Everything belongs to God. The roof over our heads, the food in our pantries, the clothes in our drawers; It is His.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.”
I often find that I run into people who tell me I can, "provide" for myself. Am I able? Of course. But with two children and one more on the way (yes, that's right! Our first girl!), I can give you one thousand reasons why I find the thought of returning to the workforce overwhelming.
It’s not that I haven't worked. I've had my hairstyling license for over a decade. When my oldest son was young, I often worked over forty hours a week in a nearby busy salon. It was difficult to work those hours while balancing single motherhood but my parents lived close and helped me out a great deal. However, on the days we were slow, I was the first to volunteer to leave. I needed money but I wanted my son more.
When I married my husband, we moved to the United States and lived just outside of New York City. I wasn’t able to work for almost a year because I didn’t have my US work permit yet. By the end of that year, I was both pregnant and overwhelmed as my husband’s struggle with addiction began to surface and I struggled to get used to my culture shock of the NYC lifestyle.
New Yorkers are tough because they have to be in order to survive.
After receiving my work permit, I briefly considered returning to hairstyling but with no help from friends or family in sight for childcare, the cost of returning to work was significant. Besides that, I was still overwhelmed with the pace of the city. I was terrified of the thought of commuting in the dark through unknown neghbourhoods much rougher than ones I had ever seen in my lifetime (and we didn't even live in a "bad" one!). I had an old car, my husband’s income was sufficient for our needs (with a few cutbacks) so I chose to stay nestled safely in my nest and focused on being a great mom instead.
But year after year, the same circular decision continued.
Should I go to back to work? I’m able and we could use the money.
Who would get the kids if my husband and I are both stuck at work? We have no one.
Is it more important that I am around for the kids or that we have money for them to do extracurricular activities? Ignore the pressure. It’s better to be present.
What happens if there’s a terrorist attack and we’re both at work? The kids would be terrified. If I’m home, I can just scoop them up quick as can be and drive back to Canada!
I think there is an eternal value in being able to stay home with your children. My kids are not going to be smarter because they stayed home with me, in fact, they may have learned more in daycare! It isn’t that their lives were more exciting staying home with me either, as I’m super shy and don’t particularily enjoy attending “mommy groups”. I’m not even a "super mom" who bakes cookies and does crafts (only sometimes)- so what value do they really get from me staying home? Well, they get their mom.
I am the only person who can love them the way I do and cover their tears in kisses. I am who they want to tell their stories to, who they look to as an example of how to nurture and love and I will become the voice in their heads that will guide them for the rest of their lives. Which is a responsibility and priviledge that I personally feel is worth any cost to invest my time into.
If you're a working mom, please know this isn’t about whether one should be a stay-at-home mom or not. It's about learning to trust God will fulfill our desires and take care of our needs- no matter the cost! Staying home with my kids is something I feel strongly about- for me.
Staying home has come with challenges.
There was the sacrifice of my personal career goals (choosing to put them off for later, do them slower or redirect them to suit my lifestyle now filled with children- not giving up on goals), there has obviously been financial sacrifice and there has also been the sacrifice of my personal security.
If I was out on my own tomorrow, I may not immediately be able to “depend on myself” to feed, cloth and put a roof over my children's heads however, I know (I know! I know! I know!) I can depend on God to cover our needs.
Dependability is an ever-growing lesson for us as Christians. The world has spent years training us to depend on no one but ourselves. Here are some popular quotes I found on Pinterest:
“Be pretty. Get educated. Dress well. Make money.” -#bossbabe
“The only person who is going to give you security and the life you want is you.” -108.7k repins
“You know who’s going to give you everything? Yourself.” -Diane Von Furstenberg
“‘That’s what happens,’ she said, ‘You let people in, and they destroy you.’” -97.2k repins
“I’m not obsessed with money, I’m obsessed with freedom.” -#bossbabe
In many ways, I can see how we got to this point. In an increasingly self-centered culture, it’s becoming difficult to find people with humble values. But as usual, society has missed the mark. Take for example the quote, “I’m not obsessed with money, I’m obsessed with freedom”. Freedom is a good thing! Ultimately, maybe even the right goal to pursue but making more money isn't how we get there- God is.
It’s easier to say, "Trust God" than it is to live it out. There is undeniable security that comes with being able to rely on our own finances but God doesn’t want us to rely on our income for security. In fact, if we rely on it too much it becomes a sin. An idol.
In the story of Job, God allowed Satan to take away everything from him. What was Job’s response to losing everything?
Blessed be the name of the Lord! Job was secure in God. He knew He would be taken care of.
“Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.”
Today, I want to leave you with a question for self-reflection: Are you “free”?
Free from worry, free from bondage to material things, free from the pressure to, “Be pretty. Get educated. Dress well. Make money.”?
If you’re not, do NOT feel bad! It is a LIFE-LONG process to become fully “rooted” in Christ! (I am still working on it, too!)
But for today, choose to stay grounded.
Make an effort to say, “Nope! I’m NOT going to worry about that. I am going to be OKAY. God is WORKING in my life. God is TAKING CARE of me. God will NOT let my family SUFFER. I am GIFTED by Him. I have been PLACED in this country, in this town, in this job, in this family, in this church- for a purpose specific only to me. GOOD things are growing within me through this. I am STRONGER today than I was yesterday. I am FREE. Mortgages, rent, debt, sickness, anger, addiction, anxiety- they have NO POWER over me because I am free by the blood of my Lord, Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins so that I may have everlasting, eternal life. Naked I came from the womb and naked I will return!”.
God wants to give us everything our hearts desire. He loves to bless us! Whether it be a career that gives purpose to our soul and gives us meaning or the job of staying home with our babies- He knows what our heart wants.
“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:8 (NKJV)
News Update and a Free Devotional Series
I have a new helper with Grey Ministries! Her name is Kara and I am so blessed to have her! If you're in the Colour Me Happy community, you may have seen her around already but if not, this is your chance to get to know her.
Kara is the devoted wife of a man who struggles with addiction, loving mama and has a super funny sense of humour! She has lovingly put in prayer, time and effort to make a free, ten-week devotional series on letting go for us simply called, "Let Go". I'll be announcing more about the series soon (as well as the BIG AWESOME GIVEAWAY that's going to go along with it!).
Click below to be first on the list to receive the devotional series as well as enter the giveaway that will be drawn around the USA Thanksgiving weekend.