Honestly, Brynnen is crazy, and loud, and doesn't always listen, and has an attitude like her mommy, and a hard head like her daddy-- and I want to pull my hair out (or put her in her room and go hide under the covers until Stephen comes home), and then the most amazing thing happens.  She will say something so simple and sweet, "Mommy, I love you" "Mommy, I'm sorry I had a bad attitude" that will remind me why I love her so much, and that she is 3.  She has only been on this earth 3 years and 11 months.  I don't even have this figured out and I have been here 30 years 8 months.   Teachable moments, huh?  Graycen is still my perfect child :) for now...
I have learned the "hard" days are usually when I have an agenda.  I want to get this clean, or that organized, or if I can just finish this, or catch up on that real quick.  Most of those things have absolutely no eternal value, and will be there later, and get dirty again, and again.  I want clean house (one: I like it clean, two: germs), mainly because SAHM's are suppose to have clean houses, perfect homes- I mean honestly, what do we do all day-- besides bon bons and soap operas...those are a given.  Some where, I picked up the notion that if my house is dirty then what is my value?  If my home is a mess, I failed.  I took pride in making sure my house was spotless when guests came over.  I was under the impression that if my house wasn't clean I could not have people over, I mean- how can you minister if your house is a mess.  UM, HELLO-- we are all a bunch of HOT messes that need to see not everything is perfect all the time.  We need each other, we need kind words and hugs, encouragement and JESUS, not an "on display" type house that does not show hospitality.  This is not saying SAHM's that have perfect houses are not hospitable-I know several that do, and they are super sweet & I love them dearly--(send me some tips girls)!  I'm simply saying "Whatever you do, work at it with your whole heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..." Colossians 3:23-- So, if you clean your house, do it for the Lord (and be grateful for what you have), but if cleaning your house gets in the way of serving the Lord (raising kids or loving on others), you may need to rethink priorities.  I did and it feels great--most days I still have my inner clean freak screaming about how awful it is, and laundry that will never get folded-- I just remind myself, I'm here for Jesus- not laundry. 

SN:  This is not to be used as an excuse to completely let your housework go, I believe we should work hard with our hands, and not be lazy--but if (like me) your house becomes an idol (noun. something adored, often blindly or excessively, something seen but without substance) remind yourself- people are important, not things.  :-)