Pressing the zoom out button on my “Google Earth” of a life,
my eyes are drawn to a big world that is full and messy,
with good battling evil on every front.
I see arms races and drug cartels,
wars and refugees.
I see beheadings and persecution,
human trafficking and slavery.
I see poverty and hunger,
natural disasters and homelessness.
The list goes on…
It’s overwhelming, and too much for me to take in.
How do I even begin to wrap my head around it all?
Here’s the truth. I can’t. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s too much, too big, too evil.
But here’s some more truth. I’m not supposed to be able to wrap my head around it all, (even though the media seems to think I need to!) Instead, I am driven to see my own futility in changing everything in the world on my own.
So what do I do?
The only thing I know I can do.
Look to the promises I know that I have in Christ; that He can and does bring good out of the most horrific tragedies.
Look to the comfort that His ways are greater than my ways.
Look to the bigger picture reminding me that I am a tiny speck of dust on His timeline, and while I can’t (and am not supposed to be able to) fix/change the whole world, He has many things He wants me to do right where I am, right now.
Look to HIM.
Pray. Talk to Him. Pour out my heart to Him.
I can do that.
One day at a time.
Part 2: Love Wholly
My closest friends know how hesitant I am about going back to work. Some of them know, all too well, what I was like working fifty-sixty hours/week with an all or nothing perspective. (My husband and children especially know.)
I’ve learned so much, though, during the last four years since I’ve been at home for my family. In fact, my dear friend, Heather, coined a wonderful phrase years ago that would describe me as having some serious “frying pan moments”–those moments that take you so long to hear what God is trying to tell you, that when you finally do hear, it’s like a big ole frying pan whacking you upside the head!
Have you ever had one–or twenty of those?
Here’s the one that hit me upside the head the hardest, and as I slowly take steps back into that “working” space again, I don’t ever want to forget it!
Wow! Over the past few days, I’ve been readjusting my blog theme and prior posts. One thing has become very clear to me…three years ago, I had a plethora of words just waiting to find the page–a cathartic exercise, if you will, after some very trying years. As I have looked at the length of some of the posts, all I can think of now is, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
What I do have time for, though, is to bluntly write down my inner conversations with God about our world, my community, and my home. You may agree with some of my thoughts and you may occasionally think I’m a nut job, but you’ll never have to doubt my sincerity.
I’ve always been fascinated by the generational differences that can be seen in women throughout the ages. Technology and life events over the past several decades have dramatically changed the definition of a woman’s role in society (for good or for bad, depending on who you speak to). When I reflect on three generations of women in my family, though, I am perplexed as to why certain people in the media are doing so much to disparage the roles of wife and mom.
My grandma lived from 1906 until 1993. I will always love and greatly respect the way my mom describes how HARD my grandma worked. She raised seven children and toiled alongside my grandpa on their farm. She would work in the garden for hours on end so she would be able to can enough vegetables to last their large family through the winter. She would cook all the meals, hang all the clothes on the line to dry, clean the house, etc…. Once my grandpa killed the chickens, she actually had to pluck all their feathers and clean them before cooking (something I cannot even fathom)! All the while, she cared for all seven of her children as well as her husband. My mom is always quick to share that even though my grandma worked so hard, she always sought out joy in her life. She never doubted for a minute that she was doing what she was called to do. I must admit, growing up and hearing these stories, I always felt like they came out of scenes from Little House on the Prairie. And when I think of that show, I always think about how difficult it was for everyone just survive. It was a kind of work that I don’t believe many now-a-days would want to even consider doing–I know I don’t.
My mom was born in 1943. Needless to say, there was a HUGE contrast between my mom and her mother. You see, my mom was of the generation when women were just beginning to try to prove they could have a full time job, and fulfill the roles of wife and mom, too. Did she work hard? You bet she did! In fact, one of my very first blog entries, A Day in the Life of My Mom, describes just how hard she worked.
I tried for many years to follow in my mom’s footsteps. It’s pretty shocking when I think of how similar our paths were. I taught full time for several years, am a wife, and a mom of three children. But in all honesty, I was an exhausted, short-tempered woman with a NOT-SO-JOYFUL HEART while working full time. I struggled greatly to balance my roles as wife, mom, and teacher. This was partly because I ended up putting the teacher role before the others. You see, my family life was falling apart. Working full time wasn’t working for our family. Through my own trials and struggles, the Lord has shown me, that I need to be who HE has called me to be. When I started listening to Him, do you know what happened? My heart became much more joyful!
Being a wife and mom plays such a vital role in building and maintaining the strength of our families. I have been extremely frustrated by all the news lately that has brought people to the point of openly diminishing the magnitude of work that is done by moms working inside the home. It is such HARD, yet important work that has a lasting impact on generations to come! Why are so many so set on defiling these roles?!
I will always be grateful for my mom, and other women of her generation who “did it all.” They paved the way for women in our society to have the CHOICE to work outside the home. I made that choice at first, and I am so thankful for the experiences and opportunities I shared. However, it’s important that we be reminded that with CHOICE, there is also the option that my generation and more should be able to freely CHOOSE NOT to work outside the home. And that should be okay, too! It shouldn’t be an all or nothing situation; because as you look at the different generations–much hard work was and is still needed for our families to survive!