The Book in my Suitcase

Yesterday I mentioned there were three areas of “drift” that God gently addressed in my  heart during my recent time away.

It started when Benny found a new book release online several months back and asked if I would like to order it to review for possible use for the ladies in our church. It came a few days before I left for my retreat so I threw it into my suitcase.

Frankly, I didn’t expect to learn much from it. (Hmmm…you can already see the seeds of my problem.) I’ve been well taught for nearly two decades on the importance of  celebrating and maintaining our biblical distinctions as men and women by my pastors, as well as by authors like John Piper, Wayne Grudem and by Nancy Leigh Demoss and Mary Kassian — the authors of the new book.  I’ve even done some writing and teaching on this topic myself!

But I’ve been drifting.

I love being a wife, mother and homemaker.  There is truly nothing better I can think of to do with my life than care for my home and serve my family. (Not that I enjoy all the tasks associated with my role or fulfill them consistently!) But as I began reading the familiar truths in my recently purchased book, I found myself bristling. Hmm.

When I was homeschooling lots of small kids, cooking dinner and doing laundry most days, and having to release my husband frequently for pastoral responsibilities in which time and energy didn’t allow me to participate, the truths about the value of my womanly role were oxygen to me. The scriptures brought me strength and vision for the daily grind of my life. I devoured books and teaching about godly womanhood. I needed the help, affirmation and encouragement to find meaning in the mundane of my life…and to survive!

Now I’m older. Over three decades of homeschooling are about to end. In a few months our formerly loud, messy household of nine will have slowly dwindled down to three when Jake (our loudest and messiest remaining family member…smile) leaves for law school. And my youngest child is our most quiet, tidy and organized.

Additionally, I work for my oldest son’s IT company part time to help with the family finances, and am able to join Benny much more when he asks me to participate in pastoral counseling or meetings. When mid-afternoon comes around and I’m busy following up on company clients, enjoying my new photography hobby, or realize lunch with a friend has gone later than I planned, there are only three or four of us to affordably feed with fast food or take-out.

The homemaking and mothering demands on my time have simply changed. And as I sat oceanside reading True Woman 101 I wasn’t personally engaging in the material but was reading it for others. The Holy Spirit gently nudged me…

I started writing down questions to ask myself. Does my changing season of life mean my heart should change? Should I be any less devoted to my home just because I don’t have to schedule my cleaning to keep the Health Department away and laundry isn’t climbing out of my hamper? Do consistently home cooked meals mean any less to Benny and our still-at-home kids then when there were more plates at the table?

As you can see, I’m thinking. And praying. I’ll keep you posted.