I was driving to Bloomington last week for a business plan workshop when Dennis Rainey came on the radio with his Focus on the Family minute. He was talking about his daughter saying that she wanted to be a gymnastics coach when she grows up. He told her that was great, but if she was called by God to be a mother, he would be just as proud. He went on to say the break down of the home in America is coming from Mom’s pursuing careers and working outside the home. Needless to say, as I was driving to Bloomington to pursue my own business venture, the showers of guilt washed over me like a good Illinois rain shower. Am I a bad mom for pursuing my own career? Should I let this dream take a back seat until my kids are older? Most importantly, why would God lead me to this if this is wrong for my family? Quite Honestly, I think Mr. Rainey missed the point on this one….
I point to Kendra, a fellow mom who stays at home. But really, Kendra is more than a stay at home mom. She is the prayer leader for moms in touch. Twice monthly, she and a team of prayer warriors get together to pray for our schools, their teachers, students and administration. She serves as a School Board member in our community, an advocate for the learning environment of our kids. She works actively in our schools PTO as well as her church. Kendra is a breath of fresh air. Just being in her presence, I know she cares. She is a genuine, affectionate, loving and serving right where God created her to be. The world would call her a stay at home mom. She sure sounds like a working mom to me. A mom who not only works in her home, but also out in her community to make a difference. Kendra is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of working women who stay at home.
On the flip side, I point to Michelle. Michelle has been working, for as long as I have know her, to get (and advance) her degree in nursing. In the past year (or so), she completed her nurse practioners license and is now working in the Express ER at Sarah Bush. I am not as familiar with Michelle’s work as I am her love for people. She was the Sunday School teacher for Lucas and Chloe in their Preschool class. She has a kind smile, a loving voice, and a gentle spirit. Her love for God is as genuine as her love for people. She has worked hard to pursue her education and she hopes that if she accomplishes anything, it is that her son see’s how hard she has had to work. She hopes he will make his education a priority so that he too will achieve his dreams. But, this past Thursday, I saw Michelle at work. I took Lucas in to the ER from his unfortunate encounter with the cereal bowls. By the time they were able to see us, I felt silly for even taking him. His head had stopped bleeding and overall, he was doing fine. She instantly soothed my concern and said that if it were her, she would have done the exact same thing. She checked Lucas out, confirmed he was OK and said a prayer with us Praising God for his protection and love over us- right in the treatment room. The world would label her a working mom. They would be right. But again, she is a woman of God who affects change not only in her community & church, but also in her home AND work. As a woman of God, she left a lasting impression on me that I will not soon forget. She helped me to remember, in that moment, that no prayer or praise is too small for God’s ears to hear.
I guess my point is this. It’s time to lay down the stones. As women, we were created for work. Only our creator knows exactly the work we were created for. Inside the home, or out, let’s raise up and support each other in the work that God has called us to do. As women, we may be provide the spiritual temperature & management of our homes, but God provides the adhesive to keep the family bonded together. As He knit us together in our mothers womb, he also wrote the publication for our lives. This includes our hopes and dreams. Lets stop selling ourselves short for the decisions that we have made for our lives. God’s creation of our lives are too complex to stick in a box with a label. In closing, I leave you with a verse from Galatians 6:1, 4-5 (msg):
“Live Creatively, friends…Make careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t COMPARE yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your OWN life!”
Now ladies, lets get to work!