I have no idea if it is kosher to cut and paste somebody else’s blog entry on your own blog because you think it is totally awesome and you want lots of people to read it. Of course, credit is given where credit is due… I don’t know the writer of the Nonconform Freely blog but I wish I did!
Yesterday I heard those words that infuriate me. “You are lucky you have the option to stay at home.” Lucky? I am not lucky! My husband and I have CHOSEN, yes, as an act of our wills and, we believe, in accordance with the word of God, that I be a fulltime keeper-of-the-home these past 22 + years. We are not LUCKY to have the OPTION for me to stay at home!
Do I understand that some women do not have this option? Yes. But, far fewer than our society would have us believe. It costs much to choose this option. Like Paul listing his sufferings, out of need that people understand, I will list some of the do-with-outs of our years: 30 year old carpet in my living room and hall, 30 year old decor in our basement family room, bedroom, etc., only one big family vacation in 22 years and that one to visit colleges in Chicago and Grand Rapids, Michigan, no salon dyed hair or professional nails, no latest style clothing, no complete decorating or re-decorating of our home, missmatched used furniture. This gives the idea. Have I ever wished for these things? Certainly. Do I now wish for these things? Sometimes.
But here is what I have gained: the blessing of having to learn to be content, of being forced to trust in the Lord for His provision, of beautiful memories of my son’s and daughter’s growing up years, of being the primary person to shape my children, of availability to help with school activities, of no day care stress when my children were sick, of learning patience in the midst of 24/7 care, of having all the hours of the day to pray for my loved ones, of being the one to snuggle my kids after every nap, of seeing my children shout for joy each day when “Daddy” came home for lunch, of being home to hold my children accountable for their whereabouts as they got older, of seeing them mature and make wise decisions, of TIME, TIME, TIME. We had hours and days and months and years of family time, not big momentous events, though there were some of these, but day after day after day together. Many of the memories of their early years our son and daughter do not remember, but my husband and I remember.
There are no material possessions which can replace the gift of time. Time cannot be saved. Once is passes it is gone. These years with my children and husband are an immeasurably precious gift from the hand of our Lord.
My children are raised, but I am not returning to the ‘workplace.’ I have always told my husband that my job has no pay, but all the benefits. He and I continue to have time together each day at lunch and in the evening. I continue to have time to pray for my loved ones all day. I am able to meet with my grown children for coffee or lunch. I am available to help my aging parents. I hope to have the blessing of time with grandchildren. I want to savor all the time offered by the Lord to spend minutes, hours, days, months, and Lord willing, years to continue to be blessed by my family. It is not luck which dictates our lives, but deliberate choices as to how we will live our days.