Cooking and cleaning can be a dirty job but somebody has to do it and most likely it's you, momma! I know what you are thinking - these are not the 1950's when June Cleaver cooked and cleaned with hair perfectly in place, wearing pearls, with flawless makeup, and elegant dresses and skirts that you would expect to see on a woman at a brunch. June was famously known for beautiful sweaters and a perfectly polished smile and "oh so chic" aprons wrapped around her waist as she embraced her role as a homemaker. I use the word "embraced" because I must admit that it wasn't so easy for this momma to embrace homemaking in it's totality (grab your tissues)!
I Get It From My Momma
My mother was a homemaker and she did it well. You would feel my mother's heart and soul in her cooking and she was borderline crazy when it came to cleaning (crazy cleaning lady), and she was all about the fancy when it came to her clothes and those of her 3 beloved daughters. Her day was filled with chores and household management that left her somewhat content and fulfilled. I found her duties in the home very admirable but at the same time there was a part of me that wondered why she didn't have a job. My step-father worked outside of the home and was the sole bread winner for our family of five. My mother taught all three of her girls how to cook, clean, and how to doll ourselves up and when people acknowledge those qualities in me today I always credit it to my mother's stellar home training and lady-like teachings. Even with my mother's great example, as a young woman I began thinking I wanted to do more than just be a mom or homemaker (as if something was wrong with her tireless efforts in the home).
In Need of a Heart Change
I married for the first time at the age of 22, and loved being a working wife and mother. I never thought in a million years that I would be a STAHM (STAY AT HOME MOM). I just knew this little fireball would have a flourishing career in the marketplace until, like many women, I suddenly found myself faced with divorce and joint custody arrangements. The court ordered a 4 day - 3 day split schedule allowing me the fortune of having our child in my custody the 4 days. I was a single mother having to fend for my son and go to work everyday (which now was a necessity and a nuisance all at the same time). My morning routine consisted of getting him fed, dressed, and dropped off to the daycare provider by 7:00 am where he would remain until pick up around 6:00 pm. As soon as we hit the door it was time for dinner prep, bath, and bed all to do the same thing all over again the next day. My heart yearned to spend more time with my son and be more present in the moments I had with him but my circumstances just wouldn't allow that. Physically I was exhausted, mentally I was depleted, and spiritually I was in the wilderness.
Change Has Come
God allowed me to endure that grueling schedule for almost a year, before my change of heart and Ryan, my soon to be husband, showed up in my life. God started turning my heart towards homemaking and the desperate need to spend quality time in the home with my son and wonderful, new husband but the process of acceptance of my new position was not easy.
In a complaint to God in my prayer time I recall telling Him how I didn't think I would feel valuable or rewarded from doing home management and wife and mother duties all day. In complete honesty I asked, "Who is going to promote me and tell me how good of job I'm doing and how I could improve to prepare for the next promotion?" Then I asked a myriad of questions that I'm sure were offensive to God like, "What is the promotion you receive from momin', wifein', and hustlin' all day in the home? and Who is going to care about it?" Okay, by now you see I was driven by affirmation and acknowledgement and that God was slowly asking me to see what I was doing from his perspective and not my own.
Living the Good Life
After a long discussion and several nights of prayer I realized God had a plan for me and my family and He graciously waited for me to listen to it and align my life with it. I wish I could say I didn't put up a fight but I slowly died to my flesh as He so politely kept reminding me of Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. I cried thug tears the day I surrendered. For those of you who don't know, thug tears are not the weepy, shoulder shaking tears, they are the tears of a tough warrior who is fighting to the end. I Chastity, the career woman finally embraced leaving my job and making wife and mother my full-time career. After 11 years I can honestly say that the decision to surrender was the best decision I ever made. My marriage and children have flourished, I love my home and family, and I now have my own business sharing home, life, and style tips with the world. I had no idea all that God had in store for me. My thug tears have turned to tears of joy!
Whether or not God has called you to full time motherhood, or working motherhood, just know that his plan for your life is greater than anything you could imagine right now. He will grace you for the tough days and bottle your thug tears (because the struggle is real). Trust God and know that your sacrifices and labor of love do not go unnoticed and rest assured that God will reward your servitude towards your family and use you as an example to others.
Titus 2:4-5 "Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."
Tune in next week for Part 2: How Booty-Pants Got Me Through! Don't forget to Like and Comment and Share with any wife or mother who needs encouragement today. You belong here! Join our community of fierce, faith-filled, and fearless women! Subscribe now at www.chastitystemmons.com!
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Until next time,
Chastity, The Homemaker in High Heels