"Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ"
On May 13, 2011, I walked away from my career, high salary, and lavish lifestyle. Each year I try to reflect on the goodness of God and what I would have missed had I still been working outside the home. However, when I really sit and think about it, I realize that I didn't walk away from it all on that day. I walked away from it all fifteen years ago when I left my husband and children on the altar to pursue my desires and dreams.
The key word I want to emphasize here is "all". So, what does "all" mean anyway? Well, it depends on your worldview. To the world, "all" could mean big houses, nice cars, big salaries, yachts, luxury travel, fine jewelry, etc. To the Christian, "all" might look a little different (or at least it should). For the Christian, "all" could mean the Lord, our spouse, children, dad and mom, siblings, church family, and of course our bibles. Do you see how completely different these two views are? One view is based completely on the material and the other view is based on relationships and the spiritual.
Once upon a time, my worldview was completely skewed, and I too had a love for the material things of this world and was willing to sacrifice anything to obtain them. But, after the Lord removed the scales from my eyes, I could clearly see that I had it all wrong. My "all" was right before me. My "all" was the Lord, my husband, children, family, and friends. These relationships were completely out of order and suffered as a result of my selfishness and blindness.
You may not necessarily have a desire for a lavish lifestyle, but instead have a desire to work outside of the home for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons may include: adult interaction, finances, validation of using your degree, etc. Keep my word choice in mind as I said "have a desire to work outside of the home". There are those who must work outside the home; however, their desire is to be at home. Then there are those who work outside the home and lack the desire to be at home. As I've stated before, I personally have friends in both positions. Therefore, my aim is not to judge or tear down, but to build up and edify those who are in both predicaments.
Let's start with the adult interaction concern. Moms have told me they are concerned about not having any adult interaction if they come home. There are a plethora of co-ops and "mommy groups" that we can get involved in for play dates and such. We just need to seek them out. There may also be some moms from church, or our neighborhood that we can interact with. I have found that talking with other moms from the neighborhood is an excellent evangelism opportunity as well.
I can personally relate to and understand the lack of financial resources being a concern when thinking about coming home. It is no easy feat; but with prayer, commitment and sacrifice staying home is possible. Matthew 6:25-33, reminds us not to be worried about the things we will eat, drink or our clothing. But instead, we are commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and He will add all those things to us. We tend to fret and worry, forgetting that we are to seek Him regarding our financial concerns. I have story after story of how God delivered our family from financial setbacks, hospital bills, and loss of income. While, I could easily go back to work full-time to solve any financial problems, it is so rewarding to see the personal hand of God work in our lives as He provides. It's a real faith builder.
Lastly, I have talked to a lot of moms who felt like they would be wasting their degree(s) if they came home. I personally don't believe that God wastes anything. God has a strange way of using our former education and experience in the workplace to help us in the home. For instance, I have a friend who was a nurse before coming home and now she is able to care for her children with the utmost compassion and treat them medically if the need should arise (I find myself calling her often for advice for my kiddos too). I also have multiple friends who were teachers before coming home and they have been blessed to teach their children at home so patiently and with confidence.
For myself, I went to school for business and used to be in management, so the Lord has allowed me to use my former education and training in keeping my home well managed. In the end the Apostle Paul says it so well, "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:8). Even if we have degrees we can't use, sometimes we have to count it as a loss. Having our children gain Christ is the highest degree we can obtain.
Let us remember why we do what we do. We are not just having children to raise them and send them off in marriage so they can live happily ever after. God allows us to have children so we can raise up godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Our job here on earth is to make disciples. For us mamas, the best mission field we have is right in our homes discipling our children. Ted Tripp says, “Recognizing that God has called you to function as his agent defines your task as a parent. Our culture has reduced parenting to providing care. Parents often see the task in these narrow terms. The child must have food, clothes, a bed, and some quality time. In sharp contrast to such a weak view, God has called you to a more profound task than being only a care-provider. You shepherd your child in God's behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking or resting, you must be involved in helping your child to understand life, himself, and his needs from a biblical perspective (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).”
As I reflect back to May 13, 2011, I didn't leave "all" that day. I actually "came home to all"! What about you, will you join me?
For His Glory!