As I wiped my eyes, and right before I shouted "amen" and hit share, I read the next part.
He sees you wishing you could reduce your hours...
He sees you saving so that you can work less...
He sees you hoping to be home for good...
And it lost me. Honestly, it hurt and kinda made me angry. What about those of us who love what we do?
I went back to work because I was made for the work I do. I'm not the very best, but I love it. Most of the time it is as easy as falling off a log. I had to work hard to pass the tests and make the grades to achieve the state's permission to teach band, but each day is not so much grinding away as it is joyfully assisting these kids and guiding them to reach musical and personal goals.
No really... Not interrupting rehearsal and sitting up straight are honestly personal goals, and that is okay!
I've long said that I feel more comfortable in the band hall than I do at home. I definitely fit there better than anywhere else. It is the place where I'm the least awkward, or where the awkward fits. Yes, days can still be long and I do still get tired. But this is part of what God placed me on the earth for.
So no, I'm not just working to make money. God took care of us when I stayed home. There were tight times, and the money has made some things easier. But I didn't go back to work because of money. I went back to work because I love my job.
What do you do when you want to be obedient, but just can't let this job thing go? I had told myself that the best moms stay home, that certainly with a special needs child I had to be a homemaker. I wanted to be the woman who pours out her life for her family... The proverbs 31 woman whose children call her blessed. And then there is the old fear that I'll completely fail.
So what would you do?
Pour your heart out to your God. Do the same to your spouse. Ask both what they think. Ask for help determining the right thing. What was right for me may not be what is right for you. I have found that I love this life. It gets interesting. We just discovered that our spring breaks for next year are on completely different weeks, and he is supposed to be gone for most to all of his.
It makes no sense at all that this is the best way to do life for us. But it is. So all you moms who aren't looking to quit work anytime soon, or who are looking to go back into the workforce in some way... And especially those who like your jobs, I would like to share what I think God sees when he sees me.
He sees Christ. Not your staying home, your working, your love for your work, your success or failure at staying home or housework or working or whatever. He sees you beyond the expectations of cultural Christianity and in a way that no one can understand. He sees and understands the things no one understands. He sees you covered by the death and resurrection of our Lord. He doesn't see that you didn't finish the laundry or that your husband wore that shirt you should have ironed (even if he wore it to church). He isn't concerned with the last time you brought a dollar into your house toward the budget. He wants you to know not that he sees you trying to do right, but rather that you are loved even when you do wrong. You are covered. You are good.
Does this mean that we are not to strive to be obedient? Not at all! Instead, we are free to try and fail.
One of the best things I learned from my college band director has very little to do with band. We were taught to tell kids right before a performance that no matter what happened, we were proud of them. Of their hard work. No matter what the judges say, you are a first division band in my heart.
You know why? It takes the pressure off. The kids are free to perform and enjoy performing knowing that their director loves and is proud of them. They cannot let me down. Later, we will go back and relearn things based on how we performed and what the judges said, but they are free to try and fail, knowing our love is there. And you know what? They always do when they know that to be true.
So, dear fellow mothers, will you join me in seeking to not be ruffled by others' words? Will you join me in trying to rest in who God has made me and what we know about him? Can we stop striving toward the town's or community's expectations and strive to be who he made us to be instead?
We were not made the same. We must learn to encourage one another even when we do not understand, and to consider others before we speak or type. We have to throw out the assumption that what is best for me is best for you without question. We must seek to follow God's plan for our family, and not confuse God's best with cultural or personal expectations.
If we believe on Jesus, we have already blown the judges' socks off, won the sweepstakes, and brought home the trophy. We are free to try. To fail. To succeed. Then try again. We are free to rejoice, to cry, to recover. We are free to celebrate, work through anger, and wrestle with forgiveness. We are free to do all of this... and mamas, we are free to love our jobs. We are free to enjoy our careers and motherhood concurrently, and to curl up in a ball and cry in his lap when it is too much. We are free to wish we could afford to be home, and we are free to be home. And mamas who are ar home... you're free to curl up in a ball and cry when it's all too much too.
So dear mamas who love your careers... it's cool. I do too. Honestly, having kids has only made mine better.
Thanks be to God for giving me something that comes easy.