Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Why Staying Home has Been My Blessing

I've been doing a Bible study on Monday nights that has really lifted me up.  It's on the book of Ruth and one of the questions this past week was: What has God done that has exceeded your expectations?

My answer was immediately being a stay at home mom.  

Don't get me wrong, I have always respected people who stayed at home with their kids.  

I just never thought I could do it.  

Elizabeth was kept by a sweet woman her first year while I worked and seeing the poor saint after eight hours with crazy toddlers made me thankful to be coming or going.  

I really thought I needed to work.

I thought I needed it socially.  I was convinced we needed it financially.  And honestly, I didn't think I had the "kahunas" to cut it in the SAHM realm.

But God obviously had other plans.

When we moved to TN, I began putting out applications, but I couldn't really find a job that fit.  I had no idea what I'd do for child care and Scott was working such long hours trying to get his wings as a rookie salesman (not to mention he worked 45 minutes + away) that I knew I'd be on my own.

Well, and then we found out we were pregnant.

Elizabeth and me, our first year as the dynamic home duo
I had no idea how it was going to work.  I made the budget out and every way I could figure it, we were in the red.  I had never made more than a couple meals a week and really never thought about shopping for a household much.  And on top of that, I was truly convinced that I would be bored. 

I mean, what can you do AT HOME all day...of course, now (as I normally do) I am completely doubled-over, holding my sides at my know-it-all former self. 

Of course, this was a major detour on my spiritual journey...you know, the path that I went down where I didn't know my way around or anyone except my one-year-old and husband?  The same path where I got down on my knees and cried I can't do this without You and I'm sorry I was convinced I had this whole thing called life figured out because I don't?

Maybe you know the one?

Now, I am almost into my fourth year at home and every day I learn and grow.  But I do know this one thing for sure:  I never thought this gig would be as challenging, breathtaking or humbling as it is.  And I had no idea what priceless memories I had in store.

So here's my top ten reasons why God has exceeded my expectations as a stay at home mom. 

1.  After-sleep-cuddles make me melt.  My kids all love rocking and there's something about that still-sleepy little person totally molded into you that completes my soul.  (That is, if they're not screaming their heads off for a sippy/show/snack.)

2.  I wake up every morning, put on my glasses, robe and slippers and walk down stairs to make 3 milk sippies and one cup of coffee.  

3.  I understand (and respond to) a one-year-old's commands.  This is especially challenging when the only real world he says is "dada."

4.  I get shoulder workouts doing three-swing push alterations.  

5.  I can make their day by playing with them.  Anything will do.

6.  I used to melt when my husband told me I was beautiful.  Now, I glow under my children's complements.  

7.  Today, I was crying and my four-year-old comforted me and cried with me.  She didn't even know what it was about.  But I felt her little arms around me and her compassion almost bowled me over.

8.  I know their distinct tastes.  Today, for lunch, I made one pb only sandwich (for Rachel), one j only sandwich (for Elizabeth) and one pb&j sandwich (for Caleb).

9.  I can sense when one of my children is into something they're not supposed to be.  Weird mommy intuition...or the Force, Luke...I'm not sure which it is yet... 

10.  Every day, I get to witness the pure joy and excitement when their daddy comes home.  As they hear the door open or see his car pull up, off they sprint to see who can get to his arms first.  I also get to see that same joy replicated in his eyes.

Now, I know that I very often write about things that are funny or over the top here just because those are the things that I want to make sure I save for my children.  But more than those, I want them to know that I treasure my time with them and it's something that I won't ever take for granted.

How bout you?  Got anything to add to my list?

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