Monday, June 3, 2013

Working outside the home...and inside the home

This last month has been really hard.  Going back to work this time is much harder than it was with Inara. For one thing I am working probably double (if not more) than what I was before.  Now I am leaving 2 kids at home, plus seeing Justin significantly less.  So its been pretty tiring and trying.

Its really hard for our family when I work a lot.  Justin and I would love for me to be able to stay at home full-time, but at this point God has different plans for our family.  So essentially I am working outside of the home part-time and then being a stay-at-home-mom part-time.  Doing nothing "full-time" is hard to feel like you are doing anything well.  When I am at home, I always feel "behind" on house work from being at work. On my breaks at work, I am thinking about how they day is going with the kids and what I'll need to do when I get home.

A few Saturdays ago, I was at Starbucks for some time with God.  I saw a few sweet friends.  One of them asked how I was.  I told her I was ok, but it has been hard going back to work.  I briefly explained some of my struggles. As I did I could tell she too is struggling with it too and understood.  She has some much needed encouraging words for me.  Sometimes being a Christian working mom can feel really isolating.  Most women I know are blessed to be able to stay at home, and I have felt like I am the only one fighting this battle of being a working mom.  I sent her a text telling her it was comforting to know I am not alone in this fight.  Her response was even more life giving than before:

We're not the only ones fighting this fight.  And God fights for us, carries us through. Deut 1:30,31- The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.

It was so refreshing to my soul!  What a great reminder of the reality of my life.  Even though I feel all alone in my struggle right now...the truth is I haven't been alone since I accepted the free gift of God's grace---He took my sin and then he gave me his righteousness.  He lives to intercede for me. Wow.   Let that sink in people. Jesus Christ, the author of life and our salvation ALWAYS LIVES TO INTERCEDE FOR YOU. Dang.

God kept bringing to my mind some verses Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."m  Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on my. 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

I was kind of arguing with God about my our situation.  Why did he give us these really awesome jobs just to make other parts of life a lot harder?  Should we have even taken our new jobs?  But quickly I realized that these jobs are blessings to us in so many ways.  They allow us to make more money so we can get out of debt, restart contributing to retirement, and give more generously.  I don't work anymore weekends or holidays (woohoo!).  Justin gets to spend way more time with the kids that he did before.  

But more than that, it is also kind of a "thorn in my flesh".  I think before our new jobs/new baby, I though I was doing life pretty good on my own.  I didn't get upset with Inara, I never yelled, was patient and loving most of the time...or so I thought.  This new job/schedule takes a lot from me.  This means when I get home I really have nothing left to give. I don't want to take care of my house, change a dirty diaper, play with my daughter... I just want to check out.  But that's not really possible.  So on my ride home as I am at the end of myself...I don't "pull my self up by my bootstraps".  Instead I fall on my Savior and beg for one more ounce of energy and love.  I plead with him to help me arrive home ready to keep on loving and giving, just as he does.  I don't do it every time, but I am definitely weak and God was showing me that's when he can be strong for me :)

I left my time at Starbucks not with some new plan or schedule that would help our this new stage of life.  That will be helpful and it is something Justin and I do need to work out.  But what I left with was so much more than that. I left with a peace that cannot be taken from me.  Praise God for allowing me to be like Mary not Martha, and to choose what is better and won't be taken from me.

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