Monday, July 27, 2015

Little is Much with the Lord

I am a professional. I'm blessed not to have "just a job", but a career...with a ladder to climb, potential ahead of me, and tangible satisfaction at the end of my work days and projects.

I find my work stimulating, challenging, and occasionally fulfilling.

My husband supports and encourages me and my family has always respected what I do and the future in front of me. 

But I was completely derailed when my daughter was born. 
Not by my job, but by my heart.

My maternity leave as a young wife and new momma was the most blessedly peaceful months of our marriage or my life to that point. My husband still finds himself commenting on how utterly content I was in those months--the house was clean, meals were cooks, and I was happy.

I was also the carrier of all our medical insurance and bringing in more than an equal share of the bills and mortgage payments while my husband was starting out in a new field and going to school. My bubble was burst at 6 weeks postpartum when I finally faced the fact that I simply could not stay home and we had to find daycare before I returned to work in 2 weeks. (God brought us to the door of an angel among us on Earth, who was my working-momma rock for 8 years of childcare, but that's another story.)

Every day for weeks I would drop my precious, chubby, little blue-eyed baby girl with her caretaker, drive around the corner, and bawl my eyes out for 10 minutes before I could continue to work. It became such a drain on me that my dear husband (who had to be feeling the weight of a thousand elephants at this point) completely re-arranged his morning schedule to take our daughter so I didn't have to face the physical parting.

Eventually we worked into a routine and life marched on. I marched on. My face was clear, I laughed at work and continued to have successes and challenges...but my heart felt like a battleground. Constantly warring between being a mother or a professional. Constantly worried I wasn't spending enough time with my baby. Forever tense for that moment when something was needed at the office and I couldn't be late to daycare, or sick to my stomach if the baby was sick and I wanted to be off with her but I had work piling up on my desk. Resenting my husband because he didn't seem to suffer nearly the same conflict that I felt. I was surrounded by good things, weighed down with blessings, but desperately off balance. I kept trying to convince myself of the old saying, quality time together makes up for lack of quantity, but it just never stuck and I felt like a failure on every front.

"Having it all" felt like the most horrible lie ever.
I prayed desperately for God to open a door for me to stay home full time.
That's where my heart was.
But He didn't do that, and the pressures seemed to grow when our boys came along.

I struggled to be everywhere and everything all the time.

It finally brought me to my knees one Sunday morning when we starting singing "Little is much, when God is in it. Labor not for wealth or fame. There's a crown and you can win it, if you'll go in Jesus name."

Tears came. I had such a little bit. A little bit of time. A little bit of energy. A little bit of experience and knowledge...but God promises us that our little bit will be enough if we're working for and with Him. Not working for our family. Not laboring with our husbands. Not working to better our career or bring home the bacon or find fulfillment...we are to be working for Jesus. And whatever we have to give to that work, He will make it enough.

Poor, worn down, wrung out our own strength it is never enough. Whether we have 3-4 hours a day, or 12-15 hours a day with our family, it is NEVER enough. Staying home full-time isn't a panacea to the stress, it's just a costume change. Same stage, same play. A mother is a mother and loves with a mother's heart.

I had started to idolize staying home and homeschooling, but I realized that God had put me right where He wanted me right now--in a working momma's shoes. He wanted me walking that path, my path, whole-heartedly. I needed to be following hard after Him, rather than my ideas of the "perfect" home or family.

It was a hard 180 for me to let go of everything I thought I should be and humbly pray about what God wanted from me.

But busy momma, God gave me direction, and when I followed it, He gave me peace. What a blessing! I don't know why this path is the one He wants me on right now, but I have sweet assurance that it is and the promise that He will be right there helping me along. He will work it all out in the end.

I still pray He might open different doors for us, but now I pray with humility rather than desperation.

And there's more room for grace and gratitude in my heart with so much bitterness cleared away.

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalms 55:22 KJV

Jamie Oliver

The Lowe Farm

Smithfield, Virginia
Jamie is a busy Christian wife and
momma of 3 special blessings.
Outside of their full-time jobs, you'll
find Jamie and her husband chasing
chickens, shearing sheep, and teaching their crew all the life lessons you won't learn in school.
She blogs to remind herself, and encourage others, to be intentional about your family’s time.
To choose what’s best, not just what’s good.
To redeem the everyday moments with simple pleasures and old-fashion family values.

To try harder, because you can do it! {Yes, from sewing skirts to throwing sheep–you can do it!}

You can following their farming, praying, growing adventure at
Walking in High Cotton.


Amanda Jasek said...

You speak the words of this working momma's heart. Great post! xoxo

Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

Thank you, Amanda!

Hannah said...

I agree with so much of what you've written about not being enough in our own strength. Only God in us can ever be enough. Staying home fulltime isn't a panacea for stress. But it IS much more than a costume change. Please reconsider your words in this regard.

Elizabeth Jones said...

Hannah- I hear what you are saying. I am sure that the writer would agree than being a SAHM is more than a costume change-in the sense that you may have felt- but was likely just trying to emphasize her point to the Working Mom who is struggling. But I am so glad you said something because as Moms we need to feel free to be honest if our words come across a certain way. I honestly had no idea that SAHM's felt judged by some Working Moms. I can tell you that all of the Working Moms that I know think SAHM's are total rock stars. God Bless and thanks for feeling comfortable enough to share your feelings.