I was at the grocery store the other day and a young adult girl helped me out to my
bus vehicle. She asked me how many kids I had and when I told her she asked me if that was overwhelming to me. I told her that I was never overwhelmed with my kids, but sometimes the amount of cooking and cleaning that goes along with that number does get overwhelming. THEN, she asked me do you have to cook everyday?
Hmmmm. Let me think about that one. Clearly she wasn't homeschooled ;)
Not only do I cook everyday, but with a family this size, I cook A LOT everyday. Just to prove my point, I took these pictures of a few things I did today.
....ALL BEFORE BREAKFAST!!!!!!
So, Miss Kroger girl, YES I do have to cook everyday!
Now, for the amount of food my family eats. Last month, we went through 50 pounds of wheat
I could get overwhelmed just thinking about all I do in a day. Even though I don't always get all my cooking done before breakfast, I am responsible for all the snacks and meals for my family. And, even when the money isn't there to buy the kinds of food I would like, it is my responsibility to make stretch what we do have.
Here is where I am going with this. What is God's design for the family? His ideal plan. (I understand that because of sin, it is not possible for every person to be able to follow that plan). I believe that it is for the wife to stay at home as a keeper of the home, to be a help meet to her husband, and a joyful mother to her children. Proverbs 31 outlines many of the responsibilities of the wife. However, in our culture, being a stay at home mom is looked down on. Also, many commercials and advertisements focus on giving people what they "deserve". Things like, a warm hot bath, time away, nice clothes, purses, or shoes, kindness from others and a worry free life as much as possible. Pinterest is not a bad thing (my sister Melanie has used it to bless her family -immediate AND extended- in so many ways. Happy husband and happy baby!) but I see how many people pursue material things and are being fed the lie that we deserve nice things. The money that people spend just to make their walls look nice, or to have a new theme for their bedroom, or a clever ($100) way to store their straightner, could be spent to help someone else or further the spread of the Gospel! God's plan is different. He says to consider others as better than yourselves, overcome evil with good, don't pay back wrong for wrong, be diligent, be a hard worker, be submissive to those in authority over you, count everything as loss to know Christ. We are to be God focused and others focused. (I could write a whole book on how intentional you have to be in teaching that to your children. It is not natural to be others focused!)
Sometimes I have a rotten attitude. I play the martyr as though I am sacrificing so much for my family. After all, what were they doing while I was cooking and cleaning? How long had I been up before the first child came down the stairs. But, you know what? I am doing what God planned for me to do. It is my job and I need to do it for HIM. So, the real question is, what was He (not my family) doing while I was cooking and cleaning. Well, He was with me, helping me, encouraging me, providing for me and taking care of me. Since I was doing it for Him, I am no longer the martyr and no longer expecting that my family be constantly praising me. (which I am thankful for a family that really does praise me. a lot. ) Doing it for Him changes everything.
I was disturbed recently by a young working mom who after spending a Saturday at home with her child, was reminded (she said) of why she chose not to be a stay at home mom. Little ones are hard and she was tired! I love this girl and am not being critical. But it reminded me of how much I want to mentor young moms and pray for teenage girls, showing them through Scripture the value that God places on mothers. I want to let them know that being home with their children is a privilege and an amazing opportunity to raise up children that will be Godly men and women. Our families and our country NEED that. It is nice to help others (as the girl I mentioned does for a living) but God gave us as moms children that need us more than anyone else does. God didn't give our kids to someone else. They don't even belong to the babysitter, the teacher, the church....they are the responsibility of the moms and dads God gave them to.
I, today, am going to give up my bad attitude. I am going to be thankful for the life God has given me and the health and ability that He has blessed me with to be able to perform the tasks He has for me to do. From having to learn Latin to changing messy diapers! I will have a smile on my face as I make cookies without the chocolate chips for Caleb, and ones with extra chocolate for the girls. I will be glad to have steamed veggies ready for Matt's lunch and be thankful that I know my beans will make my Brianna a very happy girl (because I'll load them with onions and bacon just the way she likes it :).
Thank you Lord that you have blessed me in so many ways!