I have been married for ten years, I have three kids and one more on the way and I’m a stay at home mom. The life I have now is not the life I had ever imagined myself with. In no way had I prepared for this life. In fact, ten plus years ago I would have said, “This life is great for other people but not for me.” (In my head I might have added, “I am too ambitious for that.”) However, I find that this IS my life and I am actually thankful for it! The life I have now is a result of God’s grace and I’m glad for the path that He carved out for me no matter how many times I tried to pave over it! There’s just one major problem with this life that He has given me: I am not good at it!
Have you ever had a subject in school that you were just terrible at? You pay attention to the teacher, take notes, read the assigned chapter but while everyone else gets it, you are lagging way behind and you feel lost. This is precisely how I feel with my role as “Stay at Home Mom.” Growing up, I was never in the kitchen helping my mom. I detested cooking. It held no interest for me and it seemed to take up so much time. Also, I was always messy. I had piles of clean clothes and dirty clothes on my floor. Only I knew which was which. It drove my parents crazy. Now if my dad had something he was working on in the house or in the garage, I was much more inclined to watch him. I was ecstatic when he taught me how to change a tire and change the oil on our 1980 Cadillac! Then in college, while finishing up my bachelor’s degree I started working full-time in finance and eventually got my master’s too. My goal was to climb as high as I could up the corporate ladder. I loved work and I was good at it. I was confident in my skill set for the most part or at least in my ability to learn quickly. God had really blessed me with great jobs in the past. Then I learned with the birth of our second child that God had called me to be a stay at home mom. Neither my husband nor I thought I would last a year at home taking care of kids. However, it turned out that not only did I love it but my husband liked me being at home too. It was actually worth the loss in income. Sure, I still had a lot to learn about cooking and the house was still messier than we had thought it would be with me being at home but we were definitely happier. Fast forward another three and a half years and we are still happy with our arrangement but the thing is, I am still not comfortable in the kitchen. I cant just throw together a meal. The house still doesn’t stay clean. I certainly try but it seems to always go back to it’s natural state of messiness. Then to top it all off, I love my kids but I’m not good with the way I organize our time together. Sometimes I get so busy trying to cook or clean or do something else that at the end of the day I find that I haven’t spent the kind of quality time with them that I should have. In all honesty, I’m a disorganized mess. To top it all off, aren’t stay at home moms supposed to be in good shape because they can make time for the gym??? Another fail.
In recent weeks I have been more sensitive to how much I lack and I have been asking myself and God over and over again, “If this is what God wants me to do, why am I so bad at it? Why is this so hard?” God answered with the following verses:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11
The apostle Paul had a physical disability that he suffered with. It hindered him from doing what he wanted to do for the Lord and he asked the Lord to take it away but Jesus answered him by saying that it was Paul’s weakness that made him successful. Where we are weak and where we lack is where we depend on the Lord to do the work. When the Lord does the work, the result is always better than us doing it in our own power. Paul took that answer from the Lord and actually embraced his weaknesses knowing that Jesus didn’t just overlook his weakness but used it for His own glory. I realize that in my heart, I have excluded God from my role as stay at home mom thinking that He gave it to me because I would be good at it. The opposite is true. He gave me this role knowing my weaknesses and fully expecting me to call on Him for help. This job may never come easily or naturally to me but it’s Him that drives the results and it’s Him that has a clear view of what the end result is even supposed to be. My only job is to obey His calling.
You probably cannot relate to my struggle as an inadequate housewife/stay at home mom but is God calling you to do something that you don’t feel equipped to do? Could He calling you to befriend someone that you don’t feel you have anything in common with? Or is He telling you to go somewhere that is completely foreign to you? In 1 Corinthians chapter 1, Paul says that God chooses the foolish and the weak of the world so that He may receive the glory. The world says we should go and do what we are good at, the Lord says we should go and do what He is good at. When He calls you to leave your comfort zone, obey Him and look forward to giving Him the glory for choosing a fool like you!