Thursday, June 28, 2012

Reflections of a Stay at Home Mom

I just finished reading a book my mom gave me a couple of weeks ago.  The book, Beyond Bath Time, is about a woman's call to be a mom.  The book talks about how honorable we think it is when someone feels called to be a pastor or a missionary.  We praise their work efforts, their heart, their sacrifice.  But when a woman says she feels called to be a mom society questions her.  We make her feel like she's making a bad choice.  She's giving up too much.  The benefits don't outweigh the sacrifices.  Children are not seen as a blessing anymore.  They're seen as something that gets in the way.  Little people who stop you from having a career.  Noisy things that make it difficult for you to enjoy a bubble bath, a quiet dinner, or a good book.  Obstacles that require you to tote them around all day, forgetting about what you want to do.

But the truth is that's not how God sees children.  In Mark 10, parents were bringing their children to be blessed by Jesus, but the disciples saw the children as annoyances and tried to keep them away from him.  Jesus saw what they were doing and stopped them.  He said, "Let the little children come to me."  Children are important to Jesus.  They matter to him.  Not only did he want to spend time with the children, but he explained to the disciples that they are very important in God's kingdom.  He even said the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children!  If children are so important to Jesus, then shouldn't those who care for children really have the most important job?  Shouldn't we see that as just as much of a calling as being a pastor or a missionary?

When I resigned from my teaching position everyone asked me what I was going to do.  At first we didn't know I was pregnant so I figured I would have to look for another job.  But as soon as we found out I was pregnant, the job search was over.  People questioned me all the time.  I'd only been teaching for three years, didn't I want to continue?  I had also just finished my masters degree.  People thought I was wasting my education by not continuing to teach.  They wanted to know how I justify the money spent on my education when I wasn't going to "use" it.  None of that mattered to me, though, because I knew even then that I was leaving my job as a teacher to focus on the most important job I will ever have: mom.  I have always seen my "job" as a mom as a calling.  I have only a small understanding of how great an impact I have on my children, but I do know.  I know that my children already look to me.  Micah mimics so much of what I do.  He counts on me to teach him right from wrong, to start him off with good habits so that they're like second nature to him, not work. 

I have a calling, too.  My calling might not be to teach hundreds of children in Africa.  But I am teaching two little boys who matter just as much to God as any of those children in Africa.  My calling might not be to write wonderful sermons for thousands of people to hear.  But every day I have the chance to give life lessons to my boys.  I can help my 19-month-old make connections with the Bible.  I can teach him to pray about everything.  My calling might not be to lead people in worship, but I can worship with my little boy while we're making dinner together.  My calling is just as important, and I believe that.  Every day I have to live like that.  I have to remember the importance of my calling, even if society doesn't find it very important.  I know the truth.  And all that matters is that I do make a difference in the lives of those two little boys.  Because that is what I've been entrusted with.

My calling.