When I met the man of my dreams and that moment he proposed, I had my share of ideas of what life was going to be like. I had this dream that I was going to be his side-kick , stay at home, wifey. That was all I wanted to do. I was certain that this was the ultimate “wife” and that if I wanted to be the ultimate “wife” I had to do this full time. I Had two boys a little bit down the road, and was now a stay at home wife + mommy. I felt this was what we all did. How was I going to do anything else anyways? I couldn't possibly leave by kids at daycare. So I signed up for leadership roles in my church, and helped party plan for the next few years, I could bring along my kids, and maybe do this a couple times a week for an hour or so.
Well, about 4 years later, as it turned out, God had been pressing on my heart that He wanted me to do MORE. He wanted to develop skills and hobbies in my life. He wanted me to NOT be comfortable, to be CHALLENGED, to JUGGLE. I know right... How could this even be good? Well, My husband’s work situation became a little stressful for him as well, during the recession. He had worked away for quite some time on a project, to pay the bills, so he was now away. This is where I started. I started singing worship at my church, which required a lot more out of me. I also have not sung on stage for over 10 years. I then did what I thought was the impossible, I launched my own Photography business. And just a year after studies. I worked and worked at it, until I literately passed out exhausted, each night. I was up until 6am for 6-8 months straight. After my boys went to bed, I studied. During the week I sang worship out loud around the house, before rehearsals, so my boys could hear, I could practice and was also able to pursue other household tasks. I JUGGLED because I knew I was called in these areas. So instead of fulfilling my dream of being a full time stay at home wife + mommy, I found myself a working woman additionally.
I did ask these questions in my head, If the most important place for me to be ministering in was the home, why was it that God wanted me to work in these other areas? I couldn’t do that very well if that was the case right?
Well, thankfully God revealed to me that I had some very wrong ideas about homemaking and taught me some extremely important lessons along the way!
(ONE): At this stage in life, the best way to be my husband’s “helper” was to grow in my character and help contribute a little bit financially. Even if it was to help for the boys extra curricular activities, it is still something.The character aspect was great, My confidence grew. It was the best thing I could have done for my family. My husband valued what I was doing. It was something he could brag about to others, and I really enjoyed that fact that he was proud of me. He respected that fact that I was trusting for Him to provide a way.
(TWO): “Homemaker” is not synonymous with “Stay at Home Wife”
After I finish shooting a wedding, which is about 8 or 10 hours. I get home exhausted. I mean exhausted. My head hurts, my eyes ache. It would be simple for me to just not do anything, and rest, especially since I wasn't home all day preparing dinner, why would I bother? Well this doesn’t mean to NOT do anything. I am still called to be a homemaker. I get up and throw in a frozen pizza those nights if I have to! It's okay!
(THREE): Don’t have expectations for the home that are too high (or too low!)
This lesson coincides with #(two). It’s so hard for me not to set my expectations for myself too high or too low. When I first got married, I started off by having too high of expectations. I was ambitiously determined to cook gourmet dinners every single night while still maintaining a perfectly spotless house, a perfectly groomed appearance, and plenty of time for romance with my husband. I mean that sounds great but but life can get a bit messy! And that is okay.
Wives, Moms, Homemakers, Working Wives, Working Moms, Working Moms/Wives/Homemakers, .. this is HARD work, and I have so much respect for you and all of the hats you wear!
I wanted to continue this topic for part 2, and cannot wait to share some more personal thoughts with you all soon!
**Here are some photos of my family, from a self portrait I did in Scottsdale, Arizona Papago Park! Just thought I would share with you!