Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wood, Hay, and Straw

There's something about that third kid. Everyone warned me, but I didn't understand until baby number 3 became a...TODDLER! 

I read a Proverb each morning as a "close" to my bible study time. I have passed this one many times without 'hearing' it, but boy oh boy did it strike me yesterday. 

This verse is so important for the stage of life that I'm in. Many of my frustrations with raising small children come from a feeling of inadequacy, specifically related to homemaking. Kid 1's markers are bleeding onto her comforter as kid 2 is stealing and torturing her by dangling the markers in her face, all while kid 3 is throwing said marker lids into the potty. Daily situations like this greatly hinder my dream of a calm and clean household. And yet I just sense the spirit of God telling me to rest. But how can I rest when my husband will be home in an hour and I need the kids to just color so I can cook? 

Easy - will he care about the marker lids? No, he will probably laugh. Will I care about the marker lids? No, they're all of $0.49 down the literal drain. Do I care how it makes me look? YES. Because many a stay-at-home mom is made to feel worthless by societies standards, and I have bought into the hype. 

My poor husband does not even know what language I am speaking when I say the word "Pinterest" (and apparently neither does spell check), he has no social media accounts, and he works a work environment that is 98% male, so there's not an ounce of him that even realizes the pressures a mom faces. He is simply happy to walk in at the end of the day and see 5 sets (yes, I included the dog) of eyes happy to see him. 

So why can't I cram that simple mindset in my head? Why am I so exhausted at the end of the day? Why do I feel like a marker lid speaks to my value? Why am I constantly trying to one-up myself and create a better and better and better home environment and be a better and better and better wife?

"a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc."

I do not wish I had someone else's life. I have a solid group of girlfriends and we always talk about how happy we are in our own lives, that there is no jealousy, and it is a true blessing to have that. I do not want Jill or Jane or Kate's lives (don't know a Jill or Jane or Kate, just sayin'), but where it is so easy to stumble as a woman is when you want to feel like the #1 in your OWN life and home. I am envious. Not of my friends or of other women, but of a fake, more adequate, more worthy ME that the enemy has created in my mind. I am envious of the woman (who doesn't exist) that is more valuable to my husband to me. I am envious of the lady (who again, doesn't exist) that has it all together. Of the wife who never has a short temper, or an eye roll moment, or the lady who balances a perfect career, marriage, and family life. 

I have sensed God using this period of time to refine me. I haven't made a new schedule, new chore list, haven't added another cleaning day, etc. I know that God is simply happy to have my heart in His hands through this 'struggle' I feel, but it has been incredibly hard for me to just be still. I called my mom yesterday in tears, asking what she did when she was living the stage of life that I am living. Of course we talked about pinterest and how society has changed over the years, but then she stuck gold. She told me to pray, and have the Lord reveal to me what is wood, hay, and stubble:

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Mommies, everything we do for our husbands, our children, our neighbors, it means nothing if Christ isn't our foundation and our purpose. I am just like everyone else. I want to be 'seen', I want to be validated. But more importantly, I want a life that shines for Christ, and he doesn't require my perfection, he just wants my availability. He isn't waiting for me to finish my chores to step into my day, He is a part of every move I make and every breath I take. I do not need to present perfection in order to be a qualified child of God. 

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence,[d] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 
2 Peter 1:3-4

Here's a little song that I play on repeat when I'm feeling overwhelmed by my crazy home! Hope it brings some peace to yours!

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