Ever since I was in the twelfth grade, I've known I was going to be a stay-at-home mom. At 18 when my French teacher asked what I was going to do with my life, I told him that all I wanted to do was get married and stay home with my babies.
To which he, after picking up his jaw in shock that a seemingly normal and intelligent young woman would even consider such a thing, answered, "what a waste of your brains."
When I got married and our Emma arrived a few years later, I knew I was made to be at home. When my maternity leave ended, I had to go back to work, but thankfully I could do so part time and around my husband's schedule. If one of us was at work, the other was at home. It just made sense for us.
Flash forward to a couple of years ago when I really wanted to go back to working outside of my home. I was tired of changing diapers, picking up toys, and not being able to go anywhere. But really, I was tired of not feeling important.
When I reentered the workforce, I loved the sense of purpose I had and how good it felt when I told someone what I did and they actually looked at me with respect.
It wasn't long, though, before I began to feel that tug in my heart I felt in high school, the one that was calling me to be at home once more. I began to pray (something I rarely did at the time) for God to provide a way for me to be at home, once and for all.
His answer came in the form of a promotion for my husband. With Kevin's new position, his ability to work from home and accomodate my work schedule all but disappeared. I quit my job (quite happily!) and dived into my rediscovered role as a stay-at-home-mom.
You'd think that would be the end – that God answered my prayer and we lived happily ever after. But what I discovered in the following year was that the tug I felt was really God getting my attention. I had some serious issues I had allowed to take control of my life. Because I was so wrapped up in finding myself in what I was doing, I couldn't deal with these other things.
One of those issues was my relationship with God. For three years I had basically just hung on. I didn't read my Bible. I rarely prayed. On the outside, I was an expert at playing the game, of looking like I had it all together. On the inside, I was literally falling apart. I asked God to help me many times, but I really had no idea how He could.
That summer after quitting my job, God opened my eyes and showed me that He had just stripped away every single excuse I had for not spending time with Him. When He exposed my heart like that, I knew it was time to lay aside all of it and just focus on Him.
In spending time daily with Him, He showed me what my true identity really was – His beloved daughter. And He answered that cry of my heart that so desperately wanted to know who I was and why I was here.
He helped to me to stop looking at myself, my life and the things He had called me to through the world's eyes, and to start looking at them through His — to see and appreciate them for the beautiful and unique blessings He made them to be.
I didn't know when I was praying about being able to be at home, that it was more about discovering these truths than about my own personal preferences. I didn't realize that beneath the surface of that prayer there were many, many layers that God was willing to address, if I would just be obedient to that tug He placed in my heart in the first place.
So many times I think we pray for things without really thinking about those layers. We become disappointed with God when He doesn't answer our requests in the way we think He should.
Perhaps what we don't realize is that it's not so much the situations that we are praying for that He is concerned about, but instead our hearts and our willingness to accept what He is doing in our lives.
"I don't think the way you think.
The way you work isn't the way I work.
For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
and don't go back until they've watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
not come back empty-handed.
They'll do the work I sent them to do,
they'll complete the assignment I gave them.
Isaiah 55:8-1, MSG
If you have something or someone you are praying for, know that God answers. And those words He speak don’t come back empty-handed.
They do exactly what it is He sent them out to do.
How can we pray for you today?
Like you, I’m struggling to “feel” important right now. My nearly 10 year old son asked me just today when was I going to “get a real job”. My husband are struggling at the moment even for our three older children to acknowledge that I exist outside of meal times. Sometimes I feel like my voice is on a frequency they just don’t receive. They don’t listen. They don’t obey. They, to be honest, don’t care.
And it’s exhausting. Emotionally and mentally.
We have made moves to impliment some new “creative correction” techniques begining this Sunday, so we’ll see how that goes. My husband and I would appreciate your prayers for that.
But like you, I too haven’t gone to the Father much with it. And, of course, I feel alone. So, prayer for dedication to time alone with Him would be good.
P.S… if those are your shoes… totally coveting. 😉
Next week, I go to court against the man who molested me when I was just a little girl. At the same time, I’m trying to juggle university and being a wife. Prayers are the only thing that will get me through these next couple weeks. Prayers will be appreciated more than you know. <3
Heather S. says
I am 6 weeks pregnant with our 3rd child. We are thrilled, but I am a little scared. My 2nd child was born premature and endured a NICU stay and some developmental therapies. Although this pregnancy was given the “green light” by my OB, I still have a little knot of worry. I am praying constantly . . . God please show favor and let this be a LONG, uneventful, term pregnancy complete with a healthy baby. I welcome all additional prayers. Thank you so much for taking time to read my little request.
Mari Larkin says
Your journey has been much like mine. I knew I wanted to stay home and be a full time mom all my life…then was able to. Always struggling with my “own” identity.
Fast forward–now all my children are grown and married and I am a grandma…I still struggle with my importance in life. I too find that I need to spend time consistently with God to fulfill that need in me. I don’t do it very well, but I am pressing onward. It’s as you say, one layer at a time. Jesus is doing a work in all of us, we just need to rest in His timing. Great post!
Thank you for this post. I think you’ve touched on a subject a lot of us struggle with.
I’m still at that place in my life where it is just myself and my husband and we’re talking about having children. Of course, that means I won’t be able to work full time anymore, and I’m not sure what I think of that.
A Simple Country Girl says
Following is a quote I keep posted as a daily reminder from “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss…
Prayers are going up Jen ,Kayla and Heather.
I am just asking for prayers of strength and direction today. I have been asked to tell my story in front a large group of people who are founders of a large Cancer Community. I am so not a public speaker. Please give me the grace to present it in away to help others.
Thank you so much for sharing this Andrea! I am really struggling with working right now. Hate is a very strong word, but some days I do hate working. I long to be at home and taking care of things there. I also long to spend more time with Jesus. My relationship with Him seems to have taken a back seat now that I work full time. I am really torn. I am just lifting up my hearts desire to God … thank you for sharing and for asking! : )
heather flood says
i have always longed to be at home 100% with my kiddos (age 11,8,2) and we felt the leading from God to really move and change our life this last year so as God’s timing provided, we would be ready for that change…
today is the day i walk into my VP’s office and resign… but i’m nervous, scared… what if our home doesn’t sell, what if, what if…
please pray that we would not be swayed by the lies of the enemy, we have prayed, God has truly moved in our lives and this is the time. a friend gave me a picture with this quote in today, knowing what was going to happen today:
when you come the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, FAITH is knowing one of two things will happen… there will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.
believing in the Lord’s provision, and my kids are so excited knowing that when mommy comes home today that i’m there for good… thanks for your prayers, i’m praying for you all as well.
I’m looking for that importance and that purpose.
God’s timing is perfect… I needed to read this today.
Thank you for this. While I do not have kids yet, and I do not stay at home, I can honestly relate to the issue of letting my relationship with God move to the bottom of my list. I pulled out my Bible just the other night to get back into the habbit of spending time with Him. The verse you shared was just what I needed!
My 15 year-old daughter has been thnking a lot about what she’s “supposed” to do when she grows up. When people ask her about it, she replies, “I want to get married and have babies.” Some are in shock. “NO! You HAVE to get your education!” Some are very supportive, telling her that it’s God’s highest calling to be a wife and mother. I am a full-time stay-at-home mom. I homeschool all 3 of my kids and there is no job that could ever replace the pay check or benefits I’m receiving. I pray that my daughter finds a husband that will be able to support her desire to be at home and that my 2 sons will be godly men who will support their wives should they choose to stay home.
Awesome post, thanks for sharing it! In the 10 years that I have been a full time Mom I have struggled with identity & importance issues. There’s definitely a correlation between those issues and where you are at in your relationship with God. I now know that when those issues crop up I need to evaluate how my relationship with Him is going and make necessary adjustments. Putting Him first makes everything else fall into it’s place.
I work full-time outside the home, but find myself lately wanting to be at home. That would be hard, since I have the only steady income right now to care for a family of six.
I wonder if my kids would even notice if I wasn’t here! My mother-in-law lives with us, and they always prefer to be with her or their dad. I always feel like the odd-man-out, and it’s just exhausting. I feel invisible, and God seems very far away.
Please pray that He will break through and bring some peace and purpose to my heart!
Faith Barista Bonnie says
Hey Andrea. I gobbled up your story of importance and loved every bite. The question of importance is a deep seeded need that doesn’t ever go away and keeps us clinging for dear life to Him.
I need more love. Or to know the truth of the love God has lavishly given me, so I can go and love others the way He does.
Beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.
Mindy May says
Thank you for sharing this story. I wrote a paper in high school about what I wanted to be when I grew up. My paper said the same thing yours did. My teacher, the ultimate feminist, told me that too many women fought for our rights to work outside the home and that I was doing them a disservice. I then turned to her and informed her that many women fought for there to be a choice in what a wife/mother does but left the decision up to each individual person. Staying at home was what I was choosing to do. Granted being a single mother I had to work but in August I quit my 50 hour a week job and went back to school. I have never been happier. I now have more time at home where I always knew I should be.
Oh, I love this post! It gave me chills as I read it – beautiful!!
Thanks for sharing what so many mothers struggle with. My story is shaping to be just like yours as I too am praying for God to make clear the path ahead. I went back to work full time this year and it has truly been a year of God showing me so much and us praying for Him to find a way to lead me back home again next year.
Loved your post. I have been doing quite a bit of research on this topic recently. Full-time homemaking was never presented as an option to me, whatsoever. I can honestly say I never even considered it. Now I am the primary breadwinner and I realize now that my career ambition and drive was really a desperate struggle to find identity, importance and purpose outside myself and to disguise insecurity. I don’t feel that that job is my purpose in life.
We will be trying for a baby soon, our first miscarried at 7 weeks. A healthy pregnancy and baby is what I need prayer on.
Allean in Nashville says
Thanks so much for your post today. It answered a lot of questions I had been pondering for a while about what God was doing in my life. Thanks for being a huge blessing to me…:-)
Love this post – I have been praying for a medical miracle for my son and as I pray, God is doing so much in me and so many people around me.
Truly He does great things when His people pray.
The miracle we are asking for is big and the more I pray for it, the more God increases my faith for it. I beleive He is going to do “more than we could ask or imagine.”
Anna See says
Great post! I feel like I have been using every excuse in the book to avoid spending time with God. Thanks for reminding me that He wants to spend time with me.
You may not realize it but you wrote this post to/for me. Thank you for being obedient and sharing what God has given you with us.
Shaunie Friday says
I can so relate to this, and think we would be fast friends–we have so much in common! Thank you for sharing your story and for the reminder of how God is sometimes accomplishing what we’re not praying for, but should be.
Kathy T. says
I read some of these comments ….can you believe how your post relates to so many of us? We are not alone in our thinking, feeling, and path to finding ourselves within HIM.
I too feel like you and the others who commented. Finding the balance and our purpose and to be grateful for the purpose within HIS eyes.
i have been praying for two special friends that have miscarried recently. prior to this my prayer life has been super shallow tossing up thoughts and requests here and there but not really trying to know my god. but i see god working. moving. being real.
this post was encouraging.