to the working mom who feels she needs to keep it all together
I’m like most working moms of the year 2019. I feel so pulled to keep it all together. We are of the generation that women are able to have careers, children, homes, marriages but we feel that we must do these things like our moms and mammaws (if you are not from Eastern Kentucky- your grandmother) did before us. We feel like our house must be clean. Dinner must be prepared in some sort of a way, whether it’s a sandwich, home cooked for real or just carry-out. Our kids must be clean and all of their school work done. We must try to be a great wife and great mom to our kids. Juggling in our heads everyone’s schedules, deadlines and due-dates. We try to get to church services of some kind as often as possible and also serve our church when and where God calls us to serve. We want to be great at our jobs and not let being a mom and a woman hold us back. To be honest sometimes it’s very, very exhausting. I don’t think I could have ever imagined the amount of pressure I would put on myself to “keep it all together”.
Some days I let things go and know that I will get to it later. The large amount of clean laundry baskets that I have hidden in the guest bedroom upstairs keep waiting on me. I reward myself by watching Hallmark movies as I do my least favorite chores. I work on them when I get a chance and know that one day I may finally get caught up. Some days I tell myself it doesn’t matter if everything is taken care of and then I find a way to make myself pull it together. I have to because I know I can’t let it go too long. I think a lot of it is because I feel that deep down, I have to be able to do it all and have a career or I would have to admit that I can’t juggle it all. I want my girls to know that women can have it all, if they want. I try to explain to them that they can truly be anything they want to be when they grow up as long as they have prayed and asked God to show them what His plans are for them. That they need to use the gifts that He gives them. They live in a time when it is truly acceptable for women to have any career they want. They just have to work hard, study and understand they can mentally do any job that a man can do. I never felt growing up that I had that encouragement from society.
I could go a million different ways with this. I wanted to describe the above because if you are not like me you might not understand the pressures that some women put on themselves and why these things matter to them.
This weekend our church will be putting on a Veteran’s Day tribute and a meal to follow for the veteran’s and for their families. I am helping with this but another working mom from church is taking the lead. We had planned on her coming over on Friday night for us to finalize the program details.
I have had a normal crazy busy week. My washing machine decided to literally unlock its door and burst open when it was filled to the top with water (it had been having problems for a while and we put off buying a new one too long and it got the last laugh.) I had to use probably 20-30 towels and beach towels to clean up the mess. Followed up by our youngest getting a stomach bug for the second time in one week and me catching my own version to boot. Somehow, we had managed to have the house back in somewhat of a decent manner but it was still a wreck in my mind. My friend A and I texted back and forth and confirmed our plans. I tell her that my house is a wreck. All the while I’m trying to think of a game plan on how I can make my house not a wreck! I am somewhat crazy when it comes to the house getting back in order so I probably would have done this even if company wasn’t coming, it just speeded up the process. Please tell me you have been here before? I was at work and wouldn’t be home for hours but I knew the moment I got home I would have to pull it all together to make it presentable. When I got home from work my husband and girls were already home. My hubby had to leave and then I quickly made a deal with my girls that if they each helped me clean, they could play on their iPad when my friend arrived. Deal. Done. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I am completely not above bribing my kids in a healthy manner to get help when I need it. At least I am teaching them how to clean the house in the process I tell myself.
We each started on our areas of the house. The trick is we didn’t need to clean the whole house. We just needed to clean the main area of the house. The areas where A and I would be working around. I know I am not the working momma that invented this trick so let’s not judge please…
After I cleaned up the kitchen, I started putting things I didn’t have time to deal with in rooms I knew A would not go into. I put stuff in the laundry room, office and my bedroom. As I was shoving some items in the laundry room it hit me. These things I put in there I felt were not important and would be ashamed of it they were left out. This is when God reminded me of His Grace. I love how He does things like that. Here I am shoving dirty laundry and a vacuum in rooms and He goes and reminds me of His love! Just like the junk that I was putting in rooms that would be closed off, my past that I too am ashamed of is locked away. With God’s Grace through Jesus Christ those things are as good as gone. It’s still a part of me and always will be. They are there. They have added to my life story and those trials have made the woman I am today. Some of those trials have made me the Christian I am today. God reminded me though, that, the difference between my past and the junk in those rooms is that He has forgiven me, locked the door and thrown away the key. Another reason I know that those things are still there even though God has locked them away by His grace is that the devil sometimes reminds me of what’s locked away in those rooms and wants me to go and unlock them. He wants me to let those things creep back into the rest of the house, my house. That’s when I tell him, NO!
I also want you to see where in the craziness of me trying to pull it together I found a reminder of God’s Grace. It’s always amazes me of God’s sovereignty when He wants me to write about something. I usually never know how it will all piece together until I actually sit down to type. How the Holy Spirit guides me and slowly gives me what He wants me to write about. You see, recently the word Grace has been given to me many times in the last couple of weeks. It keeps popping up in different places. It has been appearing in Bible verses, in my thoughts and in different podcasts that I listen to. It all make sense now. I also feel silly now that I thought I needed to hide my junk from my friend A . I know that she wouldn’t have judged me or expected me to have a perfectly clean house. None of us are perfect and we all have problems, imperfections and junk in our laundry rooms. The only thing that truly matters is that we have God’s Grace.
This is what I found last week when I looked up the verse in the Bible that defines God’s Grace:
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace the he lavished on us.” Ephesians 1:7-8
I am blessed to have one of those Life Application Bibles with lots of extra explanations at the bottom of the page. I could not study without it. In the notes on this particular verse it has helped me understand why I can have God’s Grace even though I am not deserving. Here’s what is says, “Grace is God’s voluntary and loving favor given to those he saves.” (NIV Life Application Study Bible by Zondervan 2011)
He has saved me so I have received His grace. It’s as simple as that.
There are lots of amazing verses in the Bible about grace and I hope that this inspires you to find some of God’s grace in your own life today. I also hope that when you have days you feel you need to get it together that you can realize that you do have it together! We have all we really need and thats God’s Grace!
Have a blessed day!