Today marks 2 1/2 weeks since school started back. Slowly but surely we are getting into the groove. I probably should rephrase that...my children are in the groove. Their transition has been remarkably smooth.
I am having a bit more of a bumpy ride. It is not really a sappy feeling, as much as it is a season of redefining myself. Their school hours are only slightly longer than last year, but my calendar is a lot lighter. My term on the executive board of the group home expired, so that has freed up a great deal of time.
I am leading two small groups (one for adults and one for teen aged girls), serving on Young Life committee and working on a big fundraiser for the adolescent group home--but with 35 hours of school a week, I still have big gaps of time. My laundry is staying caught up for the first time in 6 years. My house is orderly. I am actually cooking dinner at home a lot more. I am reading. I have time to think. This is what I have been waiting for...and yet, I feel antsy.
It makes me bristle a bit when people ask: So, what are you going to do with all your free time?
Is this it? Am I just a housewife now?
I am praying through what God has for me next--I don't want to rush to fill my calendar. I want to wait for clarity. I am trying to really enjoy this season of rest and organization. I am trying to rejoice in the fact that I now have time for long conversations with other women about things that matter. I am available now when needs arise for my husband, children or friends. When 3 o'clock rolls around I can be prepared to receive my tired, hungry people and devote myself fully to getting them through their afternoon. I am so thankful that being home is an option for me.
It is my ego, really. My pride says: I want to be more than a housewife.
But do I? My husband works crazy, long hours. I need to be here to manage the finances, our home and the children. I love being able to create an orderly, peaceful environment for them to all come home to. There is, truly, nothing else I would rather do. My pride just wishes it didn't seem so common. I don't want to be viewed as a spoiled lady of leisure.
I have heard people throw around the term 'domestic engineer,' but I have decided to use a different title. I am in full time ministry.
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Romans 12:1 (The Message)
I get to spend my days ministering...from Babs, Stanley and Joe at Kroger to whomever I may encounter in the aisles. I have time to return phone calls and e-mails...to reach out to people God places on my heart. I can have lunch in the school cafeteria with my children and get to know their new friends. I can serve their teachers. I can be available when my husband has a cancellation and gets to break away for lunch. I can go rock babies with friends who have newborns, take dinner to someone who needs it. What a privilege and a blessing. How dare I be ungrateful!
I choose to rejoice! "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places." Psalm 16:5-6