Housewife. Homemaker. Keeper at home. A Wise Woman. Titus 2. Proverbs 31 Woman.
You would think that after almost 26 years of "weddedness" I'd have figured it out. And while I have learned so many things since I was 19, I still have so very far to go. I cannot believe it has taken me so long to stop striving in the flesh for that Proverbs 31 stature. I have struggled to prove to anyone that might be paying attention that I could do it, only to fall flat on my face. Who is this perfect woman? A virtuous woman-who can find her? Must I struggle so to be like this woman who surpasses the noble ones?
These questions hounded me almost daily until the Lord showed me that I could call on Him for help whenever I needed to throughout the day. That I wasn't annoying Him and He was happy, no, thrilled, to show me the plan He intended for me to follow. So we go-step by step-into this new dimension, of me finally allowing God to teach me to be a Keeper at Home. I found I have the beginning point though...I do fear the Lord-and that woman is to be praised(v.30)-and that is where God can start from! That's all He's looking for-the moment He is invited to start the work in us and He'll finish it too if we let Him! Talk about removing the yoke of self-inflicted bondage! He will work in me to will and to do of His good pleasure!
In all honesty, I feel it has only been by His grace that I've made it this far! I've about worn myself out in all my years of doing!!!! And it's when we've given up and relinquished it all to God that He is able to begin. So, He has brought me to a place where I am satisfied to do just what I'm doing. Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6)!! No more feeling like "less than" because I choose to be a Keeper at Home. Yes, 3 out of 4 of my children are grown. Did they always see me fulfilling the role of the Proverbs 31 woman? No. Many times, unfortunately, they saw a very frustrated person who wasn't content with her role as wife and mother. They saw a Mom who was trying to find herself outside of that role instead of finding joy in her calling. Oh that God's House would be filled with true and correct scriptural instruction to young mothers!!
I looked for my satisfaction by "doing" things for God. I kept busy in the church ministries. Many times my little ones cried, screaming and yelling, chasing the car down our long driveway, calling to me not to leave them. My heart aches just thinking about it now. If I could just go back, I'd stop the driver and get out of the car and take them to me and walk back home with them. How sad and how wrong it is to think we can "do" anything for God...and even moreso when we think we're doing His will and we're missing it!
I share this in the event that just one mom who is looking for her talent outside of her home, away from her babies, sees it and realizes that the "little voice" she hears telling her to stay home is definitely God's. I can remember thinking that I should be staying home with my children, but by the time I got to the main road the "little voice" was gone or if it wasn't gone, I'd ignore it until it quieted. Though the thoughts would return at other times, I would justify what I was doing by using the word "ministry"-alot. There was no older woman in the church telling me that it was alright to be home with my children-that it was a high calling of God. I was trying to please people-and really thought God was pleased with me by my "doing" something for Him. I now realize that because I thought I was one of the few who could play guitar in the prison ministry (and any other available ministry), others may have lost their blessing. Who did I think I was impressing? Certainly not God. And coming home late to my little ones sound asleep was not bringing me peace or joy. Sadly, it took many years and a lot of pain and a breakdown for me to realize I had my own garden to keep. And it was weed-ridden! God forgive me.
Bless the Name of our Lord, it was He who remained faithful to me during this 7 year trial of my life and my walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I can honestly say that He is the Faithful One! Unfortunately it took a large amount of pain for God to set me right. It may not be this way for everyone, but for those of us who feel justified in our bitterness and anger and stubbornness...it's very painful. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft-but the second half of the verse says that stubbornness is as idolatry. Bitterness and anger are ultimately pointed right at God.
Since that painful time,He has given me life anew. I see things in a different light. And I am like the one lamb that went astray who now stays right next to His side. He has found me, broken my legs, set me on His shoulders and now He is my Shepherd! Praise Him! He left the ninety and nine and came after me. He showed me that I was worth it to Him, that He loved me too much to leave me in the state I was in.
There will be more to share on this topic I'm sure, and there are many things you may have discovered already that I am just learning. I've always said I could write a better book on what not to do than what to do. This blog is just a way for me to write my heart on matters that mean something to me. If it blesses you or someone you know, then by all means, read on and be blessed. Share it with whomever you wish. I only ask that you kindly put this blog address in any forward you send.
I am learning to be a better witness in my home to my family and friends. I want anyone who sees me to see the One who is teaching me how to finally live for Him. I want to be an instrument of His peace and love.
Now that 3 out of 4 of my children are grown, I have my Miss Lydia left to mother. She will be 13 very soon. A new phase of childhood-the phase into young adulthood. I really see the need to make sure she knows how to care for a home and to find joy in the little things-the simple things. My other children had many chores-but did I teach them to do them joyfully as unto the Lord? We homeschooled and worked in the home. We worked and played outside as well. We did many fun things together. But there's a change in my attitude about life that I didn't have then, and I hope I can share that with Lydia as the days go by.
One more person I must learn to minister to and respect is my husband. A friend and I are going to start studying the wives of the Bible-good and bad. I'll keep you informed of what we learn as we go. Many women today couldn't care less about how to treat their husbands. I am ashamed to say that once I could have been included in that. Maybe not an outright lack of care, but I wasn't as serious about it as I am now. God is leading me into a new phase-as I said. Learning to trust Him to let my husband lead our family will be an area of growth as well. My children have grown up and will possibly move away-but David and I are together for as long as we both shall live. I don't want any regrets ever-at all!
God Bless you as you grow and are thankful for your very own Home-sweet things!
A Poem by Emily Bronte:
No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
O God, within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life--that in me has rest,
As I--undying Life--have power in Thee!
Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,
To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of immortality.
With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.
Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou were left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.
There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou--Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.
Here's the pancake recipe I promised the other day...I forgot until just now!!
Pancakes from Scratch
1-1/4 Cups sifted flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk (for thinner pancakes add 2 Tbsp more)
2 Tbsp oil
Sift together dry ingredients. Combine egg, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Cook on hot griddle. Makes about 8-4" pancakes. Recipe doubles alright, but doesn't mix well when tripled. If you want to add blueberries, drop on top of poured pancake on griddle or stir them into the batter gently before cooking. Enjoy!