Soon

13576827_10100713984985605_422606740353858805_oIf this guy had a tattoo, it would read: ADDICTED TO CUDDLES.

He can’t help it; it’s in his genes. After a wonky day where he missed his morning nap and only had a few snoozes here and there, I put him down for what I thought would be a solid afternoon nap. Forty-five minutes later, “MOMMY!!! MOMMY!!! MOMMY!!!” (Okay, no. He doesn’t say that, but that’s what he means.) When I scooped him up and saw his little red-rimmed eyelids, I knew he needed more sleep, and that he needed a little extra help.

So we wrapped up in our favorite wrap and gently bounced. As I patted and petted and hugged my little bundle, I had this thought:  One day soon, he will be in another woman’s arms when he’s worn down. When the world becomes too much for him now, I am his refuge, but that won’t always be. And then — I’ll admit it — with a brief flash of future jealousy, I wondered how I will cope with only hearing from my sons once a week, or every other week, or less. How does a mother’s heart survive this trauma, knowing another woman has stolen her son?!

Refocus.

Oh, this is how You planned it, Lord. Fashioned in a woman, birthed of a woman, nourished through a woman, nurtured by a woman, destined for a(nother) woman. Oh, let her — this other woman — let her be humble and kind.  Both girls — Bennett’s and Luke’s — let them love You fiercely and love my boys fiercely. Let them let their husbands and help their husbands be good men. Let them be humble and kind and holy and brave and strong.

I breathe in his scent, hear his soft snores.

Thank You for these boys, this royalty worth dying for. Thank You for entrusting me with this high and holy calling. Help me to get them ready, for time is so short.

If I had a tattoo, it would say: SOON.

Soon, no one will be pulling at me or screaming for me.
Soon, no one will call me “Mommy.” (Or “MOMMYYYYYYYY!!!”)
Soon, I won’t have to remind anyone that our hands are for showing love and kindness and so are our words, or that God gave us toys so we can share them.
Soon, my chances will be gone, and I’ll hope what I did was enough.

Soon is a word I use to focus myself.

Today, it was a bittersweet moment as I imagined the future. Knowing it will come so soon, yet determining to savor sweet baby breath. Hoping for faithful daughters-in-law, yet cherishing chubby cheeks, wrists, ankles. Soon, this baby will be a man. But right now, he’s a baby, and there’s so much beautiful ahead of us. This is such a good moment. Keep rocking. Keep praying. God is good.

Yesterday, it was a desperate moment as I despaired the present. A preschooler in the other room needed me while I held an inconsolable infant while I internally counseled this tear-soaked woman on her fourth day of fever and sickness with this one word: SOON. Soon, you will feel better. Soon, the baby will stop screaming. Soon, what the preschooler needs help with, he will be able to do on his own. Soon, your babies won’t need you quite so much, and that will be good, but hard. This moment is also good, but hard. Keep rocking. Keep praying. Keep crying, too; it’s okay to fall apart sometimes.

Soon, Mama. Soon.

 

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She is Blessed

Her children rise up and bless her.
~Proverbs 31:28a

There is no shortage of blogs dedicated to motivating underappreciated mothers. You know what I’m talking about: the kind that remind you that changing your child’s vomit-soaked sheets for the third time in the third watch of the night has eternal weight. The kind that draws tears down your nodding face as it applies inspirational Scripture to your triumph in NOT locking your bedroom door and burying your head under your pillow as your two-year-old mashes poop into your carpet whilst in the throes of the worst tantrum this side of the Pecos. And that side, too. Way to go, Momma — that little monkey will surely rise up and be the next Mother Teresa because of your patience through The Crap Catastrophe of 2014! 

I appreciate these types of posts as much as the next mom; truly, I do. Tears stream down my nodding face when I read them, too, because it really does remind me in those mundane moments that I’m sowing eternal seeds — that anyone would be hard-pressed to think of a more important mission than shepherding little hearts and teaching them big truths about the God who loves them with a love even bigger than Momma’s. The vomit and poop aside, there is no greater job.

And of course, my little goose rises up every morning and blesses me, just like the verse predicts.

He says, “Thank you, Mom, for always being there. I know you work hard to make me food five times a day, and to keep my environment clean and enriching. Oh and I know that cleaning my booty isn’t fun. But it’s so great that you do those things, because I’m just a little kid and otherwise, I’d be hungry and bored and stinky and really upset all the time. Oh and the best thing? I LOVE it when you tell me about Jesus! Tell me more about Him, Mom! Right now, while you change my diaper!”

(Or some variation thereof. This is just a general idea.)

Or, maybe it’s more like this:

I hear him call, “Ma-ma! Ma-ma! Ma-ma!” through the monitor when he wakes up. He knows he can trust me to be there.

If he’s feeling happy, he smiles and laughs when I open his door.

If he’s feeling grumpy, he whimpers and cuddles in close when I pick him up.

He tells me all about his dreams as I change his diaper, and then he sits sweetly with me as we watch Imagination Movers before breakfast.

He shows me every day that he’s learning new things, like words and letters and numbers colors and how to follow directions and — oh this one’s the best — how to pray with me. (“‘Sus, kank oo. Wub oo. Mama. Da-ee. Bobo. Mahmen.” Which translated is “Jesus, thank you. Love you. Bless Mama. Bless Daddy. Bless Bobo. Amen.”)

He trusts me. He knows I’ll help him when he needs it, and he knows I’ll kiss his boo-boos. He comes running up to me for no reason, says, “Mama!” and hugs me.

His eyes sparkle when he looks at me.

He rises up and blesses me — every morning.

All kids do, in some way. We’ve got to cling to those precious gifts — those little affirmations that it’s worth it. We must persevere through the defiance and the attitude and everything that makes parenting hard and remember that every morning that they rise up and look to us, trusting us for whatever they need, they are blessing us. They can’t help it.

It’s our job, then, to recognize every victory — no matter how small — as the blessing it is. If you look out for these blessings, you’ll see your child(ren) blessing you even on the most difficult of days and through the most difficult seasons. Persevere; keep doing what the Lord has called you to do, keep learning how to do it better and how to be more faithful, but don’t miss how your child(ren) already bless you, despite your mistakes and theirs.

 

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, Not only are you blessed, but you are a profound blessing to me. Every single day, even the hard ones. Thank you for being you. 

My Love, Thank you for all the support you’ve given me in this journey of parenthood. This post is about Bennett, but you bless me every day, too. Your post is coming soon. 🙂

My God, What a magnificent array of blessings You’ve bestowed on me through my guys. I am so thankful and so humbled that You gave them to me. Give me the strength and the wisdom to be for them the wife and mother they need and deserve!

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

She’s a Spy!

She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
~Proverbs 31:27

Before becoming a full-time homemaker, I taught middle school for six years. We moved twice during that time, so my experience comes from three different school districts in two states, and I served students from many different backgrounds (including religious, racial, socioeconomic, national, etc.). A sadly common thread:

So many parents have no idea who their children really are, what their children really believe and value, how their children spend the majority of their time, or with whom they’re spending it. (Or they’re in denial.)

We could go down a road here talking about why that is, but that would be a never-ending road. There are so many factors, including the child’s own will and the enemy’s active work in his life. Not all of these children had lazy or careless or absent parents.

This is scary to me. It’s scary to look at my charming 18-month-old son and realize that I cannot ultimately control his choices or ultimately ensure his joy. Does that mean I’m powerless?

No!  

It means I have a lot of work to do! The verse above says that I am to look well to (look out or about, spy, keep watch, observe) the ways (goings and doings) of my household.

We’ve got to be spies, y’all! And what’s the first rule of being a spy? Well, I don’t know because I’m not one, but I’m going to say that it is this:

You must not accept what is merely apparent as being the full picture. (She looks well to the ways of her household.)

Accepting things at face-value makes for a terrible spy. “Well Mr. President, I personally met all the people on this list you gave me. They are all really charming, hospitable people. Some even bought my dinner and chatted with me about the merits of our country. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” Someone’s going to end up dead if that spy is trusted! I submit to you that we need to take our roles as mommy spies just as seriously, because “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

We’ve all heard of those families that seemed to “have it all,” or that were “so happy,” or that were “Christian,” but that ultimately fell apart. Or the children strayed and never embraced the values and beliefs of their parents, bringing them much grief and heartache. Well, what’s merely apparent is not really ever the full picture. We must have our eyes and ears open; we must be alert. This doesn’t mean we need to be creepy stalkers and control freaks. It simply means that we should be active students of our husbands and of our children, so that we know when something is amiss. We may not know exactly what is wrong, but we should be perceptive enough to pick up on the fact that something is.

This brings me to the second rule of being a spy:

You must pray your knees off. (She does not eat the bread of idleness.)

(This would be rule number one, except that it’s easy to have your head in the sand, taking things at face value and praying shallow or misguided prayers. How often do we pray idle prayers just out of habit? You need to have some understanding of what’s going on around you — as well as the gravity of what’s going on — before you can pray anything useful about it.)

The Power of a Praying Parent   -     By: Stormie Omartian

I have been reading and praying through The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian for a few months now. Every day during nap time, I pray through one chapter for my son. In this book, the author mentions a few times how she prayed regularly that God would reveal to her anything about her children that she needed to know in order to be a good mother to them. She has several stories where those prayers were answered, and areas of sin or struggle were revealed to her in unexpected ways. She was then able to pray more specifically and also to take specific actions when necessary. I very strongly recommend this book to parents of children of all ages; it’s never too early or too late to start praying specifically for them!

Christian ladies, we have the God of heaven and earth in our hearts. There is amazing power in that! He is the source of all wisdom and all truth, and our prayers through His Spirit are mighty! We must not be lazy or idle with our time, for “laziness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle man will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15).

So many people are asleep spiritually. They are blinded to what’s happening in their hearts and in their homes; they’re oblivious to the active work of the enemy, who prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may destroy. The idle man suffers hunger, and hunger can and does lead to death. Let us then be diligent, watchful spies!

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, I’m watching you! 

My Love, I’m watching you, too!

My God, thank You for watching over all of us. Make me an excellent wife and a wise mother, who watches not to be in control, but to be effective. Help me to love my men well and to see when something needs special attention. I know this is an immense responsibility — this wife-ing and mothering — but I also know that never once have I ever walked alone.

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

She Works

She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
~Proverbs 31:24

Y’all, this verse has been driving me crazy for weeks. I have mulled it over, consulted several commentaries, and gotten really frustrated about one-sided interpretations about the message of this verse. Think mommy wars. You can manipulate this verse to argue either side of the fight on working in or out of the home, but I’m just unsettled on all of it. While some would be bold and say that this is proof that you *can* work outside of the home and still be a great homemaker, others would be equally bold and say that *obviously* she only worked at home, and that fact is what enabled her to be a great homemaker.

Ugh. I have no desire to weigh in on that fight here. Frankly, here’s the truth about me:

I do not receive financial compensation for any work that I do, be it in the home or out of it.

There are three verbs in (this version of) this verse: “make,” “sell,” and “supply.”

So, I’ve got two out of three. I’m a homemaker, and there are lots of little things that must be “made” in order to make a home. Supplying is a major part of my job, too; I’m constantly finding things someone is about to run out of and trying to restock it before panic ensues! But selling? I don’t sell anything anymore. I used to sell my skills and talents to a few different school districts, and they bought them, and I taught few hundred kids over the years in exchange for a monthly direct deposit, but not anymore.

This puts me in a weird place with this verse.

Am I doing something wrong? Should I be desperately trying to figure out a way to do SOMETHING that will make a little money? Will that make me a better wife — a better woman? 

For me, the answer is no. Here’s another truth about me:

At this time, I know that my entering into some sort of money-making venture, no matter how part-time, would negatively impact my ability to do my main job in life right now, and that’s taking care of my guys.

We can gather from this verse and from the greater context surrounding it that Jewel does not have this same problem. Maybe her kids are older. Maybe she lives in a culture where extended family lives together or in close proximity, so she has lots of help with the kids. Maybe her husband’s job is such that he’s around a lot. (Well, it’s possible that he’s a king, so, who knows!)  I can’t say how she does it, but somehow she’s able to run a business without neglecting her primary calling, which is to her family. Many women do the same thing.

Looking at my life, I cannot relate to that. I know that if I personally tried to do anything like that right now, it just wouldn’t work for us. I know myself and what I can and can’t do. I know that when I was teaching, I was stressed a lot, my house was a mess all the time, and I barely ever cooked — and that was with no kids!  What then could I possibly have to say about the verse above when I know I cannot hold down two jobs effectively?

At the end of my frustration, and after wondering whether you’d even notice if I just skipped this verse entirely — I bet you wouldn’t! — here are my thoughts for anyone who is interested:

Making money or not making money was never meant to be the measure of a mother. Making every effort possible to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples? Yep, that’s it. (Oh yeah, and praying your knees off!)

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, it’s considered normal right now for men to expect their wives to bring home a paycheck. I think this reflects our materialistic culture, though many would definitely disagree with me. Hear me out, though. Your wife may go back to work outside the home after having kids because she wants to! If so, then consider it a bonus! Invest! Go on trips! Build an orphanage! Do awesome things with the extra money. On the other hand, it could be that you will end up with a woman who is more like me. I want and need and yearn to be there for all those million moments with you while you’re mine. I would be dying inside if I weren’t. My heart has come alive in ways it never has before in this new “job,” and I know I couldn’t possibly take on another one. I would not be able to do both well. My advice to you, since you don’t know what your wife will choose, is to relax about the money. Give her the freedom to choose her path without guilt by planning your finances conservatively; setting yourselves up to “need” two incomes might really break her heart, and a broken wife and mama is a great tragedy. It may just leave your whole family broken-hearted. You want your woman’s heart completely full so that she has much to give. Let her have the freedom to follow God’s leading on this without feeling financial pressure.

My Love, I am so deeply grateful for the opportunity and the encouragement you’ve given me to stay home with our boy. Though it is a financial sacrifice, I know that it is also a priceless investment in our family that I am able to be fully present and not worried and stressed by outside pressures as I was before. Thank you so much for giving me that choice, and for always encouraging me to follow my dreams every time God gives me a new one. You keep slaying dragons for us, and I’ll keep the home fires burning. I promise. (Someday, I’ll be a famous author and make up for all the money I’m not making now. No worries.)

My Lord, all the glory goes to You in giving my husband and me unity on this issue! You knew what Your plan was for this family, and You gave us hearts to follow Your leading. You gave my husband the wisdom to plan for a long season of only one income, and you gave me a passion for my family that I didn’t expect even when I joyfully quit my job in preparation for the birth of our little Bennett. I had no idea how much You would grow my heart through this new adventure. I may not make, sell, and supply, but I definitely make, GIVE, and supply! Thank You for creating in me a joyful heart that’s willing to give. (And thank You for the gentle reminders when it’s not so joyful or willing!)

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

Married to a Big Shot

Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
~Proverbs 31:23

Well, we don’t have gates, but we have a city limits sign. Should I send my husband down there? I guess that’s one way to get yourself noticed and become well-known!

This idea — gates — comes up periodically in Scripture, and it is a bit foreign to us today. In ancient times, judges and elders would hang out by the city gates and hear cases — it’s as simple as that. Apparently, Jewel’s husband was one of the elders, and that fact is included in this long list of reasons why she’s an awesome wife. She married a big shot; way to go and high five!

Some people like to say, “Behind every good man is a good woman.” I’m not interested in picking apart that saying here, but rather in just loosely applying the sentiment to this verse to help us, perhaps, contextualize it a little bit. As wives, we have very much to do with our husbands’ success or failure in business and in life. Really. We can make a huge impact.

You may disagree with that, but let’s try something. I’m going to negate everything we’ve learned about Jewel so far, point by point, and create her antithesis:

  • Her husband can’t trust her, and she lets him down every time he turns around.
  • She never thinks to do good things for him.
  • She is lazy and complains about work.
  • She expects everything to fall in her lap.
  • She sleeps in, letting everyone find whatever food they can dig up for themselves, and she fails to manage her home effectively.
  • She is thoughtless with her purchases and squanders her money.
  • She doesn’t exercise.
  • She has no concept of the state of her finances, and she goes to bed with necessary work left undone.
  • She procrastinates doing tedious tasks.
  • She ignores the poor and feels entitled to her wealth and status.
  • Every life circumstance is an inconvenience or a surprise, and therefore a sudden emergency. Her kids don’t even have clothes that fit.
  • She has gotten to the point where she doesn’t even take care of herself anymore.

Do you think this woman’s husband would be respected by anyone? And just how motivated and encouraged to succeed do you think he feels when he comes home to her every day?

Certainly, Jewel’s husband had to earn respect in his own right, but his wife clearly augmented his reputation. She was the kind of woman who, when her husband’s friends and associates got to know her, asked, “How in the world did he ever get a woman like you? What a lucky guy!” By proxy, their opinion of him rose, and they understood him better after meeting her. Even more, Jewel’s worth, her work ethic, and her righteousness inspired her husband to be a better man than he would have been otherwise.

Some find it sexist to say that we should make our husbands look good, but I do not. What’s the alternative to making him look good and inspiring him, and why would we want that? I sure wouldn’t.

So let’s do it! Let’s inspire our husbands and make their friends jealous that he’s got it so good!

(That’s hard to do from the couch with a bad attitude.)

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, if your friends suddenly avoid you because of your girlfriend, that’s a bad sign. They should like you even better because she brings out the best in you. If she doesn’t, you should consider carefully your choice in dating her.

My Love, this is a tall order. For those times that I have failed to inspire — and I know I have — I would like to say that I’m sorry. Truly. You are an amazing provider for us, you’re the best dad ever, and I could not imagine a better husband. You deserve to be inspired, and I’m trying every day to make your friends jealous! 

My Lord, I’m getting a bit redundant here, but I doubt You ever tire of my thanking You for Your abundant grace! You have designed me to be my husband’s helpmate — to inspire him, to encourage him, and to make him look good. I know I fail in some way every day, but I also know that You are helping me every day to get back on the horse. Thank You for your patience! 

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

Take Care of Yourself, Too

She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
~Proverbs 31:22

All of the verses in this passage so far have been predominantly other-centered. She’s serving, serving, serving, and then serving some more. Before the sun comes up, and after the sun goes down, our Jewel is working. Many might argue that this is an archaic picture of womanhood, that this chapter was written by men for men in a sexist society where women were treated as mere chattel, that it is irrelevant and outdated at best and unhealthy and repressive at worst for the modern woman.

I disagree. I think this model is exactly what we need. 

In a society obsessed with self, with immediate pleasure, with feelings and happiness and ease and luxury, and with making much of nothing, the very LAST thing any of us needs is more lies coming from the enemy who’s trying to get us to love ourselves above all else. For that reason, I LOVE the emphasis placed on serving others. I need it. I am inherently and obsessively selfish, and I need to be stretched and challenged to see myself and those around me with an eternal perspective. A model like this may be ancient, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Wisdom is timeless — why else do even the non-religious study ancient thinkers?

This little verse, tucked in between so many verses about how she pours herself into others, shows us that Jewel is not a door mat. She’s not some Cinderella toiling away in tatters. This woman knows that taking care of herself is a necessary part of taking care of her family.

So what about us? Let’s think about what we need to do to take care of ourselves — and I’m not talking about a day at the spa! You don’t really need that! What do we need to be healthy, whole, and able to be fully present for our husbands and children? Different people may have slightly varied lists, but here’s a fairly general one:

  • Alone time — first and foremost to be spent in the Word and in prayer. Secondly, you should be able to spend at least some time on a regular basis doing something that you love. For me, that’s reading and writing. I don’t get a ton of time for that second thing, but I get it sometimes. That’s good enough for now. 😉
  • Sleep — really. Just Google how important sleep is. Lack of sleep can affect your health, your mood, your functionality, the length of your life… you name it. You need sleep. Now, since I have about a year and nine months of motherhood under my belt, I do recognize that there are seasons of life when regular and restful sleep is impossible! However, it should be a priority over most things except hands-on care of little ones or sick ones. If you’re staying awake very late for the dishes, or to read, or to check Facebook, go to BED! These can wait, but the health of your body cannot.
  • Healthy food and exercise — you need to be alive and healthy in order to care for your family. Obviously. (And yes, this is one of my biggest struggles.)
  • A support system — family and friends who love you and encourage you. This is vital. You need people who will kick you in the pants when you need it, and also who will remind you to stop getting down on yourself; yes, you are a *great* mom.

For me, most of my life revolves around cutting up and microwaving food, wiping nose and bottom, playing peek-a-boo, holding hands to practice–practice–practice walking, making bottles, singing, saying “no,” tickling, redirecting, ignoring tantrums and trying not to laugh, picking up toys… you get the idea. It’s not about me, and it’s easy to either get “woe-is-me” about that reality (read: to mourn because I am unable to be as selfish as I please), or to do the opposite: to completely lose myself in it. Neither is good for anybody. I have to take care of myself in order to take care of others.

Notice that doesn’t mean that I take care of myself *before* or *instead of* taking care of others. There’s a difference.

But it is true — If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, find a woman with a true servant’s heart, and then be sure to encourage her to take care of herself, too. Surprise her with the type of gifts she would never give herself sometimes, while still finding ways to honor her heart’s desire to serve others. I pray for a woman like that for you!

My Love, you have been so encouraging through the years as I’ve very slowly been learning how to balance taking care of others and taking care of myself, too. (I’m slower than molasses on a glacier sometimes…) I certainly can’t say that I regularly neglect care for myself, but if I ever do, you’ve always been quick to encourage me to rest. On the flip-side, if I get a little too me-centered, you sweetly encourage me in the other direction, too. I’m so blessed to have you as my compass!

My Lord, thank you for this beautiful reminder in Scripture that it is never Your desire that we be so extremely other-centered that we fail to care for ourselves. You say to love our neighbor as ourselves, not to love them instead of ourselves! Our bodies are temples of Your Holy Spirit, and as such, we must care for them physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Help us all to find that balance of honoring You with our bodies, but also of serving others before ourselves, and help us to continually look to Your Son’s perfect example.

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

Cheese and Toilet Paper — Don’t Run Out.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
~Proverbs 31:21

Santa Claus is  coming to town!No wonder Santa dresses like that! I never realized that you should wear red when it’s cold!

Okay, so this verse sent me to the commentaries. Apparently the word translated as “scarlet” may also mean “double,” meaning that her family isn’t necessarily wearing red, but probably just wearing extra clothes. In fact, the CJB translates the second line this way: “Since all of them are doubly clothed.” This makes more sense to me, despite the few commentaries that work very hard to make “scarlet” make sense.

Jewel’s family, then, doesn’t have to worry when the temperatures drop. Mama planned ahead. Far, far ahead. I wonder how long it would take to make extra overcoats for everyone in your family when you have to start with a sheep!

Frankly, I can’t relate. She probably had to start in May to be ready for October, when I can just run to the store when I need to, even at the last minute. It’s helpful to me, then, to extend the core of this message — preparedness — to other areas of my life.

To me, this verse boils down to anticipating the needs of your family. There are things we know, like the fact that the baby needs milk and diapers. We also know that it’s usually cold at a certain time of the year and warm at another, and that we all need to dress appropriately. The mortgage payment is due at the beginning of the month. We all really need toilet paper and soap. Oh and cheese. For the love of all that is good and holy, do NOT run out of cheese.

These are things that are not surprises. If we’re caught unprepared, it’s because we simply didn’t prepare! Remember your English teacher saying that failing to plan is planning to fail? Or what about this one, “Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”?  Well, she was right! Yes, I had that English teacher, and yes, I was that English teacher!

(That doesn’t mean that I’m always perfectly prepared!)

YES, I sometimes call my husband and ask if he will bring home dinner, pretty please, because I just didn’t get it together that day.

YES, I have taken my baby to Walmart in his very last diaper, praying for no explosions before getting back home with a box!

YES, I have completely run out of baby food because I just kept procrastinating and failed to make more.

YES, I sometimes faced a new school day with no idea what I was going to have my students do.

YES, I have a lot of other examples, but this is good enough.

The bottom line here is that your family looks to you to take care of them. It’s easy to resent that, wondering why it is always you who has to be sure you have toilet paper and cheese, but just because resentment is easy doesn’t mean it’s helpful. Daddies have a list of things that they could wonder why it has to be them, but it doesn’t go over so well if they hem and haw about taking out the trash or mowing the lawn, does it? So neither do we have the right to have a bad attitude.

Instead, we can view our responsibilities — mommies’ and daddies’ — as privileges. Mommy makes sure the bathrooms have toilet paper so everyone can be clean and healthy. Daddy makes sure the grass is cut to make it more enjoyable to play (and to avoid fines from the city). Mommy checks the fit of winter clothes in the fall so no one gets hypothermia, and Daddy kills the spiders so that everyone will just come on in and chill out about it. (Or you know, whatever jobs work in your family.) God gave us our spouses and children to love and to care for. This is an awesome and humbling and terrifying and amazing job.

Let’s try not to blow it by running out of cheese.

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, is she an ant or a grasshopper? (Avoid the grasshoppers.)

My Love, don’t answer that question about me.

My Lord, thank You so much for the lessons You’ve taught me in my last seven years of marriage, and especially in my last year of homemaking. You are so patient and gentle and wise, nudging me to truths and revealing to me my purpose in my home. Give me a teachable spirit and show me more and more the beauty of loving and serving my guys.

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)