You would think by now–at age 43 and daily running a home for many years, being married nearly 20 years and having three kids in under three years, all of which are teenagers now–that I wouldn’t hesitate writing “homemaker” as my occupation. I mean, I KNOW I work very hard and serve my family very well. But that doesn’t mean other people appreciate a “homemaker.” I seriously wish I was brave enough to write “domestic goddess” on any of the forms I fill out that ask me my occupation, but I haven’t done that…yet. I have wondered lately about going back to school. I made a couple of phone calls and took down some details about local seminaries that offer Biblical Counseling Master’s Programs. No doubt, it interests me. No doubt, I could apply and get going on achieving this degree in what is known as my “mid-life.” And I don’t think it would be wrong or bad if it took my time, attention, and effort. After all, anything worth doing is going to take some of all of those things. So it’s still rolling around in my mind.
AND at the same time, I want to have pure motives about anything I endeavor to do. I don’t want to do it in order to feel some sort of worth or to just accomplish something or to have something to talk about when someone asks, “What do you do?” The reality is there is plenty to do around the house. Plenty. The challenging thing about home making–making a home–is it also takes time, attention and effort. It takes discipline and care. It takes humility….have you ever scrubbed melted gum out of a dryer? or had to handle dirty underclothes on a regular basis? Scrubbed crusty dishes someone left in the sink overnight?
Just yesterday I spent all day at home after dropping the kids at school. I went into Mack’s room which was nothing short of disastrous. Instead of cursing him for being so disorganized and messy, I prayed for him as I picked up his clothes off the floor and hung clean clothes up while tossing dirty clothes into the hamper. I put things in their place one thing at a time. I made his bed. I stacked his books. I gathered up sharpie markers from all around. I picked up a wet towel from the floor. And I prayed that one day it will click for him to clean his own room, to hang up his towel, to use the dirty clothes hamper and also that he he would find a godly wife that loves him enough to also do some of those things for him from time to time without complaint. (He gratefully asked me, “MOM, where did find my sunglasses? I have been looking every where for them!!!” I replied, “I picked them up off your floor, son.”)
Next was Molly’s room. I made her bed, folded a bunch of clean clothes she had laying around, and I washed a load of clothes for her. She finds great joy in coming home to a made bed. She usually makes her own bed, but I wanted to bless her. I prayed for her while I did all of those things.
Same for Ruby. That girl doesn’t even know she has a chest of drawers and a closet. Clothes laid everywhere around that room!!!! So I folded and put away and folded and put away and washed her load of laundry as well. And then folded and put them away. All the while praying that one day she would find the motivation to follow through on putting clothes away….and I prayed for other things for her too.
I thoughtfully prepared dinner. We ate. I cleaned up the kitchen while the kids studied for tests and did math homework. I baked cookies for the family to have while we watched the Presidential Debate (not sure that’s what you call it, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic). And I cleaned up the mess afterwards.
Most of motherhood is doing things that will be undone. The clean clothes will be dirtied. The made bed will be unmade. The cooked meal will be eaten and only dirty dishes will remain. But as I tell myself often—-Somebody has got to do it! Why not me? And if this is the boundary line God has given me, why not do it with great joy? Why not serve in love and humility? I can do that AND train them to do it for themselves one day. It’s been a challenging journey for me. This serving my family and also not wanting to be treated like a maid/cook/launderer. There is a tension there more often than I am proud of.
So why am I writing this? I don’t know exactly except to say to fellow moms out there–Keep on keepin’ on! Motherhood and homemaking is work. Your domestic goddess skills will often go overlooked and you won’t always receive the praise you desire from your family. They usually don’t even notice that their toilet no longer has a nasty ring inside it. But God sees you. He knows your heart. He hears your prayers and sighs and “is this what I am made to do?” questions. And He is there to guide you every step of the way. I have prayed for God to transform my heart often, and I am starting to see change in my attitude. I have a long way to go, but I am farther along than I was. Thank the Lord!