The other day I was making a list of some things I needed to buy for our family. For a minute it put my head into a spin of anxiety. I thought, I am never going to get around to doing all these projects or the have the funds to get all of this done. A moment of discouragement overcame me in which I labeled myself a terrible home manager.
Then I remembered.
We have chosen to live with less to give our family more. I’ve chosen not to work so that I can give more of me to my children.
Friends, I want you to know I am having difficulty writing this post because I don’t want you to feel inferior to me as a mother if you work outside of the home. I believe that the Lord has a different plan for every family. If he has asked you to work outside of the home, please know I do not think any less of you, and I applaud you for doing what is best for your family. I am all about cheering other women on to walk the road that God has asked them to walk. And I truly believe each of the plans he has for us are different. I would just like to share my journey down the road of stay at home, homeschooling mom. I’d love to hear your journey to working mother, and how the Lord is proving himself faithful in your family.
If you are thinking of staying at home, going into ministry (and therefore taking a pay cut), or downsizing on purpose in anyway, lean in close because I’d love to share the blessings you can expect, along with some of the honest challenges ahead.
Know your “WHY.”
This is so important, because you will circle back around to this one, even when your feet are planted fully and contentedly in the land of less.
My Why: I want to make the maximum investment possible in their eternal lives.
I believe my continuous presence and active involvement in their daily lives is more profitable to my family than a paycheck.
19“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Matthew 6:19-21
Instead of storing up money in a retirement account, I am storing up time, love and teaching little souls that will last forever. What a gift we have as mothers to see their little hearts and minds mature and take their own personality. We get to witness their God given gifts emerge and then watch the Lord grow his kingdom through our kids before our very eyes.
Look Past the “Less.”
To keep walking strong down the path of less material stuff to have eternally more, you need to stay detached from the worldly stuff you are missing. Because you will have to sacrifice. I don’t go get Starbucks everyday. I don’t go shopping a few times a week. My kids wear mostly hand me downs with a few nice brand new outfits mixed in. But I’m not a martyr. You just have be me smart and intentional.
Don’t neglect yourself of everything. There is one favorite clothing boutique I love that I treat myself to shop at every other week. That same afternoon of the week, it’s half priced coffee right down the street and I pick up a latte. This is a rhythmic treat for me to help me keep updating my wardrobe and from becoming resentful of the whole thing.
Here’s the secret I have learned: when you delight yourself in the Lord and what he’s given you, he will shower you with unexpected, amazing blessings that you weren’t expecting. When you keep your eyes fixed on the list of things you need, you will get stuck thinking you need to run out and find a job again.
If you know with confidence at home is where God wants you, then you have to quit looking at this list of things your family needs as a to-do list, and start looking at it as a prayer list; As a “Lord, provide this” list.
I’m telling you from experience, friends, when you do this, he comes through on what is needed every. single. time.
Since he is the God of the universe and all, sometimes he provides later or differently than you had envisioned; but he always provides.
Count the “MORE.”
The other day, I found a little testimony written on a small piece of notebook paper by my son, now 8 years old. I taped it up above my coffee maker (a place I knew I would look frequently! 🙂 This is what he wrote:
“You take little seeds and water them with your word and then they grow into a big tree.”
I taped this up because it is proof: God is faithfully fulfilling my “why” for staying at home. Eternal investment. He’s getting it. Glory to God, because I haven’t been perfect, that’s for sure. My children aren’t perfect either, but they are learning they don’t have to be, because Jesus was and he died in their place. And since he rose and lives in us, it’s his Spirit sanctifying us everyday until he returns to take us home.
Counting your more will keep your feet firmly planted and your arms raised in praise in the land of less.
Know your why, look past the less, and count the more.
Next week: Keeping the holidays simple to have more Jesus and less stress.