Does anyone else feel like June sort of snuck up on them? I’m not too sure where the year went but it just flew by. I remember starting out day home in September and now I’m on my final day with the day home children. It has been an incredible year, watching them get older and more independent. There has been such joy from interacting with them and seeing their creativity shine through. I cannot begin to describe what a blessing this experience has been for my boys to grow up with their friends. The day home children have shared in so many exciting parts of our lives and have loved on my children in so many amazing ways.
Although, there has been so much joy from this opportunity, I cannot say that I’m sad for it to be done. I know God provided this opportunity for me to stay home with my boys. He has used it to humble me in many ways. I have come to realize I am not defined and valued by the things this world deems important, but rather by what God deems is important. God has called me into motherhood. He has placed it on my heart to put aside my ambitions and desires to raise and nurture our children as a stay-at-home-mom.
When I had my first son, I went on maternity leave for a year. We had just moved to a new town and I did not know many people. My husband had just started his new career as a police officer, which left me feeling like a single parent most days. I was feeling bitter and torn between being a mom and a teacher. I realize now that I was placing my desires before God’s desires. Just as it says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” In my situation, I was desiring and serving the god of status. I valued being viewed as important and professional. I knew I was good at my job and I had a lot of pride in my heart. It took me many months before I was able to stop weaseling my nose into my teaching friend’s lives and giving my input and expertise. In the beginning months of maternity leave, I was bitter and lonely. It was only when I finally let the idea of returning to teaching pass that I began experiencing joy. I stopped serving my desires and began listening to what God desired for me. I felt encouraged to open a day home so I could follow my calling of being a mom.
God used the day home to continue chiseling away at the dark areas in my heart. The majority of the children I watched were teacher’s children. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but over time I could feel my heart get tested. I was tested daily to see if I would yearn for my past desire of status. Interestingly enough, as I look back now, I don’t remember a time longing to be in their shoes. God revealed to me how blessed I was to stay at home with my children day in and day out. Although, some days were so difficult and testy, it never compared to the overwhelmingly good days that I had with my children. I’ve seen every single milestone in my children’s lives so far and I’ve been able to see them learn so many things first hand. When my children were sick, as hard and trying as that can be, I was there to comfort and snuggle them. In those moments of struggle, frustration and exhaustion, God has taught me some of the most impactful lessons needed to mend my heart.
I remember very clearly one day over lunch the day home children were casually talking about their mom’s work and what they did. They all giggled when they found out that all their moms were teachers. Then, one of them pointed out that I don’t work. Now all I can say was that my pride was hurt. I could feel my heart sink and felt the pride well up inside. I had thought I had removed that pride from my heart, but it was still there. As any prideful person would do, I explained that I did work and that caring for them was my job. As, I think back to that moment, I realize how foolish I was to feel the need to provide an explanation. For Proverbs 14:3 says, “A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them.” I definitely need wisdom to protect me against my own folly. In my heart, I know I love what I do and I’m doing what God has called me to do. No explanation is needed. I need to simply find rest in this assurance.
So now at the end of this chapter of my life, I begin a new journey. God in all of His goodness and sovereignty is orchestrating all that happens next. We are currently in transfer season with my husband’s career and our oldest son is approaching school age. God has placed home learning on my heart for our children’s education. It was something I had never considered doing prior to having children. I always assumed I would have children, then go back to teaching. I’m excited for all the that God has in store for us. I know His plan will once again chisel away at my heart and draw me ever closer to Christ-likeness. I foresee difficulties and trials as I learn alongside my children. In this, I know I will have to lean into Him ever the more. But I have put my trust in Him and I know He will make my paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). All I can say is thank goodness for the Lord’s great love that we aren’t consumed, for His compassion never fails. But rather, they are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). This is what fills me up and encourages me each day to pursue what He has called me to do. My prayer for you, is that He will give you boldness to step into His calling for you because He has great plans for your future when you let go of your desires and submit your heart to His.