Every job has some sort of occupational hazard. I am a stay-at-home-mom and yes, I even have occupational hazards. In the early stages of my career, such hazards looked a lot like overloaded diapers, a baby sneeze followed by a spoon of peas, a colorful load of what used to be white towels as a result of a crayon being left in the pocket of a certain four-year-old. (Ok, that last one hasn't happened to me, but I threw it in here for the poor mommas who know what I'm talking about.) And PLEASE don't make me go into the hazards of cleaning a little boy's bathroom. Yuck!
The joys of motherhood, right? Totally. But to tell you the truth, these are the things that don't bother me all that much. Seeing evidence of my little ones around the house reminds me everyday to be thankful for them. After the awful school shooting in Connecticut, I thought often of the moms who came back to their homes only to have to clean up toothpaste spit left behind after their babies brushed their teeth for the very last time that morning. Perspective, right? It's all about perspective, and I couldn't be more thankful for that toothpaste spit or those dirty pairs of socks.
But there is one particular occupational hazard for which I was not prepared. When you stay at home everyday, all day, you stay quite busy. The work seems to never get finished. And just when you finally tackle that huge load of laundry, another one awaits you just a couple of days later. You can't even enjoy a clean house for very long. Here's the deal, though. It doesn't require intense brain power to complete these endless tasks. In fact, it doesn't require much thought at all. Although the work is endless and there are days when you feel like you never even sit down, it is quite possible and even quite easy for your mind to remain idle.
"An idle mind is the devil's playground." Have you ever heard that saying? It can be so true. This was the part of being a stay-at-home-mom for which I was not prepared. Even with all of the laundry and the homework and the cleaning, I have way too much time on my hands to think. Way. Too. Much. Time. I stay busy, mind you. Don't even think for a second that we stay-at-home-moms sit around all day watching T.V. and eating Bon Bons. In fact, those are fighting words around these parts. Grin. But even as I stay busy, my mind wanders. And wanders. And wanders.
There is a reason why the Lord instructs us to fill our hearts with His Word. I have found over the past couple of years that this is MOST critical to my sanity. In those moments where I tend to obsess over the smallest thing...a phone call gone un-returned, an email sent where no response was given, or even passing a friend at church who chooses to not speak or make eye-contact...it's in those moments where I have to rely solely on the comfort of God's Word. If I don't, I'll have myself convinced that no one likes me, I have zero friends, I am completely ineffective in my ministry endeavors, and my personal favorite...my age is starting to completely march across my face!
Friends, if we could just remember that God wants to use our lives, but our lives are not ultimately about us. When our emphasis is on ourselves, that is truly when we lose our effectiveness. Although we moms spend our days taking care of others, it's quite easy to fall in the trap of Me, Myself, and I. Be cautious. And if you have found yourself lately obsessing about things other than the Lord, ask Him to fill your heart with thoughts of Him. Do what you must to guard your heart against the strategic tactics of our enemy. Memorizing Scripture and hiding its truth in your heart is a great starting place.
I pray this brings you encouragement as you wrap up another work week. We moms must stick together. In a world where females only feel as valuable as they are sensual (thank you, Beth Moore, for that reminder), we must fight together as Princess Warriors representing the King of Kings. In Jesus' name, we press on! Have a great weekend, friends!