Tuesday, October 18, 2011


There are days I wonder what I’m doing here.  People have always wondered why I stay home.  Even when all my kids were little and it would have cost a million dollars a week to put them all in day care.  I think lots of people felt sorry for me.  And often times I felt sorry for myself too. 

Giving to our kids is a thankless job.  They need food.  They need clean clothes.  They need to be cleaned up after.  All they do is take, take, take.  It’s exhausting. 

This morning while I was still in bed, I heard stomping and complaining because a jersey wasn’t clean for today.  What she didn’t know is that I had stayed up late getting it washed after last night’s game and it was in the drier. 

I put dinner in the oven last night before I left.  There was no praise for that.  Well, except my husband’s thanks, but who cares about that.   No one wrote on Facebook or Twitter about how great it was for me to cook or stay up late washing my kids’ clothes. 

I just spent an hour putting together a princess puzzle on the floor.  I hate puzzles.  It’s an hour that I didn’t get anything else done.  I think it’s God’s sense of humor that my kids like them so much.

I think that’s why I fall into the trap of looking for a bunch of other things to fill my days with.  Things that will give me praise and a sense of achievement. 

Whether you have a paid job or not, we all seek to fill up our days with stuff.  We get involved in committees and activities.  We do all sorts of stuff that people will rave over us for because it makes us feel good. 

Even if we have a paycheck and a career, it never feels like enough. We bring our kids to countless activities because others will see what “good” moms we are.  At times, all that extra stuff is a negative for our family.  It leaves me exhausted and cranky.  And all of a sudden doing the stuff around here seems like a prison sentence. 

Last night while I was doing the laundry I found myself surfing through the job listings.  All of a sudden I wondered what on earth was I doing?

Having a job and being on committees can all be good.  But why do we buy the lie that what we do at home for our families isn’t important or valuable?  Or use outside things as an escape or to fill a void?  Do we really believe that mothering isn’t enough.  It’s not a big contribution.  And maybe by investing in it, I’m shortchanging myself. 

Well, I doubt anyone would want my job.  And no one should.  It’s my family that God has blessed me with.  It’s an honor to serve them by spending time doing puzzles and supporting them by cleaning their clothes, feeding them and making sure they brush their teeth.

It’s a blessing to have kids.  A gift from God.  So I need to choose to care for them with joy.  And love them with God’s love.  When I do, the feelings follow and God provides the strength.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message)

Nothing we do is unnoticed by God.

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  Matthew 6:1-4

God treasures the things we do for Him.  Even the things no one else notices or sees, He rewards. 

Don’t believe the lie that mothering is not important.  Don’t go looking for lesser things to busy yourself with for a little empty praise.  Look to Jesus.  He loves you and has given you a gift in your family.

The added benefit is day by day, I’m changing.  I’m learning to rely on Him and stay humble.  Because, seriously, what’s more humble than washing your kids’ dirty sports clothes or changing diapers or making bottles in the middle of the night? 

Our kids aren’t obstacles, they are gifts from God.  Serve them with joy!

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