Monday, May 7, 2007


My brother-in-law e-mailed me a news story last week from Reuters stating that a recent study guesses that a stay-at-home-mom (sahm for short) would earn $138,095 doing the same work outside the home.

$138, 095. Wow. I think I'd settle for even 10% of that!

When Emma was born, my ideas about returning to work began warring with the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. I did return to work briefly, but I remember standing in our bedroom one morning, knowing that I was on the precipice of a dangerous decision. I could continue working and we would have a little extra money each month, or I could stay at home and give our daughter a life here. I knew that ten years down the road I would look back on our decision and either rejoice in obedience or regret my disobedience. It really only took a few seconds to make the choice. Leaving her each morning was excruciating and as much as I enjoyed my job, it wasn't my passion in life. It would be tight financially but we figured out ways to cut expenses.

At first, I felt sort of strange being home. Emma was an easy baby and we fell into a routine quickly. I started exploring cooking and home keeping and found that, despite the liberal teachings of many of my college professors, I truly enjoyed making a pleasant home for my husband and child. I had found one of God's callings in my life. I became more comfortable with my new position and gave up trying to justify why I had a college degree and wasn't pursuing a career. I loved being in step with God's plan for me and my family.

Sixteen months after answering God's call to stay home, little Ruthie was born. Money got a little...okay, a lot!...tighter. I remember wondering how we were going to afford a winter coat for Emma, praying about it and receiving not one but two winter coats for her on the same day. Another time, we had .89 to hold us until payday and had just run out of milk. Our good friend Carol happened to stop by to visit and brought us a gallon of milk because she thought we could use it. God was so faithful in meeting each and every need (and sometimes even our wants) at the exact moment we truly needed something. We never went hungry or cold or without the presence of the Holy Spirit.

And then, along came sweet Olivia 3 1/2 years after our decision for me to stay home. Somehow, the money keeps stretching and stretching. Somehow, we still make our mortgage payments and fill our pantry and put gas in the cars and clothes on our backs. Rather, I should say, the Lord does all those things for us. I have no idea how we will be able to save for college or pay for their weddings. How we will pay off our debts or even pay our bills next month. But what I know of the Lord is that He is so very faithful. I don't have to know how those things are going to be paid for. He owns cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10) and has all our financial details worked out. To be certain, we must be obedient with our resources, but not slaves to them.

So, SAHM I am and I love it. I love knowing that my kids can sleep in or stay up late if we're doing something fun. I have loved learning every little detail of their lives. I love knowing we can say "yes" when someone calls in the middle of the day with a need. I love that my girls' friends can come over to play in the middle of the day. We can't afford to take them on vacations or buy a brand new van. My kids wear hand-me-downs and eat spagetti-o's once a week. We don't buy them many birthday or Christmas gifts. But, we believe that we are giving them other intrinsic gifts. Maybe the best gift: parents who want to obey the Lord, no matter the cost.

Do I think what I do is worth $138, 095? Nah...sometimes I burn dinner or don't make it at all. Charlie had to wash his own clothes today. The trash is overflowing and our showers need scrubbed. Some days I complain all day about my chores and my lack of "down time." Some days we don't read any books but watch 2-3 videos instead. I lose my temper, I can be grouchy, moody and temperamental. But, I also know no one else could do what I do. No one else could love this man and these children the way I do. God didn't give anyone else the heart and compassion to do this job. I would give all I own for the continued privilege of knowing and loving and serving them all. Thank you, Lord!


Ann said...

Thanks for your obedience! It's hard no matter whether you SAH or WOTH...I long for more time to enjoy my kids, but know that God has put me at school for a reason, and can see how he's using it, both in my life and in the students' lives...