Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Body

"Are you going back to work in the fall; or are you staying home with Hudson?"  This, my friends, has been the 10 million dollar question.

"We're still trying to work that out" has been my cheap 2 dollar answer.  These past twelve weeks since Hudson's birth been heart-wrenching as James and I prayed, crunched numbers, sought the wisdom of others, and prayed some more in making the hard decision as to whether or not I would return to work in the fall. You see, deep down, I want to do both.

I want it all.  I want to be "Super Woman/Mom." You know, the Mom who works a full-time job, cooks wonderful gourmet and organic meals for her family, loves her husband and children well, and of course looks completely stylish while doing it. Confession - I wasn't that person before Hudson was born so adding a helpless little 3-month-old to the mix isn't going to make me any more inclined to being a "Super Woman/Mom."

The decision was not easy:

Here's the hard stuff of staying home:
  • Financially, it will be very difficult.  James and I weren't exactly well-off with both of us working, so take my salary out of the equation and our finances look even more dismal.
  • I enjoy work.  Since my first summer of college (1998) I have always worked.  I have never not worked and I do fear that I will lose a piece of my identity - who I am - if I'm not doing something outside of the home.
Here's more hard stuff if I return to work:
  • I desire to be home.  My mom was a stay at home mom/wife.  While as a child this was a situation much to my chagrin (no running in from school eating junk food and watching bad TV); looking back I see how coming home to my Mom being there was such an amazing comfort and security.
  • Financially, it will be very difficult even if I do work.  Childcare and fuel to and from work will literally cost 2/3 of my salary.  Teaching is not an easy job and knowing you'll only bring home 1/3 of what you brought home beforehand ... it's simply doesn't make sense.
You see our delimna, right?  What to do?  Pray and seek to be obedient to God's calling on my life.

Since 2001, I have felt God's call into ministry.  This is why I left my home in Nashville and moved to Louisville in 2004 to attend seminary.  This why I have went on numerous mission trips to share the love of Christ with others.  This is why I chose to work at a Christian school, rather than the public schools.  And this is why we have chosen as a family for me to stay home with Hudson.

James and Hudson are my full-time ministry, now.

So please pray for us:

1)  Pray for us to trust God to provide.  God provided in so many miraculous ways during my pregnancy and delivery so I have no doubt that he will provide in the future as well.  James has had the opportunity to preach at several churches this summer so we continue to pray that God will open doors for possible ministry positions for him that will help support our little family.  But if not, we ask that God makes us content where we are and gives us the perseverance to be faithful to him in all, even the little things.  Pray that I find my security in the Lord, not in our bank account.

2)  Pray that I will find my identity in Christ - not in what I do.  Finding one's identity in one's work is a dangerous thing, whether that work is inside or outside the home.  Being a "teacher" or a "wife" or a "mother" shouldn't be my single identity.  Yes, I am those things, but I am so much more in Christ.  This, I need to reflect on much more.

3)  Pray for contentment.  I struggle with this - yes, I usually Mrs. Smiley-Happy, but happy isn't the same as content.  (Doing #1 and #2 will provide contentment.)  This decision is requiring a lot of sacrifice on our part:  Bye, bye cable TV; hello cheaper cell phone plan; Adios Sunday (or any day) lunch out; Hello Couponing.  Deep down inside, this will be a serious blow to my materialism and consumerism genes - a good blow, mind you - but painful nonetheless.

4)  Pray for strength and energy to do this new job.  There are no office hours in being a Stay at Home Mom/Wife - it's a 24/7 shindig and I need the Lord's grace to give me the strength and energy to not only do the job, but to do it well.

Our very first "family photo" when Hudson was 5 days old.

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