Monday, January 30, 2012

Heaven on Earth

“Keep your eyes open...don't fall asleep Julie...”

I was reading my five-year-old son Goodnight Gorilla, one of his favorite stories. My eyes were struggling to stay open. I had been awakened the previous night, Christmas Eve, at 2 a.m. by my college daughter who was home visiting. She was standing in my room laughing hysterically.

“Mom...” tries to control giggling...” R threw up in the bunk bed (on the top bunk) and it's running down the walls! Ha ha ha...” She was deliriously tired too and found the entire situation hilarious. Then she went back to bed and I got up to assess the damage.


I had barely fallen asleep after filling the stockings and nibbling Santa's cookies. I tried to comfort my sick child and not fall back asleep. I spent Christmas at home cleaning up while everyone else went to church. Then Christmas night, I found myself reading Goodnight Gorilla and thinking about life.

Fortunately I've read that cute gorilla story so many times I could recite it from memory, and my little son didn't seem to notice my intermittent yawning. After we were finished, he wanted to snuggle and my mind began to wander...

I have admittedly struggled with the “What ifs...” of my past. What if I had stayed in college? What if I had moved away from home and pursued a career? What if I hadn't become a mother so young? I see other young women waiting to start their families and I have wondered, could that have been me? It has been a struggle in my heart at times. The job of motherhood is a challenging one. It's hard to be responsible for others 24/7. It's hard to be so sleep deprived that you feel like you're floating above your body. It's hard to drown in the laundry and dishes. It's hard to embrace my little ones constant needs with the cheerfulness and love they deserve.

But I know what God wants me to do is embrace what is right in front of me. It's these sweet little faces that are always happy to see me, no matter what. It's knowing that my kisses can seemingly heal all wounds. It's teaching my little boy a new word, and seeing the delight in his eyes as he learns to read like his brothers and sisters. It's knowing that I don't need the approval of the entire world to know what is right for me. Being a Mom at home is right for me. I will not question the timing of it, or allow my mind to entertain thoughts of anything I may have missed out on.

This work of raising children is Heavenly work. What you Stay-At-Home-Moms are doing is changing the world! Please don't waste your time wishing for more, chasing after money, desiring greater influence or lingering on past mistakes. Don't waste these years, for they will never come again. Your kids love you because you are their Mommy, not because you are successful in the eyes of society. Like, who cares what Gloria Steinem thinks? When was the last time you saw a happy picture of that woman. Be faithful to who you are. This is the work you were born to do. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise.

Make your home a Heaven on Earth.