I was having a little quiet time with God, and was asking him for help with coming up with a blog title. That’s a pretty big deal, and truthfully I was in a bit of a panic. Clever titles are not my thing, and Google search terms and key words and analytics and whatever sends me into a tail spin. How will people find my blog if I can’t come up with a clever title?!! So I grabbed my Bible, took a deep breath or ten, and asked for help. God, because he’s funny like that, took me to 2Timothy. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Ok ok, point taken. But about that title….
Then He showed me a small note in the margin that I had made a long time ago about investments, and what’s important in this life, and I realized that I’ve been approaching this from the wrong angle. I was thinking of blogging as something I could do. I’m a decent writer, I have a little spare time now that most of the kiddos are in school, hey, maybe I could even get some recognition. As Gwendolyn, my four year old would say, “waaa-waaa.” (You know, that sound you get when the whammy comes up or you get the Jeopardy answer wrong). I needed to stop thinking of blogging as a thing that would give me significance, but rather focus on what God tells me is significant.
Some people, and I’m including myself in that, think of being a full-time parent as less. Less important, less notable, less exciting, less worthy, less demanding. They look at the lack of recognition, the long days of monotony, the slow revelation of any form of appreciable progress, and think, why would anyone want to do that? As a stay at home mom, I see friends or acquaintances getting promotions in their work, or being intellectually stimulated by their jobs or outside activities, and I sometimes wonder, why am I doing this? Why did I invest all of that time and money in a college degree if I’m just staying home, cleaning, and shuffling kids to activities and appointments?
But here’s what it comes down to, and it’s something that I’ve finally recognized and (mostly) embraced. Being a stay at home parent is about investing in significance. It’s the understanding that people are the most important part of this life.
Someone once told me that Christians are not called to success, but to SIGNIFICANCE – touching the life of a person who will last for eternity.
When I spend my time reading to my four year old, or listening to my seven year old’s stories about her school day, I’m making an investment in them. When I do the laundry at 9:00pm so my oldest daughter has jeans to wear to school the next day, or rock the baby to sleep when he’s fussy, I’m making an investment in them. When my husband and I insist on sitting down to dinner around the table every night, or have family stretch time after diner, we’re making an investment. All that time, energy, love and laughter is filling our children up. It’s showing by example what love, service and stability is. What we put into our family, or into people in general, may not have financial returns, but it has a lasting significance. I may not get recognized for my awesome laundry skills, but every now and then I get one of those bright smiles and huge hugs, and that’s a pretty good return.
I want my kids to know absolutely that they are loved – not just by my husband and I, but by God. They have a significance that’s more than the sum of what they do, how they act or what they think. Sure we’re going to teach them rules and correct behavior, but they are valued for who they ARE first. And who they are is pretty awesome.