Saturday, October 11, 2014

Day 11: Fear of Being Less--Yep, I'm Just a Mom

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2

Day 11:  Fear of Being Less

I always wanted to be a teacher.  Ever since I was a little girl, it was my dream.  Any time anyone would ask me that question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I would always say "a teacher!"  I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I truly believe that teaching is what God created me to do for Him in this world. 

After graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Education, getting hired as the newest science teacher at Mattoon Middle School, and finally accomplishing my lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, someone said to me, "I always thought you'd be something more than just a teacher." 

Ouch.  That was painful.  Kind?  No.  Compliment?  Maybe.  In a back-handed-you're-as-pretty-as-any-of-them-you-just-need-a-nose-job kind of way (quote from Seinfeld).  Hurtful?  Yes. 

There was nothing I could do about it now.  I was a teacher, and I was excited to start my new career.  I couldn't wait to get into my classroom and make my childhood dream a reality.  I couldn't wait to grade papers, lesson plan, and write on my very own chalkboard.  I couldn't wait to encourage and inspire my students.  I was proud to be a teacher.

So I tucked that comment in the back of my mind and ended up teaching for over 11 years before I decided to stay at home with my kids.  Talk about feeling less...

I've been a stay-at-home mom for over 6 years now, and I've received comments like "You just stay at home then?"

"Yes, yes, that's all I do.  I just stay at home.  I eat bon bons and play with my constantly content children in my clean and orderly house all day long with a smile on my face."

Once again, I tucked that comment in the back of my mind and kept on being just a stay-at-home mom.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be at home to take care of my kids and be there for every moment possible, however, last year, after having my third child, I experienced a great deal of doubt about my role as just a stay-at-home mom. 

I was recovering from a C-Section, the winter was horrendous, and I had just been through a very painful time of misunderstanding God's direction for my life.  I didn't want to leave the house.  I had severe anxiety about it.  I literally went into a hibernation period of depression.


I didn't do anything except for the occasional playdate (at my house, of course) or family gathering.  For 3 months, I didn't even go to a grocery store.  (My husband went and learned the ins and outs of shopping for our family as well as how cucumbers and zucchini look a lot alike :-) )

I felt worthless.  How was God using my gifts and talents if I'm just changing poopy diapers, coloring in a Hello Kitty book and pretending to be a bad guy after Spiderman every day? 

Why was I feeling this way?  I wanted to have children so desperately, and now I'm so blessed to have 3!  What was my problem? 

Through a six month period of soul-searching and prayer, God reminded me about those comments that I had tucked in the back of my mind--"I thought you'd be more than just a teacher."  "You're just a stay-at-home mom."  He made me realize how much those comments were actually bothering me.  By saving those comments in my mind, they began to fester and soon turned into fear....a fear of being less.

He spoke these words to me very clearly:  "Less is more."  And then He said to me, "What you and the world think is less, I think is more."


God reminded me that being just a teacher seems less to the world, but it is noble and worthy to Him.  Being just a stay-at-home mom seems less to the world, but it is noble and worthy to Him.  That's why I'm here on this serve Him.  Whether it feels big or small to me, or to anyone else, it doesn't matter.  If it pleases the Lord, than I am to do it with joy. 

God reminded me of this verse from Romans 12:2 "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Even though teaching seems less to some, it was what God was calling me to do then.  Even though being a stay-at-home mom is less to some, it is what God is calling me to do now. 

I need to let go of my fears of being less, feeling less, viewing myself as less, and embrace who I am and where God wants me to be right now...being a mom to 3 amazing gifts from God.  I need to renew my mind and change my attitude about the importance of what I'm doing for my kids, because I am using my gifts by teaching my kids every day, and right now, that is more than I could ever hope for! 

Are you living in fear of being less?  Are you ready to renew your mind to see the importance of what God is doing through you right now?  I am!

Father, today, I give my fear of being less to you.  Help me to understand Your love for me no matter where I am or what I'm doing with my life.  Help me to embrace the stage of life I'm in right now caring for my children, and though it may feel like less at times to me and to the world, you view my job as a mother important.  Instead of tucking away comments that I've received, help me to forget them completely and keep my eyes seeing You; keep my ears hearing You; and keep my mind focused on You.  Open my heart to truly understand how you are using me to teach, train, encourage, mold, shape and love amazing human beings that You have trusted in my care.  Lord, shine Your light into my fear of being less and allow me to walk confidently forward in faith  and with joy knowing that my gifts are never being wasted when I'm following You.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment