..."popsicles on the porch"...what a great afternoon treat and our favorite way to spend time together! These are simple and precious moments! Princess #1 and Princess #2 along with Little Man #1 and #2 are my inspiration for most of these writings.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


When Tim and I first got married, we had the typical American dreams and hopes of having a nice home, car, and family; two kids to be exact, one boy and one girl each.  Looking back now, this “I’ll take 2” special order kind of request seems so silly (selfish is probably a better word)! 

I guess this was the perfect little world I had imagined for myself. However, what I came to discover is that I wanted the blessing of having children without those little blessings interfering too much with my plans, my hopes, my ambitions, and my ideals for achieving success.

It was, well how should I put it...all about ME! ME!! ME!!!

Yikes! That stings.

As Tim and I dreamed together about what our future family would like, here were some of the questions that ran through my mind as I pictured my perfect happy family......
  • How will having children affect our pocket book? This is a practical question. Afterall, college isn't getting any cheaper.  
  • We won’t be able to just get up and go? Guess we’ll have to kiss those trips to Europe goodbye!
  • My biggest concern…what affect will a family have on my job/career?  How can I manage and juggle both? 
It’s taken a while for God to help me see the murky waters of my heart and how it was really all about me. Funny, how it’s so easy to see the junk in others, yet so hard to see it in ourselves. I didn’t realize it at the time and let's face it, probably would have just convinced myself that all my ambitions would benefit my future family. Yea, that's it! No, really....I was doing it all for my family! How can that be selfish...right?  What I've come to better understand is that at the root of it all....it was all about ME!!

I am a firm believer in setting goals, don't get me wrong however, as a Christ "follower" how was I actually "following" God?  Proverbs 16:9 puts it this way....

A man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

As I take a step back, I realize now that I was unintentionally boxing God in to fit "my" preconceived notions of the perfect family. I wanted Him to fit into my plans and on my terms. Unbeknownst to me, I had bought the lie that said I could "have it all" and that all I had to do was aim high and work harder. The question is...at whose expense? At what cost? All you have to do is look around at the family in today's culture to figure that out.  Divorce plagues our society and children suffer greatly.  All in the name of ME!! 

Johnathan Edwards, one of America's greatest Theologians writes about our passions that move us to action. The following passage really resonated with me and the innerwork God has been doing in me. 

The nature of human beings is to be inactive unless influenced by some affecftion: love or hatred, desire, hope, fear, etc.. These affections are the "springs of action," the things that set us moving in our lives, that move us to engage in activities. When we look at the world we see that people are exceedingly busy.  It is their affections that keep them busy. If we were to take away their affections, the world would be motionless and dead; there would be no such thing as activity. It is the affection we call covetousness that moves a person to seek worldly profits; it is the affection we call ambition that moves a person to pursue worldly glory; it is the affection we call lust that moves a person to pursue sensual delights. Just as worldly affections are the spring of worldly actions, so the religious affections are the spring of religious actions.

The "me" centered mentality is what ultimately drove me; the desire to achieve and to be known. It resulted in my poor view of family and clouded me from really embracing the beauty of my role as mother to my children and wife to my husband. As God continues to put to death the "me" centered corners of my heart,  He is faithful in teaching me that His ways are not my ways. As I reflect on where my affections are it causes me to remain open to what God has for me instead of what I have for myself.
I no longer view family as a weight I have to balance and juggle as I create a place for myself in this world. Rather, God has birthed in me such a passion for my family/home. I want to model for my children a woman who is unashamed of working in her home. A woman who is not willing to sacrifice her family on the altar of her ego or desire to have bigger, better, more. A woman who weighs every opportunity (even ministry opportunities) in light of how it will affect her family and ultimately how it will bring glory to Jesus

I am a woman who is  discovering that my gifts are not dormant simply because I'm at home, but rather God is using and even sharpening these gifts right here among the members of my own family. Futhermore, the lessons learned here will be the tools I need for the seasons yet to come.   

As I learn to "follow" Jesus and submit EVERY area of my life to Him, I am discovering more and more the beauty of Jesus' words in Matthew 16:25

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

So what about you...have you found your life?

The road of my life looks different....and I love it!  Two kids are now four kids!  I think of all the blessings I would have forfeited had I settled for the "Ill take two, that will do" mentality and all I can say is thank you Jesus. Thank you for opening my eyes and softening my heart and challenging this stubborn and prideful woman. Help me to care more about making your name great in my life instead of my own. May that be what truly drives me!

In my next few posts, I will continue to reflect upon where my affections are as it relates to my decision to stay at home full time and my commitment to homeschool...things I thought I'd NEVER do! My oh my has my definition of success been challenged! 

1 comment:

Terri said...

So true! Love it Mel and miss you guys.