This is a continuation of the blog I started Monday, please read it here if you haven’t. I would just like you to know where this is all coming from!
3. Mothering – A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
Mothering – it’s a job that can be so big and daunting. You are handed this teeny living miracle and tasked the duty of keeping it alive! teaching it right from wrong! growing it into a productive little person! and somehow, despite the impossibility of the task, loving it more and more each day. The more you love the bitty person, the harder all the rest seems to be, when your child falls down you have to balance loving care with letting them get back up on their own, when they start doing things like, stealing candy or calling names you can’t believe their perfect little mouth knows, you have to discipline. It’s all so very big, and it all seems so very easy to mess up! Add on top of that the fact that no two are alike, it’s as if practice doesn’t make perfect it makes you expect the completely wrong thing on baby number two, as if the world constantly streaming toys and games and cartoons at them isn’t enough!
You could go batty, and I did. I was so lost and hopeless and then I realized that these are MY children and despite the ton of books and blogs and other mothers that made me feel otherwise, only I and my wife could truly know what was best for them. Only we could make the decisions, we just needed to do it! When I became very ill and could no longer go to work we decided to switch to homeschooling. It was scary and hard, but after the shock of it wore off I realized it was absolutely the best move for us. I got to know them in a new way, a way not confined to 5:30-8 p.m. and weekends. With getting to know them I was able to make better discipline decisions and education changes. Within the first school year a change had taken place, my kids and I are a unit unto ourselves, we are a team. We work well together and instead of being a burden they are helpful blessings.
What I learned through this is that I am going to mess up, I will lose my cool and I will have a misstep. That doesn’t make me a failure. My children are going to grow and make there own mistakes no matter how hard I try. They will make choices I may not agree with and there will be times I will have to pray them through – that doesn’t make me a failure. I am giving them the tools so that when they are ready or in need or whatever – they can turn to God and to there parents. They know they are loved and they know right from wrong and as long as I am not comparing myself to other mommy bloggers and only looking at my path and my progress I will be okay. We are walking our God path, even when it gets messy. In that way and in the fact that everything I do I do out of love for them that transcends anything they have or will ever do – I am holding this Mothering thing down, and so can any other mother out there. You just have to make the choices that bring you and your children in closer to God’s heart.
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
In this world of work and work and work it can be hard to think of taking care of yourself, but it doesn’t give you some crazy standard of work outs and weight loss. It doesn’t say your kids can’t have a pizza night. This is simple and once it clicks it really changes things. For me my truly big AH-HA moment was my grandmother’s final fight with cancer. She was not taking care of herself at all and when the diagnosis came it was implied that MAYBE this would have been more treatable is she would have been in good health. I thought to myself, “If I ever get that news I want it followed by the doctor telling me I am the best candidate for treatment due to my good health!”
While caring for your body has a lot to due with exercising and nutrition it is also avoiding addictions (smoking and drinking, for example) avoiding stress which can kill you just as fast as cancer, resting and pampering yourself. Not in an excessive way, but in a loving way. You should take care of yourself with the same loving respect that you would your partner and your children!
Preparing or overseeing healthy meals in the house is all about making sure you and your family’s bodies have what is needed to grow and sustain through the day… It’s teaching your children about food and making wise choices, not because of weight or shame, but to aim to have a healthy body to praise God with.
5. Service – A Virtuous Woman serves her partner, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
See, this one can cause me to bristle at the word SERVICE and I think we need to take a closer look. Service, the word brings up a mental picture of a woman so broken and taxed by the task of slinging meals and doing laundry. She is that perfect blend of cook and maid and readily available sex who does not argue or question and has no needs but to make her master pleased. She is what I rejected, yet that is not what to serve means if you look into it. We think of servants, we think of waitresses and of slaves locked into a thankless job. To serve also means: to give the service and respect due to; to gratify; to be of use; to be worthy of reliance or trust; to answer the needs of; to be enough for, suffice; to answer the needs of. When you take those definitions you realize that to serve can be a very beautiful thing.
I want to answer the needs of my wife in every way, I find joy in being enough for her and being worthy of her trust. I want to give the respect that my wife, family, and friends deserve. I want them to come to me and know I can be of use to them. I want to be the kind of woman that a stranger feels safe with, I want people to know by looking at me that they can expect a honest and friendly reaction should they interact with me. In those ways being of service to my partner, children, family, friends and community is a very joyful thing for me.
(Tomorrow we get to Finances, Industry and Homemaking!)