I hadn’t seen her in a while. We had worked together years ago, been great friends at times, but the years had managed to pull us in different directions.
It was good seeing her again though. She asked what I had been up to. . . how I was doing . . . if I was still homeschooling. . .
We talked a bit about how busy life was, how quickly time has flown, and then she asked how my business was going and whether I was still taking contracts. It was then that there was a pause in our conversation.
I told her that I had let the business go.
She was a bit surprised and after a moment asked, “Do you miss it?”
I said “No” without hesitating and shook my head in agreement, but the question managed to linger in my head the rest of the afternoon.
Do I miss it?
I thought about how much I had struggled when I felt The Lord calling me home to my family two years ago. Although I had begun to slow down at that point, it took me another year before I let the business go completely, holding as tightly as possible to the life I had once envisioned for myself. It was then another four months before I was able to pull down my company website, and that was only after taking a screenshot of every single page. Six months ago, I might have admitted to missing it at times, but on this day, I just said, “No”–and I actually meant it.
It was then that I realized how much things had changed for me, how much my heart had changed since I had given my life fully to The Lord.
Delight yourself in The Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 34:7
Up until recently, I had always thought that this verse was about following my heart, my desires and somehow The Lord would follow along and “bless” me with whatever I asked. I somehow managed to ignore Jeremiah 17:9 (The heart is deceitful above all things . . . ) and trusted in my own understanding to achieve the success and life I thought I wanted.
In my walk, however, I have come to find that as I have sought His will, He has given me the desires of my heart and has blessed me abundantly in ways I never could have imagined.
My desires are truly different now than they were a few years ago when my life was centered on building my business, making more money, and acquiring “five stars” on my evaluations.
I now desire wholeheartedly to grow in my faith and to live out God’s will for my life.
My desire is now to build MY HOME. (Proverbs 14:1)
I desire to be a godly wife to my husband, submitting to his leadership role in our household and respecting him for the wonderful man that he is. I desire to create a warm and loving space he can come home to after fulfilling his duties to the family through work outside the home. I desire to be purposeful in spending time with him and to love and thank him each day for being the most important person in my life.
The world laughs at submission, I know. I once did as well. I watched the shows where the woman was strong and the man was ignorant and weak. I bought into “woman power” and yet also felt powerless when it almost cost me my marriage.
Yes, the world laughs when we follow the Biblical call of submission to our husbands; yet it also beckons us to exert “our power” by submitting to someone else, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week . . . or more. Now I am not saying that a woman shouldn’t work or own her own business, and I understand that sometimes, it is necessary. But the reality is that oftentimes, work outside the home for someone else is considered superior to work inside the home for those we love. The truth is, we all submit to something.
The Bible calls for men to submit to Christ and love their wives above themselves. My desire is for my husband.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
I desire to be a godly mother to our children, loving on them with cuddles and kisses and raising them for God’s glory. I desire to make meaningful memories with them, to listen to their stories, and kiss their booboos when they’re hurting. I desire to laugh with them, be silly with them, and teach them what it means to love others. I love cooking with them, reading to them, and visiting new places with them. I want nothing more than for them to love Jesus, and I want to teach them all about God’s awesome world: the clouds, earthworms, cranes, beavers, flowers, bees, ants, magnets, minerals, dinosaurs, fossils, and so much more.
The world says they need to go to preschool, be in groups and every sport imaginable, play video games and be “in the know” about the latest TV show, movie, or singer. I believed it all as well. I made it a point to enroll our son in sports and in groups, filling every other day with some sort of event or activity all before his fifth birthday; I started my two-year old daughter on the same path as well, scaring her to tears at her first recital.
Yes, the world calls us to send our kids out, to keep them busy and entertained; yet in the same breath, it complains that “kids just don’t have respect anymore”, “they don’t know what it means to work hard”, “they don’t know how to _____ fill in the blank.”
I have come to find that children just need more time with their parents, with their grandparents, with their families. They need time at home to just be kids: to play, to imagine, to draw, to color . . . to jump in puddles, to notice bugs and rainbows, to crack an egg in a bowl and make French toast with Mom (or Dad).
They need time to talk with their parents, time to hear stories and share stories, time to ask questions and think through life’s deeper questions. They don’t need more groups, more sports, more events or shows to fill every hour after school and every free day on the calendar. It’s not that any of these things are bad. It’s just that oftentimes, we make many of them idols that take us away from what really matters.
The Bible calls us to love our children and raise them up in the training and admonition of The Lord. My desire is to simplify our schedules and allow time to do just that.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6: 4
I desire to be the keeper of my home, making it a warm and inviting place where my family and loved ones can rest, play, and grow in each other’s company. I desire to make nourishing meals we can enjoy together and to create opportunities to make memories as a family. I desire to practice hospitality and welcome others for fellowship and fun. I desire to simplify and tidy up our home so that I am not spending precious time managing and cleaning STUFF.
The world tells us to eat food prepared by others in order to have more time to make more money to buy more stuff. It calls us to the stores, to online portals, to spend, spend, spend on more things. It measures our worth by the numbers we bring in, and our economy by the numbers that go out. It calls us to have the next best thing and to do whatever it takes to have it all.
Yes, the world calls us to have more, but its promises never satisfy.
The Bible calls us to have an eternal perspective, focusing on that which is truly important. My desire is to create a welcoming haven to share with my family and those The Lord puts in my path.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
I desire to spend more time in The Word, growing each day to be more like Christ. I desire to be more loving toward others and to use my gifts for His glory. I long to grow in the company of other believers, women who have gone before me and can now share their godly wisdom.
I desire to share meals with those in need, to use my writing as a blessing through cards and letters. I hope to work with my family to meet the needs of others, to pray for those in need, and offer the resources we have been entrusted with to help others. My desire is to grow in my faith and to share my faith with others.
Yes, The Lord has truly given me the desires of my heart, desires that, for me, could not be fulfilled with the life I was living, desires that could never have fully made their way into my heart had I not taken the time to pray . . . and listen . . . and surrender.
No, I am not perfect, and I often fall short because of my own sin and selfishness. I am often tired or frustrated or not as gentle as I would like. But I am striving daily with a new passion for the people and things that truly matter in my life. . .
I don’t know if I will ever work outside my home again or what role a job may take in my life in the years to come. I don’t know exactly what the future holds. But at this time, in this season, if I’m asked, “Do you miss it?” I can honestly say “No.” No, I don’t miss my job.
But this moment.
And this one.
And MY HUSBAND.
I couldn’t bear to miss any of this for “the world”.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2: 3-5