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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Musings from a Mother

I am constantly humbled by the thought that the Lord has entrusted me with two healthy children. My children, and myself, want for nothing. God saw fit to bless us with a lovely home in a lovely neighborhood in a lovely city surrounded by lovely friends in this (liberal and sinful but still) lovely state. I am blown away every time I meditate on the thought that I could be someone else, somewhere else, and horror of true horrors- left to die in my sin. We are so blessed and so fortunate. I believe my favorite blessing is that of getting to stay at home with my children.

I wonder, would I have such an attitude if I were lacking in material goods or safety? Would I bless the Lord if I did not have my own car to drive or money to spend on my favorite organic products? Would I be as content in a smaller, cramped home? I would like to think that the answer would be affirmative. I am a sinner and I deserve nothing. That is the truth. Yet God blesses me and my family anyway. Why? I know I cannot give Him anything in return, but I still try. This is futility and grasping for the wind. I can do nothing to earn any favor with Him. He simply chooses to lavish blessings on me- a family, health, a home.

The only thing I can do is to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and be a diligent student of Scripture. This will not earn me points with God, but it will give me discernment and wisdom to follow the path He has for me.

Meanwhile, I thank Him daily for the opportunity I have as the wife of a godly man- to stay at home and raise my children for Him. This is the blessing I am most thankful for. I have friends who work and have children. Some of these friends work because they must- they are single mothers or their husbands do not make what they are comfortable with to support a lifestyle they desire. Some work because they want to - their "outlet", they call it. Either way, it saddens me to know that the children already lack something so essential to life- a mother. Even if the mother is home for a few hours a day, the child grows up not being able to completely depend on his or her mommy. I know this will cause controversy with some (I hope I do not offend my 2 readers!), but the truth is that the Lord instituted marriage and "multiplying" for a reason. We are all here to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. How, oh how, do we do this when work and money are king? Again, let me state: I am humbly grateful for the blessings I have and I think I realize the enormity of what I have to comfortable stay at home with my children. I truly believe that I would do the same thing if I had to pinch every penny. My mother raised three children at home in a suburb of Los Angeles while my father was making $9500/ year. I really do not think I can ever stomach hot dogs and pinto beans as a meal again. Point: everyone makes sacrifices at some point for something. Will it be for the welfare of your children?

Granted, there are mothers who stay home who are completely disengaged from their responsibilities. They do not love their children with a sacrificial love. I just feel passionately that the early years of childhood are so integral to shaping a young person's character. I would fight against anyone else having that responsibility.

Thank you, Lord, for the honor and blessing of entrusting me with two children to raise up for you. I pray that you would teach me and empower me with wisdom and renewed strength each day. Make me a powerful force for good in my children's lives and please help me to get out of the way so the light of Christ can shine through. Amen.

I am planning on discussing some of the childrearing books I am reading. I have limited my research to predominantly Christian authors, but the books run the gamut from hyper-conservative to pretty darn "grace"-ful. I must say the conservative approach appeals to me more. My wisest friend told us way before we had children of the "funnel" approach to parenting- lots of loving discipline during the early years and a slow progression to more independence as the child gets older. I like that.

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