Psalm 139:14

Monday, October 02, 2006 11 Comments A+ a-

I have slowly been coming to a realization over this past weekend; a moment when something just clicked in my mind. It was as though God was literally speaking truth to me, a truth that I desperately needed to hear and I find myself still coming to grips with it. Now please understand, this is only in reference to me, no one else. I’m not trying to imply anything by revealing this as truth for everyone, it’s just my truth.

In all of my 27 years, I have absolutely never had any desire to be a homemaking wife; I abhor cooking, so much so that I’d rather do the dishes than cook; baking is something that I really, really have to be in the mood to do; decorating is not my strong suit, after all, Jon has more decorator sense in his pinky, than I do in my whole body; I’ve never cared how my house looks; and I’ve never found fulfillment in getting any of these things accomplished.

Now, somewhere, deep in the recesses of my mind, I had somehow hoped that getting married and/or becoming a mother would somehow change that. That in the words of “I do” or upon the moment my child was born, that some magic would be spun and suddenly it would be my deepest desire to be this “perfect” mother and wife. That I would joyfully try a new recipe for my family, or I would sit for hours with my children baking cookies for the neighbors, or get giddy over the new picture I found on sale that would go perfectly over the mantel.

No such luck. Instead I’ve found myself apologizing to family, friends, and church members that I wasn’t a better cook, or not hostessing more, or being excited at the idea of putting my house together. I felt as though I was lacking in some area of womanhood or that I wasn’t meeting this ideal of a Christian wife and mother. When I read eloquently written entries by Mandi, Sarah, Amy, Jess, or even as practiced by my own mother, I’m moved by their desires to be hearth and heart for their home. These are examples of women who are deeply fulfilled by their calling to home; they take pride and joy in making their home special, unique, and welcoming.

Upon reading such expressive posts, I found myself vowing to do better in the future, or asking God to give me the same desires for my own home and family, or feeling as though I’ve failed in some way. It was only by my own measuring stick that I was continually falling short. Suddenly it hit me…God did not give me those desires or talents to begin with; He did not create me that way; and who am I to question God’s creation?! I know that God created ME with a number of other desires, talents, and strengths, most of which have nothing to do with cooking, cleaning, decorating, or homemaking. Just as I am sure that God did create some women with specific desires to be the best homemaking wives and mothers they can be. I’m finally realizing that I am not less than them, just different but still perfectly made in His eyes.

Of course, I know that I have to meet the physical needs of my family and that’s why I’ll continue to cook their meals, clean the house, and fold the laundry, but I will no longer be waiting for that desire to go above or beyond; or feel like I’ve failed in some way, or measure myself against the women who do have these desires and talents. I will always hold the above women with the utmost admiration and respect, for they accomplish things that I can only dream about, and obviously fulfilling a calling in their life. But I will no longer be envious of their gifts, talents, and desires; God just didn’t make ME that way and it has been an incredibly freeing realization!!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

11 comments

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aggiejenn
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4:19 PM delete

AMEN!!! I have constantly compared myself to a friend who is super-organized and her house never looks out of place. I'm just not that way. Our house is clean, but looks "lived in" most of the time. And that's okay!!!

Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you.

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The Artist
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5:25 PM delete

That's right, Jenn. God created you and He knows you inside and out. And I think it's great that you've come to this "realization" that you don't have to be someone else or measure up to their expectations.

It's hard, but when we can be at peace with "me" then everything else falls into place.

Blessings to you this week! (I'm getting my hair done on Wed - so check out pics on Thur!)

;o)

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amy
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5:41 PM delete

I like this post because, again, you are being honest. I read your blog because who you really are shines through your writing. And you're right, the skills that God has given you are so unique to you and he gave them with such purpose. I've been really down on myself lately because I am actually not a very good homemaker...even though I desire to be! Your post encouraged me to really think about how God HAS gifted me and how I can use those to honor Him. Thank you.

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O Mama Mia
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1:25 PM delete

{{blushing}} Now, now... I never said I enjoyed those dishes. ;) But I do love the feeling of fullfillment when I know I'm spot-on trying my hardest to please God & my family that He's blessed me with. And I do get down about it & utterly overwhelmed many a times... but we keep on keeping on.
You are a great wife & mama, sweets! God sees & knows your heart & that's all that matters.
Hugs!

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Joy
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12:08 PM delete

God didn't use cookie cutters when he made us - we are all unique and wonderful! It is so hard not to compare with others... Thanks for reminding me of this!

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Mike
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12:59 PM delete

Heart-warming post.

I love being a parent, mostly because I have no idea what I am doing. I always tell myself that, if God gave me the natural ability to reproduce two kids, then He must have also given me the natural ability to be a good parent.

I just have to discover how.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

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Amanda
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1:03 PM delete

I have done so many studies on the P31 woman and I have constantly prayed for a heart like her's. It's such a process! I do believe that God has called EVERY woman to be the heart of their home. That picture looks differently for everyone. I will say that I never considered myself to be crafty or the super homemaker but the more time I spend putting my home and family first, the more those gifts AND desires come. The older I get, the more I change and things I never had interest in before, all of the sudden spark a fire inside of me.

Another big thing that has made me love cooking, baking, dceorating, etc. is just being surrounded by other women that love it too. I never imagined myself being domestic.. I was not raised to be domestic. My mom isn't a cook, she is not a nurturing woman. But she has some pretty amazing other gifts. I truly believe that our gifts and talents change over time. I don't see myself EVER being a scrapbooker (yuck!) but someday I may change my mind.

Comparing ourselves to other women, other moms, other wives, is dangerous because God did not create us to be ANY one else besides ourself! When we try to measure up to someone else, we will always fail. We were created to be the woman God made us to be.

I am so glad you are writing this stuff and showing other women that it is okay to be who they really are. If only all women could understand and relax in this!

Great word!

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Amanda
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1:14 PM delete

okay i am so honored that you would link me and actually call me mandy but I have to tell you, it's Mandi with an i! :)

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Jill Davis
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8:12 AM delete

Amen Sista! Although I enjoy some of the organization of a home, I don't feel that God made me a little homemaker either! I am right there with you. You said it better than I ever could too!

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8:23 AM delete

Jenn, I just love your honesty. If you define homemaking as crafty-ness and cooking, etc., so much of homemaking does not come naturally to me, either, as you well know. But "home"-making in my mind is so much more about attitude - setting the tone for your home - your home and no one else's. It's a concept that doesn't rely on decorator colors to make it beautiful! God is good, isn't He?

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KC
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6:00 PM delete

Wow here i am finding this post a week later.. but had to comment because i loved this. You are so right God didn't make us all the same.. Though i do think he made me like you LOL, I don't have the gift for cooking, cleaning and decorating.. Though from time to time i like to try to cook(not to great at it) and I just NEVER will like doing dishes or laundry, even though i want my house clean i don't want to be running around cleaning 24/7 and with 4 kids that is what it would take to keep the place clean. and Decorating.. I dont have the eye. But even if my house isn't clean 24/7 and the kids are eatting mac n cheese, I think being a good housewife comes more from love and the time you give you kids. I think i would be falling short as a mother or wife if I spent all my time cooking, cleaning and decorating that is time i could be giving to my children, playing with them or spending time with my DH.
I'm very happy for the family God gave me. even if there are dishes in my sink :)

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