Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Is it My J.O.B. or J-O-Y?

At 16, I never thought I  would be a stay-at-home mom. Heck, I never really thought I'd be a mom of my own at all. I was sure that my calling was to adopt a bunch of children and raise them. My thinking was, "Why should I have children of my own when there are so many other children out there who need help?"

Well, fast forward a loooong time (about 20 years or so) and I have my wonderful five now, and adoption might still be part of my calling, but is by no means all of what I am called to do in my life. And staying in the Navy for 20 years was not part of the calling either, though I once thought it would be. But staying home, nursing babies, teaching pre-teens, and keeping house for twenty years (and a lifetime beyond) is part of that calling.

So when my oldest was frustrated the other day and told me that he is trying to get into "classes" and other various search-on-the-Internet activities on his own, without guidance from Mom so that I "won't have to worry" about him any more...

Well. That sure puts a big pause in your day!

I responded with a (now that I think about it) LAME answer about how taking care of him, worrying about him, is my Job and one I love to do. It is my job to teach him, to worry over him, to love him - and the others as well. I also reassured him that it is just as big a deal for me to get to applaud his accomplishments with new instruments and songs and achievements (home run at baseball or whatever) as it is for me to cheer for Baby Magoo when he has finally gotten up out of an Army Low-Crawl to do a full on, two handed ("real") Crawl. 

But is this just a J.O.B. - as Dave Ramsey says? Or is it my J.O.Y.? Am I joyful in my encounters with my children during the day? Or is it business as usual and they're all just something else to check off of my daily to-do list? And how do I show them that they mean more than my to-do list? I have always thought - hoped - that one day they'll see that simply the fact that I stay home with them and spend that time being here instead of shucking them off to "someplace else" each day while I race off to my own outside-world job that they would see that as proof of my love for them. Perhaps they will. I hope they will. 

The truth is, I loved the Navy but I left the Navy for them because the Navy would - and did - replace me upon my exit whereas my family needed me and no one else could do the kind of job for them that I do. So how has my oldest come to the conclusion that he is just someone there to be set aside and that I am looking for an escape? I am renewing my goals of not shouting, praying more, taking more walks... all those Fun Mom things even while I do the not-so-fun but still needed Mom things. I am lighting a candle to make our home smell nice. I am saying a prayer for peace and love to overwhelm my home each time I see that candle. 

I am The Mom. It is my J-O-Y not my J.O.B.

This post is linked to: 

Deep Roots At Home

wifey wednesday


  1. your post is beautiful! I am working everyday as an almost mommy to 6 to focus on JOY :)

  2. what a great post! thank you for the reminder to treat our time with little ones (I'm a nanny) as a joy everyday!

    I found your site thru WLW!


  3. Tillie,
    I really enjoyed your writing about JOB vs. JOY! The must have taken some processing, but the Lord has given you the truth with which to answer your son :) I do have one question, though. Are those really the children's 'names'? :)

  4. No, those are not their true names - they are blessed, and "cursed" ;) with a father with a love for languages. So our 9 yo's name is from the Cherokee tongue, the girlie's name is from the Welsh language, and "Bruiser's" name is from the language of the Irish. The names I use on here are ones that fairly well suit their personalities or appearances though!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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