This Is The Important Work

I approach this piece cautiously and not as a bludgeon with which to beat others. It is not intended as a comparison to what other people do, nor is it a treatise on the virtue of stay-at-home mothers over those who go to a job. It is about something which I have noticed in my journey through motherhood.

I was 36 when I had my first baby. That said, I did a lot of living before she came along. I was also the last born of a biological family that produced no grandchildren for my parents. There was a serious baby shortage in my life and, until I volunteered working for a Christian pre-school, I had spent virtually no time around children.

Therefore I come into this without prior experience.

Before Ruby came, I had performed a variety of functions. I traveled. I read books. I had an Ebay business for a while selling vintage first edition books. I worked for several financial institutions in various capacities. I worked in credit card fraud, customer service, collections, applications, processing data for a merchant bank, and in a restructuring department for underwater mortgages. I also worked addressing the county in which I lived for a time.

I had always had a tremendous interest in real estate, and my husband and I built our first house to sell at a profit. We bought a second home and then a third. I liked expensive cars that went faster than I was willing to drive. It was a thing of mine. I also enjoy fashion.

Since becoming a Christian I have had a music ministry singing to people in all walks of life, I host a radio show and I enjoy writing. I've been privileged to write songs and to play a bunch of musical instruments. I've recorded 3 studio albums, 2 of which were played on the radio. It's been great.

Enter Baby.

Enter sleeplessness and weight gain, fatigue and recurring ear infections. I attended a women's conference this summer with a session on chasing your dreams while chasing the kids. In it the speaker spoke of the common feeling of being chained down and like your own life has been put on the back burner.

Everyone nodded. Everyone knows. We might not talk about it, we might feel guilty for saying it, but many of us do feel like it's hard for us to move. Many of us still have hopes and dreams of our own.

I do. And I've had to be intentional about finding the time to do things while Baby is asleep or hanging out with Daddy. I've had to carefully take small pockets of time to do extraordinary things. I've had to engage in my life with a strategy.

With some things, God has called us to be creative. Practicing music now happens while wearing Baby in a babypack. Studio recording happens while holding Baby. We do radio interviews while Baby is asleep.

I try to do my writing while Baby is asleep or busy playing at my feet.

Our schedule is often hectic due to the demands of a little one, colds, and the outbursts caused by irritation due to teething. Our living room looks quite different than it used to. I thank God that He has given us meaningful work to do for His kingdom and also that my husband has a job.

But along with all that, Baby is the most meaningful and important work God has given us to do. We strive to raise a daughter for the kingdom, one that will hopefully receive Christ as a Savior at a young age. We are training her up in the gospel, taking her to our gospel shows and modeling for her what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ.

We have a small impact out there in the world, but the largest one is made here at home. We have a little person to instruct and whose experiences will be carried down through the generations as she teaches what she herself was taught. We need to do this right. Not perfectly or maniacally, but gently and with grace.

I was reminding myself amid the frustrations of tantrums and night-wakes and all the work that it sometimes feels that she is keeping me from, that she is the important work. That when I'm getting ready to die I will want to know that I've raised up someone for the kingdom in the very best way that I could.

Mamas, it's that important.

It isn't about what size jeans we could fit into or how smart or gifted our little ones are, though those things certainly have their place. It's about training these ones up in the way that God would have them to go so that when they are old they will not depart from that.

And we have a whole world system bent on working against us. We have an enemy that works nonstop to corrupt these little ones before Jesus can get in. We've got the television and movies and peer groups with a different agenda than the one Christ has laid out for them. We've got our work cut out for us.

Society gets it twisted when they put motherhood down as a profession for the uneducated and the stupid. There is no higher calling. Without the carrying and raising of children our race would cease to exist. 

In fact, social scientists are lamenting the fact that the birth rate in the United States is dropping below that which we need to sustain our population. A contraction in size is bad for all of us, and researchers know this. It is bad for the economy, bad for science and technology, and generally means we can begin to see signs of a decline. 

Raising up children is not just good for our country, but it has lasting, eternal rewards. 

I know God has other work for me too and it gets done, but when this little one interrupts or stays up later than I would like, she's not keeping me from important work.

She is the important work.

I know it's the same for you too. Soldier on, dear ones. God sees all you do. He promises you a harvest if you don't tired out of well-doing.

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