Monday, December 29, 2008

Still working on my heart...

Below is an email I wrote in response to some precious friends and their discussions of finding a job outside of the home. The Lord is so mighty in how He works! I was able to put these words down in front of me and it was part of His working my heart. These are words He is sharing with me and my life and I believe, what He desires from me. I don't share these words as judgment on anyone or their personal situations. The Lord did however, use a response to this email from this one precious friend to give me fresh perspective and convict my heart (and I'm sure she had no idea it would!) of my attitude towards my own current situation of working. He has let me know that He hears my prayers and works all things for His good in his timing. He has shown me greatly over the past year that my husband and I will be in agreement when the time is right. Until then, I am to work with a joyful and purposeful heart, glorifying Him. Praise Him for His grace! Praying this will bless you in some way and remind you of His mighty strength and the importance of seeking his will with a cheerful and obedient heart...and that you would remember His grace covers in our faults and our repentive hearts. We must live a life showing Christ, not just talk it. It is our actions that speak louder than words.

...Ladies, my input is prayer, prayer, prayer. I am experiencing the exact opposite of this situation as I went and took on a job my self because I thought I needed to help out. However, I didn't whole heartedly pray about it or discuss it with my hubby about all the possible factors (good and bad). I then second guessed hubby when he told me to quit in the Fall and I made a huge mistake. I couldn't handle homeschooling, work and the house. I just couldn't get my act together, it was too much. Now this might be how God wanted it, plus I was still so fresh in our attempting to get a routine down that this could have been the reason I couldn't handle it. Anyway, praise the Lord, He is mighty and merciful because even though things aren't the way I "ideally" would like them to be, they are awesome because of Him-His grace. I will say it has been heavy on my heart of allowing my husband to provide for us while I completely care for our home. This is just something I've brought to the Lord because hubby doesn't see it that way as I do contribute to our income and we are in debt, but I feel he makes enough for me to be home full time, with us cutting back on things. I might feel differently if we had this great plan or purpose for my working, but we don't. We're still using the credit card (we are for a first time paying things off though-the little purchases) but we're still spending. I was speaking with a woman the other day who is almost 70 and she said she didn't understand how we young girls worked and raised a family and took care of a home. She was home with her kids and couldn't imagine have having to do that. I guess my thoughts are the same.

Growing up with a single mom, I felt I should work, contribute, that's what we're "supposed" to do. Everyone else does it, it's the norm in our American culture. So my question is, what is God's plan for His family today? Is it for husband and wife to share in the financial responsibilities or just the man? Is it for the woman to stay home and cook and clean and be the primary influence (skills, biblically, moral foundation etc.) in their children's lives or are these duties to be shared by husband and wife 50/50? Are our children supposed to be schooled at home or are they supposed to be in public or Christian schools taught majority of the day by others who for the most part are trained in their field? Are we living God's dream or the American dream? What are the reasons/foundations behind these questions even being asked? Why is our family structure the way it is now as opposed to then? Is this a natural change or a result of divorce, the feminine movement, the degrading of the male and female roles, the belief of the "me and what I want" lifestyle, and seriously, the belief of children being impostions (brats, so-needy, "expensive investments" etc.) instead of gifts from the Lord?

Is this change in our structure the cause of our high crime, our filled prisons, our lack of trust, our huge debts etc.? Why did schools, daycares, summer camps, day camps etc. come about? What about shopping malls, grocery stores, cable tv, even internet? Oh yes, I enjoy all of these things, they provide conveniences and also many useful things (hospitals, news etc.) but the enemy has used these things, tapping into our selfish sinful desires and warped it into the belief that these are needs, these are "rights"...all at the expense of our family, our Biblical foundations. So where do we go from here? Where is it that God wants us? What is the Proverbs 31 woman? What is our plan and purpose here on this earth? It is to share the Gospel, the love of Christ. Are we doing that? Are we living for Him completely or just to our convenience? Are we trusting in the Lord to provide for ALL of our needs or living day to day, getting by...and for what? Can we trust Him, to live a life about and for Him and step out of our realities of "life" according to the world? Do you ever wonder how your life would be if you were outside of the media and all of these "distractions" and all you knew from the beginning was the love of Jesus and His laws and desires for your life? Would it change the choices you've made and will make? I can say yes right away. Would my parents have made different choices if they had lived that life, yes I can say. So where do I go from here? Where do you go from here?

Please, please, please do not be offended by anything I've said here. These are truly questions I've been asking myself lately and wow, this question just fueled all of these thoughts and me trying to figure out what and where He wants me. There is this hunger for more of Him, more of this "life" I feel and want to be living for Him. I'm scared though. Can I give into the Lord, can I dedicate myself completely to Him, am I willing to put in the work or will I be lazy and stay where I know because I'm "comfortable"? Do I worry that I will fail, that I'm not really hearing Him and I will make a mistake? Will I listen to the doubt or trust in my faith that He has given me, to give myself to Him and trust Him? What can I lose by putting Him first in my life--pretty silly question when you say it out loud "(okay, type it out!)

Honestly, hubby and I have made these financial mistakes and there are consequences to that. We are to trust in Him completely to provide for our needs...and how those needs will be met by Him is where we give it to Him in prayer (be it me working or me not working). I can trust that He will close doors that are not of Him and open the ones that are. And my precious friends, I trust He will do the same for you when you give it to Him in prayer (and I'm praying with you) and not make decisions out of fear or impulsive emotions (as I've done!) My prayer for all of us is that once we are at a place where we don't have to make these decisions out of need, that we will choose wisely based on our heavenly Father and His desire and will for us and our families lives. Amen to that? Amen! I look forward to what our precious Father is going to do in your lives with these choices and I will rejoice with you in His answers!

God bless you!


Lori :) said...

Keep seeking the Lord for HIS plan for YOUR lives! I do believe He calls some to work, some to stay home, some to homeschool, some to send their kids to public school, etc. He knows each and every one of us (and our kids) better than we know ourselves, and He has better plans for us than we could ever imagine! Follow HIS plans - and you can't go wrong (even if the world thinks you are!)!
We were recently tested in this area (of me getting a job) and God said "no" - to not take it (which didn't make any logical sense). Because we obeyed, we were able to see God's miraculous blessings and provision! I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on that!! :)
The Proverbs 31 woman was a hard-working woman . . . sewing, cooking, buying, selling, investing, etc. We are all called to do our best as unto the Lord - whether it is at home, at work, at church, etc. We are to use our gifts and talents as HE directs and leads. Follow Him!! You can't go wrong.

Gotta go snuggle with my littlest who is sad . . .

L :)

bree said...

thank you Lori:) God is so wonderful-I'm learning His grace and mercy and how He is so much more than we can imagine!
God bless you guys! Happy New Year!

Ruth (the blogger) said...

Good blog Bree! Something I learned about in a Women's Ministry class is that until the Industrial Revolution, families always worked together as an agrarian society, with different roles of course, but the same common goal and purpose and commraderie. Because Logan grew up on a farm, he still has this mentality of working together on tasks that I would characterize by sex. When women began to stay home and men left to go to the workplace, depression and addictions in women skyrocketed to their highest rate in the 50's, when roles were the most polarized. I think as a society we're still searching for the right balance as mothers. A lot of the dissatisfaction with being a stay-at-home mom comes from being socially isolated instead of working on a team, and from not having tangible proofs of our work, i.e. a paycheck (which, I've heard, would be $124,000/year if a mother was paid the going rate for all she does!). I think the lesson here is that we do need to be hard-working and purposeful in our day-to-day activities, and recognize the value in our work. And it is critical to find supportive relationships to encourage you and help you!!! I know I need lots of encouragement, so if you ever want to hang out, give me a call! :)

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