Like every mother I know, I've looked into those "work from home and make a million dollars a week" scams. I've often tried to find some way to make money while also caring for my children. The problem with that has been that my children are a full time job, requiring constant supervision and care. If I get on the phone, start vacuuming, or try to write (this is happening right now) my children will suddenly become discontent, sullen, hurt themselves or start fighting (right now all of the above are happening). Starting with the birth of my oldest daughter I have felt that task of motherhood is stretching me. With the birth of each child I have realized that I am just a little more flexible then I was before. Having five children all at once would have been a disaster but with each child I have grown.
I always considered mothering a full time job, requiring that I be present most all the time, ready to deal with all the complicated relationships of family life. Then our life situations changed and I started to doubt myself, started to listen to the voices all around me, started to compare myself with others, started to listen to the "man at the back door."
Maybe I should get a job and find daycare of some sort. I mean desperate times call for desperate measures. For many of you reading this you may feel that you need to work, for many different reasons, and I am in no way suggesting that working is wrong...but I was afraid; not choosing but reacting, not trusting but looking for a way to work things out myself. Fear gets me caught up in all the things that drag me down, pulls me away from the light, keeps me from hearing the one who calls to me from the front door. God doesn't need to sneak around. He comes right up to the door and knocks. Satan whispers through the back screen, whispers my name, whispers my fears, whispers how I'm not good enough, aren't doing enough. Before I knew it I was trapped in my own mind, doubting all my choices, about everything.
When I was sharing with my sister on the phone about all my fears and worries and doubts, especially about working outside of the home, she simply said " Have you asked God what he thinks about that?" In that moment I realized I was looking for affirmation and approval in the wrong way. I wanted to answer my own questions. So I simply went to the front door and asked him "Dear Lord, do you want me to get a job?"
And that still small voice that answers our heart's call, answered me in his gentle way. " Why did you wait so long to ask me? You already have a job, the one I appointed for you since the foundations of the earth. I want to help you to do that one well. Don't get distracted by the whispers of the deceiver."
So now I don't have to justify myself or my choices or to look for approval from others. I just have to open the front door and keep asking God "what he thinks about that ."
My thanks to Serena Ontiveros for her kind encouragement and also to Dr. Kimberly Schmidt. The analogy about the man at the back door and God at the front one is hers. It was passed onto me by my sister and has been a valuable tool in discerning the voice of The Lord. My Thanks to you both.