Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Keeper at Home Testimony

I guess that the best way to share my keeper at home story is to start at the beginning. Although I was not reared in a Christian home, my mother was a full-time homemaker. She was there when we were little. At the time I certainly took it for granted. It was just the way of things. I didn't understand how much my mother contributed to the family. All I knew was that I didn't have to spend Mondays here and Fridays there, like some of my classmates No matter if I was sick or well, I could be at home. As we got older, mom went back to work when I was about 12 and my brothers were 10 and 6. My grandmother lived next door, but mostly we three children were left to ourselves. My grandmother called fairly often to check on us. She cooked breakfast for us. All-in-all, it wasn't terrible. We got into a lot of stuff we shouldn't have. Don't let your mind wander; there was nothing illegal or even shameful to mention going on. There was a lot of squabbling among the three of us. Some of the squabbling escalated into fist fights.

As I became a teenager, I began thinking about the future. Nothing serious, really just daydreaming here and there. Of course, I envisioned careers and college and majors and homes and cars. Staying at home was never mentioned I remember, though, working on a class project. We were collecting things for a time capsule that would be opened at a future class reunion. One of the questions that each student was to fill out was “Where do you plan to be in the next ten years?” Thinking ahead, I thought of how old I would be in 10 years. I would be nearly 28. It seemed so old (lol)! I didn't know anyone who was 28. All I could think was what my mom was doing when she was 28: a full-time homemaker. It brought back a flood of childhood memories. But I remembered too how hard it was on my mom. The only definite conclusion that I could come to was that I wanted to be married with children.

Not too long after I graduated was when I got saved. I'm not going by my own reasoning anymore; I have a heavenly guide.

When I met my husband, I was working a full-time job as a bank teller. I also had a part time job on Friday night and Saturday night working at a grocery store. I also was taking six college credit hours. I liked having the extra money, that's for sure. I didn't really spend exuberantly, but I did put away a good deal of it. When Jeremy and I were married, I never really considered staying at home. I wasn't rebelling against anything, working was just something that I had always done. It had not occurred to either of us to ask God what He wanted. Besides, everyone around me drew a paycheck, it must be okay! Jeremy and I had decided for sure that once we had children that I would be at home with them.

Now, during the two years that I was married and working, I will testify that our home was always messy. Not just untidy, but really dirty! If we had company unexpectedly stop by I was always embarrassed and stammered with excuses for the house. After working outside the home all day, who has energy to come home and start another day's work? Jeremy did his laundry and I did my laundry. We were eating out a lot. If we ate in, it was something prepared hastily. Cooking from scratch was unheard of on the weekdays.

When the came for me to quit my job, I was about 3 months pregnant with John. I remember one of my female co-workers asking me, “What are you going to do with all your spare time?” I didn't really know how to answer, so I simply said, “Well, I suppose there's always work somewhere to be done.” It really was wonderful to be able to put my complete energy into my home.

Being at home wasn't always a fairy-tale story though. Jeremy and I sacrificed a lot for me to be at home. Financially, it was a struggle. Jeremy had to work odd-jobs here and there to help make ends meet. We always ate in. We couldn't afford nice cuts of meat. We could never afford beef. We lived on a strict, tight budget. New clothes for anyone were totally out of the question at any time. To repeat the phrase that everyone uses: we couldn't afford for me to stay home. I firmly believe, through experience, that any family can afford to live on one income, with a meager handful of exceptions. Jeremy and I learned so much about sacrifice through this time and I will be the very first to say that it was a very small sacrifice for the rewards received.

I now am working as a full-time keeper-at-home and mommy. I am so incredibly happy as such. I got to teach my little one how to do everything. I had the satisfaction knowing that I had the privilege of being the primary shaper of this little ones life. I taught me little ones to roll over. I heard their first coos. When my husband gets home, dinner is on the table. He gets to come home to a nice tidy home (most of the time!) and could just let go of the cares of work. Nothing imaginable is more fulfilling than giving and sacrificing myself for my family.

Somewhere along the line, someone had asked me if I would return to “work” (like I'm not working now or something... :-) haha), once the children got school age. I replied that our plans were to homeschool. Then it was asked, if I would once if we quit homeschooling or when the kids finished school. I didn't really know what to say. I had never really given it much thought.

At that point I started out to learn what I could about women working outside the home. This is still a learning process for me. What I can conclude is that it's certainly not wrong for a woman to earn wages. After all, the Proverbs 31 woman contributed monetarily by selling her linen. As long as the home is tended to and the family is guarded and protected (taking the Greek of the phrase “keeper at home”), I can't see anything wrong with financial contribution. If earning wages was put ahead of, or interfered with the tasks of caring for the domesticities of home, guarding the family, bringing up the children, or being a wife, then it would be more like a weight and would need to be laid beside. From the best that I can tell, it is absolutely dangerous for a woman to work with men, and even more so, to have a man other than her husband as her work authority (i.e. her boss).

What about my friends who don't share my view? It's like I tell my children: “if you just worry about yourself, then you'll have enough to worry about.” Life is too short for me to give thought to what others do in their homes. If my opinion is asked, or if the subject comes up in conversation I feel like I am equipped to explain where my convictions lie. Condemning never helps anyone. If someone doesn't agree with me, I'm okay with that. I flatly disagree, but there's no reason to break fellowship.

I count my life at home a joy, privilege and honor. My prayer is that the Lord will give me many, many more years as a keeper at home.

4 edifying expressions:

Candy-Faith said...

Hi there
I found your blog thru my friend Sharon's list of blog (Sharon--keeper of home) I am reading your testimonies right now on your sidebar and really enjoying it. I loved this one :)

Candy :)

Tami said...

i loved this!!!

Glenys Hicks said...

that's a wonderful testimony. Children need their mothers to be at home with them Blessings!

Mrs. White said...

I enjoyed reading this! So glad you are home where you can be a tremendous blessing to your husband and children!

Blessings
Mrs. White
The Legacy of Home