Monday, October 19, 2015

Encouragement, Perspective and Connection for the Christian Working Mother

So, I was talking with a dear friend over the weekend about the blog and she was asking to hear more about it. 

It was a good discussion because it helped me to reflect on the purposes behind the blog. As it grows, it is definitely important for me to be clear about this.

I explained to her my three words that are in the subtitle – Encouragement, Perspective and Connection. 

I explained to her how I want my blog to be used by Christian Working Mothers to find-

Encouragement through stories and honest, authentic discussion. 

Perspective- to be able to view our roles through the lens of the Word of God, through our daily walk with the Lord, and through our purpose in the body of Christ.

Connection with other mothers and with the Lord in order to fight the feelings of isolation that many working mothers experience and to overall build each other up.

For those of you who may not know – I have been working on an E-book and I have felt a tad overwhelmed as I thought about what I should include in this book. 

There were moments where I wondered which issues surrounding being a working Mom I should be focusing on- so many things have flooded my mind and heart...big issues, big emotions and big topics. I felt very small as I thought about them... 

So...I was advised by an author-friend to look through some of the posts that were the most popular and include those and as I did this- I saw that they all contained the themes I try to write about- Encouragement, Perspective and Connection- this was confirmation and comfort for me. 

I wanted to share something because it feels important to address.

Here are two things I started to think about which felt too big for me, why I will not address them on this blog and how I think they need to be handled.

1. I felt challenged to use this platform to somehow counsel those working mom's that don't want to be working moms. 

I somehow felt it was my duty – if I was going to "go there" and dedicate an entire blog to the topic of being a working mother and a Christian- that somehow I needed to make sure I could help women who did not want to work outside the home.  I felt like maybe I should be offering ideas to working mom's of ways to cut back their schedule, work from home jobs, etc... That I should be connecting these moms in some way with some real help.   Honestly – I would love to be able to do this and if it is God's will – maybe at some point I will have the resources available to provide this type of counsel.

2. I've also felt challenged to use this platform to somehow defend working moms and to explain why we work.

I felt like somehow I had this responsibility to explain or somehow to make sure that the image of how Christian working mothers live their lives is that others would stop judging.    

So this is my stance- unless God shows me otherwise- addressing these issues is not the role for this platform – nor is it helpful for it to come from ME.

Here's why...when a woman feels that working outside the home is not what she is called to do, these conversations deserved to be held between trusted friends, a safe network of people, a wise counselor, a spouse, a pastor, and should be handled with care and prayer- it is not a topic that needs to be blown up on social media

This woman needs love and support and wise counsel from the people God has put in her life.     

As far as defending the reason for why working mom's work- I will not put a spotlight on this topic on social media. I will not. Why?

Because it can bring too many opportunities for people to express things that are hurtful, toxic, and harmful.  It is not worth exposing my readers to these kinds of discussions. And it's not honoring and glorifying to God. 

The only way to find peace in any area of our life, for ALL MOMS – whether it be marriage, parenting, work, friendship – is to surrender it over to the Lord. So I don't need to specifically discuss the reasons behind why mothers work.  

I will say this – if we see a sister in Christ doing something that is harmful to herself or her family – we should pray for that sister, do life with that sister, and as led by the Holy Spirit – speak the truth in love. This could be an issue surrounding working outside the home, it could also be a million other issues.    

As far as creating some image for the working mom for the world to see?

The truth is that I can never put up an image other than who I am- and I am not this super confident working mom and I am not going to ever pretend that I am. I don't have all the answers-but I know the source of all truth- Jesus Christ- and to Him I will always look to, and surrender this blog to- it is His...   

What I would like to do is at the end of the day – contribute to a cohesive, life – giving stance from the body of Christ for mothers who work outside the home-  

The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to all Moms and it is the only thing that I can stand on.    
This blog needs to be a place that is life-giving.

And my hope is that as Christian working moms read this blog, connect with others and gain perspective- that they will always be committing their work, their time and their hearts to the Lord so that He is at the center of their everyday lives.

If something on this blog leads a woman to quit her job, reduce her hours, change her job to something that works better for her – that's awesome!

If this blog provides a way for a woman to find peace with her current situation – that's awesome!

If this blog helps a stay at home mom have greater empathy for a working mom – friend, that's awesome!  

If this blog helps a church/ministry see that there is a need to support and provide opportunities for working moms to connect at their church – that's awesome!

I even and especially hope that at some point- this blog will contribute to ending the Mommy Wars and that working moms will step up, stand with, support and lift up stay-at home Moms!   

If you stop by this little space on social media ...

I pray that you will always find Encouragement, Perspective and Connection for the Christian Working Mother. 

So when I finished my conversation with my friend... 

She said very simply –"so you are not about the "why", you are about the "how". I liked that.

This space should be a place where we find how to do life as Christian working mothers – it is a simple and as complicated as that.   

Love you all!

P.S.- I am hoping to have the e-book ready by December/January! It is all in God's hands – it is a process and I appreciate grace, patience and prayers!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Seven Gifts of Being a Working Mom

So, really- working Moms- lately God has been reminding me to chill out on the negative self-talk...

To take a good hard look at my life and see what HE is up to and be grateful and amazed!!

Being a Working Mom gives us gifts that sometimes are hard to see but when we do, they are a joy to unwrap and embrace....a few of my favorites:
  1. Being a working Mom allows me the opportunity to be a part of the world and be an ambassador for Christ in the workplace.
  2. Being a working Mom teaches me how to prioritize my time, how to say "no" to certain things (like committees, elaborate meal preparation) and an "absolute yes!" to others (like glow-sticks in the front yard at 8:00 at night just to see my kiddo's light up and living room picnics because fun needs to happen no matter what time of the day it is).
  3. Being a working Mom forces me to admit that I cannot do everything myself. I have to allow someone else the privilege of loving on my babies while I am gone. And I do not take one second of that time for granted. Every boo-boo kissed, every lesson taught and every comfort provided means the world to me. And I have been able to develop extremely rich relationships with the amazing women God has placed in my life to watch my kiddos.
  4. Being a working Mom gives me an abundance of teaching opportunities for my kids as I incorporate lessons I am learning at work, how I see God working in my job and what work provides for our family. Talking about work to my kids has become a very important way for them to see the connection with why Mommy works and what God is doing in the world.
  5. Being a working Mom brings me to a place of great need. Dependence on God is the ONLY way I can thrive as a working Mom. I need to constantly ask God to help me make the most of every moment because they all COUNT and I treasure them.
  6. Being a working Mom teaches my kids resilience, independence and the importance of the family unit. When I work, my time with them is limited. They understand that as a family we need to be a team. We need to help each other in order to be strong. My kids learn it is not all about them all the time. They see that all of us have a role to play and that when we are all doing our part- our family is honoring God and each other.
  7. Being a working Mom allows me to be a strong helpmate for my husband and strengthens our bond as a team. We have goals to reach as a couple. We work to live, we do not live to work. We make sacrifices with extra hours when things need to get done and we take long vacations when time needs to halt for our family to bond. We have to do a lot of communicating and strategizing and paying close attention to everyone's needs in order to keep our family healthy and strong. All of these things HELP our marriage.
Just felt the need to state out loud some of the benefits of being a working Mom.

As always- I will re-iterate that ALL Moms are working Moms. These lessons I learn, stay at home Moms learn as well as they utilize their amazing gifts and abilities at home to do all of the above.

Be encouraged sweet friends!

Lots of love!