Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What is your value?

As a stay-at-home-mom, I sometimes struggle to find worth in what I am doing.  I struggle to find myself valuable.  I went to school for many years.  I have a degree in Elementary and Special Education and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  I have passed tests, earned honors, and accomplished the ability to posses certifications.  And guess what.......MY KIDS DON'T CARE!  I spent about 8 years studying and providing myself the ability to work in a certain field, and then God called me to work AT HOME!  

I remember during the first few years I stayed at home with my children, people would ask me, "What do you do?"  For some reason, after I provided the "I stay at home with my children" response, I would swiftly include, "But I used to be a teacher!!!"  It was obnoxious, and kind of very prideful, but I felt like they should know I used to do something "worthwhile".  

For me, some of the comments were quite difficult to stomach.  I would hear family and friends say things like, "You learn to appreciate your children more when you are working."  OR "A child needs the social interaction of daycare, and to not provide that is just bad parenting."  OR, my personal favorite, "You really should be using your degree and helping your husband by providing financially for your family."  Perhaps I didn't hear this as much as I thought it.  Now of course, in my logical mind, I heard these comments and thought those thoughts and knew they were flat out ridiculous, but the depth they made to my heart was unmistakable.  I felt...worthless.  It felt as if (and sometimes still creeps in) that I perhaps didn't hear from God correctly.  

......Maybe we were too hasty in our decision for me to stay home.  
.......Perhaps I am being selfish.  
.......We could be paying so many bills faster. 

The thoughts, the comments, the feelings took over my thought life and soon the voices of negativity were louder than God's.  This is when I realized that the message was not from God, but from the tricks of Satan.  I began to resolve to discover why God found me valuable rather than the world.  

It took a long time and is still a work in progress, but understanding the difference between feeling valuable and being valuable are two very different things.  At the end of every day, I am covered in snot, spit up, and/or other matter.  I don't always accomplish what I have set out to do, and some days all I can put in my hat is that I picked up some toys and had dinner on the table at a reasonable hour.  I consider it a success when I am able to get the laundry folded and put away before it takes on new form in a wrinkled ball, and accomplishing showering before noon, at times, is a feat.  

The truth in all of this - my value is not found in laundry, or clean clothing, accomplishments, or dinners I create.  My value is not found in the job I have outside of my home, even if I had one.  My value was never and still is not found in degrees or certifications.  

My value is found in Christ alone.  My value is found in the fact that I am trying my best to follow His plan for my life, even if it includes living with less money.  My value is found in how I use my time.  My time that I have been given with my children and my husband,          

I have learned and am still learning that home is where my children will learn who they are.  Each of us has been created uniquely by God.  We all have talents, gifts and treasures to offer the world.  Home should be where we learn what these are and celebrate them.

Home should also be where our children learn whose they are.  They are Christ's children and were created to journey through life growing in relationship with Him.    

Home is our children's base camp.  This is where they should be able to rest and re-boot.  A safe place where they can be themselves and ask questions.  A place where they can cry or laugh, or both, and not be judged.

My job is to take care of my family and this is valuable.  I have learned that this gift is fleeting and if I do not allow myself to enjoy it, not only will I miss the blessing, but I will mess up the job.

So, in the year 2013, I have resolved to change a few things within myself.  I have felt the pull of the Holy Spirit towards modeling this around one specific scripture,  

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (James 1:19-21)

 - I will work to hold my tongue and be slow to speak.  Proverbs 18:2 says "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion."  While reading this scripture, it propels me to strive to supply words to others that will be a "fountain of life".  Though this does not mean that we, as Christians, are not called to correct our brothers and sisters in Christ wrong doings', it does mean that our words should be life giving in God's eyes, whether that person wants to hear them or not, and even when our target is truth!  The first thing that comes to my mind is not always best or of God!  God's timing is the best kind of timing.  Lord, give me patience to wait on your timing and not trust my own.            

- I will be slow to anger, giving my children an opportunity to explain themselves and their thought processes.  After teaching for so many years, I believe that children often think the impulsive choices they make were, at one time, really good ideas.  After all, they thought of the ideas, and don't we all think our ideas are best?  Asking a child, "What were you thinking?" is not a healthy way to help them understand their impulsive act was not such a good idea out loud as it was in their heads.

Being slow to anger will also apply to the way I respond to my husband.  Every hill is not a hill worth dying on!  I must remember that he is not perfect and NEITHER AM I!  I will work harder to offer the grace that I want when I make mistakes or bad choices.  Every offense is not worth an argument or correction.  He is good to me, and we are partners.  I will work harder to remember this in the New Year.

- I will work to rid my life of any moral filth and evil.  When I hear the words "moral filth", I cringe.  It sounds so harsh.  I think of picket signs and angry faces telling me to repent or die!  These are the bible verses that make me cringe because it calls me to do an inventory.  Ask any retail specialist and they will tell you how much they HATE inventory!  However, I believe that if I am going to take hold of what God has planned for my life, I am going to need to rid my life of anything that influences my inability to follow after God's plan.  This includes ridding my life of things not pleasing to God; evil talk, negative discussion, TV shows that fill my mind with images not pleasing to God, books and stories that are not pleasing to God, etc.  I think sometimes I forget that Satan slips in slowly.  Watching TV shows and reading things that have immoral acts seem like no big deal at the time because they all seems so small, but the small amounts to the big and the big affects my relationships with my children, my husband, and most importantly, my ability to discern God's will.

Some more resolutions that I have include:

      - Read and study more about God.  I have become pretty good at doing my devotion time because when I don't, I am falling apart!!  However, everyone can use more time in the word of God, and with God.

      - Improve my prayer life.  I will do more praying for my church family, my family, and unsaved loved ones and friends.  I want to begin to pray more specifically for people around me.

So, that it!  What are your resolutions????  I would really love to hear them.  We could keep each other accountable!  Accountability improves our chances of succeeding!!!  God Bless you and Happy New Year!

 Linking up with:

The Warrior Wives

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