When I was a little girl I never really thought of being a stay-at-home mom. Honestly, I don’t think I ever met such a person, except maybe one. The examples I had seen were hard-working women in a dual-income families, or single-parenting mothers working to make ends meet. Yet, when I became a young mother just before I turned 22, there was nothing I wanted more than to be home with my child and any successive children we had.
In today’s culture, my husband and I married insanely young. At 19 and 20 years old, we met while both serving in the Navy, were engaged 6 months later, and married 2 months after that. This December 2023, will mark 20 years of marriage.
I served my enlistment in the Navy to its fulfillment, but once my time finished up, I was eager to start being a stay-at-home mom. By that point, I was already pregnant with our second blessing and saw no financial nor logical benefit to both of us working just so we could put the kids into daycare. Something never felt right in my heart about the prospect.
While I have no opinion or judgment of women who work, for me my desire was not for a career. Even in all of my years of upbringing I never had career ambitions or some lofty goals to achieve. I did not necessarily feel drawn to motherhood, per se, but I expected to one day have children.
The Lord, though, knew His plans and quickly made them known to me. Once I felt that little life inside of me, very little else mattered to me.
Are you called to being a stay-at-home mom?
I would love to say that when I decided that I was going to end my Navy enlistment and stay home with our soon-to-be two children that everything went swimmingly, but that would be a lie. Changing from a dual-income household to a single-income household stretched us and challenged us in unexpected ways.
At the time we moved from living fairly carefree lives where we were stationed in the beauty of Honolulu, HI to awe-inspiring Monterey Bay while my husband attended language training school. The change was significant. No longer could we easily spend indifferently and for ourselves, but rather we had to learn to live on a budget and not accrue new debts.
But, God provided.
We stumbled many times as we learned how to live within our means, and still, God provided.
And slowly but surely God taught me the beauty of managing our home, maintaining a balanced budget, cooking simple, healthy meals at home, and learning to embrace the simple pleasures of life. Though the learning was a process, I would not change the lessons for the world, nor how they have changed me into a more Christ-dependent person in full awareness of my fallen nature. Imperfect and broken as I am, He continues to use and grow me for His glory.
Herein lies the nature of the question: Are you called to being a stay-at-home mom?
This is not a question that I ask lightly. Not every mother is. There are plenty of women who God gifts with different callings and provides ample inner peace for both parents to work without any sense of conviction or discordance. To them, I wish all of His many blessings and greatest gifts!
But, my soul knew differently. I knew that the lives that I was being given were to become my primary ministry and to consume the majority of my time and energy as I raised them up in the faith. The prospect was surely daunting.
Me: Surely, Lord, someone else can guide them more effectively. I have no idea what I am doing.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness,” (2 Cor. 12:9) He reminded me often.
Me: But, Abba, I lose my temper. I yell when I should speak calmly. I argue with a toddler when I am supposed to be peaceful. I am going to mess them up. Surely, someone else would be better suited to be with them so often.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41: 10
And most especially…
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”Phil. 1: 6
His plans were to use this holy chaos of home as my grounds for sanctification. He knew that the purposes and tensions of the matters of the home were valuable enough to demand my utmost attention and intention. He purposed that through these little lives, I would be pressed and challenged to lean into Him and not my own abilities or strength.
He knew that the home was the best place for my eternal refinement and purification.
So, mama, are you called to being a stay-at-home mom?
Do you feel a burning desire to cease the daily drive away from your loved ones to enter into a workforce to which you feel less and less connection?
Do you sense a stirring in your heart to focus your greatest gifts and talents to the benefit and blessing of your husband and children?
Is there a yearning in your soul that seeks simplicity and connection?
Are you crying out to our Abba for a way to bring you home?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, I urge you to submit to the Lord this call on your heart and then openly hold out the path of your life for His use and plan.
It may not happen all at once. You may not be home right away. But if you and your husband come into agreement on this call and path that the Lord is laying out, submit the timing to Him and trust that He who initiated the call will also see it through.
Make no mistake, mama, being a stay-at-home mom is not all sunshine and lollipops. It is taxing and challenging, self-sacrificial work. But, oh the eternal significance of time spent raising up the next generation in the faith and caring for your loved ones each day.
There are many beautiful and wonderful lessons for all to learn, including serving one another in love, generosity of heart, patience, long-suffering, perseverance, fortitude, diligence, and forgiveness. These all take a lifetime to develop. Yet, I believe there are few places more effective in laying the perfect grounds for their development than in the confines of the home.
Submit your plans to Him, seek His path for your life, and with willing and open hands follow with fervent delight.