Losing My Life As a Homeschool Mom

I used to be a singer, evangelist, toured in a band and hung out with musicians. I had a billion friends and lots of time to spend with them. People used to recognize me when we were out: my long blonde big hair stood out and all the times I got to speak and sing in public made people who I didn’t even know, felt they knew me. I loved those days and remember them fondly.

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Rehearsing with some of my favorite people
God called me home when my daughter was born almost 15 years ago.

I just realized it’s been about one-third of my life! I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. As a creative extrovert, there has always been a part of me that has wanted to keep relevant and public. During my stay at home years I’ve run an at home business, led worship part time, and participated in various events outside the home. Every single time I try to run back and find myself, God calls me back to the home, and my husband and children, not to make THEM my identity, but to point them to Jesus. And I’m so grateful. 

While I’ve enjoyed managing meal calendars with fun stickers, singing lullabies and hymns to nursing babies, and finding ways to worship while cleaning toilets…it has wiped away all the glamour and accolades from what used to be a kind of public life. When my kids were little, they thought I was a sort of celebrity when I knew people everywhere we went. We now quietly run in and out of stores, without being recognized as the “singer girl and her kids.” 

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Proof of the big blonde hair

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My body has been morphed by eight pregnancies, my blonde hair is now brown (and let’s be honest, a little gray), and someone please bring me to a make up counter to teach me how to do middle aged make up! I’m no longer surrounded by lights and smoke, but little boys and girls growing into men and women. And I realized recently, I’ve lost myself. 

Several years ago, a dear friend challenged me to find my identity outside of music.

I wondered if I could. Subconsciously, I tried finding my identity in other ways. But over the past few years…I’ve found that an identity in and of myself is virtually meaningless. Yes, God has given me gifts. I can (and intend to) use them to bring Him glory and I even intend to enjoy those gifts. (I literally JUST had someone ask me to consider using music in my ministry again…so please don’t think I’m abandoning music altogether. It’s a gift to use, but being the music girl is no longer my identity. This is a GOOD thing.) Losing myself has been one of the greatest gifts of being a homeschool mom. Music, business ventures, even my husband and kids, my home; NONE of it can give me lasting fulfillment.

Recently, going through the routine aspects of my day; making meals, cleaning up, tidying the house, I was listening to some of my old favorite tunes. Watermark came up in the playlist, and this lyric just brought me to grateful tears: 

If I ever find my life, then I’ve lost it
For there is nothing more to life
Than to lose myself while I’m
Running, running, running
Running after You

It was like Matthew 10:39 came to life in my heart. As a homeschool mom I’ve had the gift of no longer running after my own life, but running after Jesus.It’s literally the main reason I’m home with my kids: to run after Jesus with them and to live out His call to me as a parent in Deuteronomy 6:5. He has been a constant, running after me. I’m surrendering to Him, and losing my life for His sake…and I’m finding my life, in Him. 

I’m so thankful for the precious calling on my heart. Giving up my own life for the call He has had on it, has given me the perspective I need to pursue Him more passionately. Losing my life as a homeschool mom for Jesus…and thankful for it.

Are Our Daughters Considering Homemaking As a Career?

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It’s hard to write a post like the one I’m about to share without including a few stipulations. Yes, there are crazy people in the world who treat women and girls like property. It’s true that many women are called into important, wage earning, professions. Certainly, some women are called to single life. Let’s operate under the assumption that I’m NOT functioning as a voice for the dogmatic stay at home daughter movement. And many, if not most of our daughters will one day marry and have children. Fair enough?

I grew up watching Laura Ingalls, of Little House on the Prairie, dissatisfaction with “just” being at home as a wife and mother. Maggie Seaver of Growing Pains, grabbed her brief case and coffee while kissing her children goodbye as they got themselves ready for school. Claire Huxtable practiced law and brought her skills home to navigate the waters of a large family. I was told repeatedly I could be anything I wanted to be. My list of possibilities was long; teacher, broadcast journalist, advertisement, musician, pastor, missionary, writer, etc.

My dreams growing up didn’t include becoming a wife or a mother.

My dreams growing up didn’t include becoming a wife or a mother. I have no memory discussing this as an option. I remember dreaming of success and goals achieved. Of course marriage and having children was part of the plan, but almost like a side bonus, not, THE DREAM.

What kind of messages have you received about motherhood? Recently, talking to older teens and young adults about their dreams I often hear, “I want to be a teacher, a nurse, a missionary, etc.”

I’ve been gently asking, “Have you ever considered becoming a homemaker?” These young ladies don’t know how to answer a question which has never been posed to them before.

Have the young ladies in your life considered homemaking as a career?

I love the idea of my daughters receiving a solid education, a foundation on which to support themselves, and general development and growth as human beings. There is something I know however, which they do not. I know what it feels like to hold your very own baby in your arms for the first time. I’ve experienced what it is to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you would give your life’s breath for that baby the instant you lock eyes. I’ve wept the tears of a woman who nursed her baby, not wanting to hand her over to a childcare provider at 12 weeks of age. And I’ve walked the path with numerous women, shedding tears over wanting to stay home with their babies, but set up their lives in such a way that it was financially impossible.

What messages are we giving our sons and daughters about homemaking?

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Why don’t our girls dream about the passionate pursuit of raising children as a profession? Do we not present it as a glorious option? Is the pull on the world, requiring two incomes to live like those around us, so strong? Do we send our children (boys and girls) into higher education, accumulating unthinkable debt so that staying at home with children is an impossibility? Do those of us who live out the roles of homemaker do so joylessly, making the job unattractive? Is the church building up and valuing the glorious job of mothers raising their babies and children at home?

Sisters in Christ, if you have been called to marriage, motherhood, and homemaking, you have received a high and holy call.

We receive no paycheck or glory and few accolades from the world. Managing our homes however, brings us to a glorious place of storing up treasures in heaven. As we change diapers, scrub toilets, instruct toddlers in the kindness and gentleness of the Lord, organize our cupboards and prepare meals; we have the ability to perform every task as worship unto the Lord. When we creatively prepare a menu on a budget and joyfully serve our family, we are serving Jesus himself.

Teaching our little ones the gospel in our day-to-day interactions, growing them in godliness and discipline is a certain way of doing our part in fulfilling the Great Commission we’ve received from the Lord Jesus. Impossible questions need to be answered, world-views need to be shaped. Boo-boo’s need to be tended to with great wisdom. And our husbands need our love and attention as well. All of this takes great skill, devotion, and selflessness.

I don’t know that we will turn the tide, making the High Call of Motherhood and Homemaking, into a longed for profession in our culture. But we can do an amazing job of showing the beauty of it in our homes. We can do our job with excellence. Join me in challenging our daughters with our devotion to the home and the Lord.

Let’s challenge them with our words as well.

We can speak highly of our job as homemaker. When we talk about our daughter’s futures, when we talk about Jesus command to “store up treasure in heaven,” include the career of motherhood as a path for them to consider as a worthy call. I don’t have my daughter’s lives mapped out for them. That is between my daughters and the Lord. I do desire, when they think of the future, to realize that jobs with titles, advancement, and paychecks aren’t the only career paths to consider. Homemaking doesn’t need to be an after thought. It’s a worthy, lovely, worthwhile career they can be proud in wanting to pursue. Let’s give our girls the dream of raising a family for Jesus.