God has slowly been impressing something on my heart these past few weeks, months, years. Last night as I was journaling, I felt like it all kind of came full circle in my head.
I grew up playing house (always the mom), hospital (always the pregnant wife), orphanage (always the caretaker). My barbies, polly pockets, and Playmobil had weddings, adoptions, and births. On a daily basis lol :)
I made our family's first chore chart when i was 10, and from the time I was 13 I spent much of my free time cleaning, doing laundry, or organizing things around the house. I delighted in bringing order to our home, and structure to our family.
The past couple of years have been full of making college decisions, choices of majors and minors. All with the goal in mind of getting a job when I graduate. I know that the Lord has provided the opportunity and the funds for me to get a college degree. And I know without a doubt that these things I am learning, these relationships I am building are going to put forth fruit for the rest of my life. I don't regret taking this path at all.
It wasn't until Spain that the idea of getting a job became a reality. And I freaked out. Realizing that the skills I am learning are going to someday be put forth to an employer. They will evaluate, and if they deem me worthy, they will give me a job. I will then perform these skills to their satisfaction, and they will give me a paycheck, which will help to support my family. For some reason, that idea really scares me. Maybe it's my pleaser personality, my constant fear of failure, which is a lack of faith and trust in the Lord's provision. I've thought about switching majors, or getting a Masters in something other than Spanish, something that maybe wouldn't be so much pressure.
Last night, we went over for dinner at my youth pastor's house. As I helped his wife prepare dinner, we talked about her new whole-foods cooking. She was telling me about grinding grain, making whole-wheat bread for only $0.69, budgeting her weekly menu, and her goals to provide healthy meals for her family while still living within their means. It was funny to see how in only 2 years our conversations had gone from high-school drama to housekeeping. Another conversation with a homeschool mom from our church turned to things they have done with their children such as having them stand up to pray for their meals, or reading the Bible at every meal. The truth of the matter is that these things excite me. The idea of going and getting a job does not satisfy that longing in my heart. But faithfully building a home for my family to live in that is Christ-centered, healthy, secure sounds like the best job that I could ask for. Providing a comfortable, welcoming place for my husband to come home to, and for guests to come into. Providing a safe place for both my birth children, and any foster or adopted children to come into, that they might heal and grow to reach their full potential in Christ. The challenge of using sales and coupons to cook meals. Doing laundry, reading countless children's books over and over again, telling the broken heart of the orphan one more time that I love you and you are part of this family. These are the things that find such value and purpose in my heart.
Now, before this starts coming off as some fairy-tale, romanticized scene of my dreamy future, I do want to acknowledge 2 things. First, work is a part of this life. Genesis 2:15 says "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." We were put on this earth to work, but the fall made that work a curse instead of a blessing. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid work, and it is sinful to try. Slothfulness is not of the Lord, and only by work is His kingdom furthered. Therefore, I absolutely believe that women have a place in the work force, and I have no plans to fore-go finding a job. Also, I completely acknowledge that the life of a wife and mom is not easy. It is far from the perfect scene I just wrote about in the above paragraph. While there are endless blessings that come from both of those roles, marriage and parenting do not save us. It is only by the Lord that we can find satisfaction, wholeness, and joy in whatever task He has set us to.
That being said, it has become more and more clear to me that women were made for this. I don't think there's a more beautiful image of womanhood than a mother with a baby in her arms. A mother who truly delights in her children, and delights in her role as help-meet to her husband will have peace and joy through Christ. All those years of playing house, and helping my mom with our home was not just a "little girl thing." It is a desire that is born into the heart of a little girl, that just grows and matures. Why? Because she was made for that. My Dad always told me that there is no higher calling for a woman to be a wife and mother, and I really believe that.
So how do we take this truth in light of the world we live in? How do we blend this high calling from God in a society that values careers, views children as a burden, and wealth as a blessing? How do we as young women prepare our hearts for the coming years when we will have the opportunity to live out this calling?
I don't have any easy answers. But, I am finding such peace and reassurance in the knowledge that our God made the heart of a woman, and He looks down with delight. As I've prayed about these thoughts, I have come to realize that the most important thing is to wait on the Lord's timing. He knows us better than we know ourselves, so He knows the cries of our hearts, the longing, the hopes, the dreams. He knows that we hold these dreams at arm's length, so scared that the hopes we have will be shattered by this harsh world. It gives me strength to hold onto the things that He instilled in me. It encourages me to go to other hurting women and challenge them to push on with the fight to Godly womanhood. We have a God who is trustworthy. We can marvel at His creation, marvel at the intricacies of our souls, and wait on Him. For we were made for this.