Saturday, April 2, 2011

Torn

Last night I spent a bunch of time reading a really sweet blog written by a mom of six kids.  She's also a great photographer.  As I was reading her blog filled with references to her home-schooling, bread-making, beautifying, and crafting, I realized I was feeling envious.

You see, I really love crafty homeschooling moms, who spend their stay-at-home days educating hordes of well-behaved children, baking whole wheat bread from grain they've personally ground, beautifying their spacious houses so they look like something from an Anthropologie store, sewing gorgeous dresses and crafting cloth books and woolen scarfs while watching period dramas to their hearts content with a glass of raw milk in hand.  I love these families, and I'd love my kids to grow up this way.

But there are significant factors that preclude me from following such a path.  My husband and I are Christian egalitarians (we believe giftings and callings are not given strictly according to gender) and consequently take issue with the gender restrictions espoused by some of those I admire. This doesn't keep us from being great friends with them, just from becoming exactly like them.  I often feel constrained and concerned by their view of the world, their treatment of women.

There's also this pesky little factor called cost-of-living. I live in a semi-urban, super expensive part of the country where one spouse's middle-class income is seldom enough to meet basic living expenses if the other spouse isn't also working. No wonder so many people in Hawaii live with their parents (or homes inherited from their relatives).  Plus, I have dreams for myself.  There are skills I hope to continue developing.  I aspire to write, speak, travel.  I want to make a difference in the world, not only in my home.

It's hard for me to reconcile these two parts of myself.  I guess you could say that I'm part Stepford wife, part Eleanor Roosevelt.

Perhaps I will become a different breed of momone who works and stays home, votes liberal (much of the time, sorry mom!) deeply values her responsibilities in the home and sews up a storm, yet has no problem with shopping online too.  Perhaps one day I will get my chance to resurface old furniture, decorate my own house, fill it with happily learning children, and still be able to travel, speak, and write on the subjects so dear to my heart.

I'll admit this sounds highly unrealistic.   Realistic for me right now is laying in bed for hours every day, letting my sole child spend eons of time on the iPad.  What sounds realistic is snapping at my husband as he gets home from a long day.  What sounds realistic is the sound of the microwave chirping at me, reminding me the burrito inside has been warmed and is ready to be consumed.

What I want is someone to take care of me.  I wish God would appear in my house like a kind grandmother, clean it up, do my laundry, make a fantastic meal from locally grown ingredients, and then do the dishes afterwards.  I'd bare my soul talking and crying with him as he makes chocolate chip cookies and blueberry muffins.  Then we'd sit on the bar stools in the kitchen, sipping tea or coffee together (or wine if that's what He wants.)  That all sounds great.  (hmm.. It also sounds like "The Shack.")

During his dark night of the soul, the Biblical character Job, having lost all his children and possessions, challenges God to come down and answer for Himself.  Job demands an account of why God has allowed him to experience such deep, comprehensive suffering.  And when God finally surfaces, he does so in dramatic fashion, giving long-winded accounts of his creative power and accomplishments.  Job stops asking his questions when he sees the glory and wonder of God and is content to simply be in His presence.  Like Job, I sometimes wish God would show up to answer for Himself.  I have some questions too, namely, why?  Where are you?  Show yourself!  And while you're at it, can you stop by my house and make me some chocolate chip cookies?

I guess what I really want right now is to be mothered and cared for with nothing expected of me other than just showing up.  I just wish it wasn't too much to ask for.

12 comments:

Jan said...

Oh it's not too much to ask for. I second the request...and when He's done with your house...can he come to mine...

Rebecca said...

Doesn't that sound great?! I'll be sure to send him over! :) :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely Becca. I totally see both the crafty-super mommy side and traveling-all-over-the-world-and-touching-many-people's-lives side in you. So what you said that sounds unrealistic actually sounds very realistic to me.
I hope you get a good rest in this season of charging up and getting healed, so you'll be ready when what you're dreaming now becomes reality!
--yuka

AMKreations said...

Hmmm....You know, I think I'd be afraid to have Him come see me. I can imagine how all my awfulness would be so visible in the light of His glory. =( I don't know if I could personally handle that.

I do believe that He has great things for you. I think this is your time of healing. I wouldn't worry about placing such high expectations upon yourself. To everything there's a season. I think we can look at others and think they have it all together, but I find that most people in "blog-land" are sharing their best moments...we probably wouldn't want to be in their home at those not so pretty times. =)

I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Not too much to ask for at all! As a matter of fact that's why you've got a mother. I can make you chocolate chip cookies and we can sit on the kitchen bar-stool and drink ice tea if its a hot day or hot chocolate if its a cool day. And a graduate will come in everyday and help with the dishes and laundry. We will be the heart, ears, and hands of God to take care of you. All you have to do is come.

Deanna said...

Haha.... it does sound like The Shack!

And now I want a chocolate chip cookie..... :)

Anonymous said...

Aaaak! As a homeschooling mom I WISH I was like that woman! I hope that you know very few of us are like her. Often, I feel inadequate, and my life and my home are messy. But I do feel God's hand on me. Tom and I were called by Him to live our life as we do. We strive to be obedient and honor Him in what we do, even if it's not exactly what I thought I'd being doing.

Becca, I know you will be obedient to whatever it is that God calls you and Dan to do. Even when it is messy, you will honor Him with your lives, because you both love Him so much. Seek Him first and the rest shall be added, right? :-)

I love you! Shannon

Rebecca said...

Oh Shannon,

You are such a superb, superb woman of God, and a fantastic mom! I can just see your love for God, Tom and the kids flowing out of you... I would love to be a woman like you! :) :) And I do truly believe that God does call us all to different paths. Sometimes I wish I were on a different one, that's all...

And I'm super, super excited to hang out with you this weekend. It's going to be FuuN!

P.S. I might need some healing prayer. :) :)

Anonymous said...

I am so with you..I want it all - to be home with my kids when they are youmg, to be there for them when they get home from school, to have a career, to make jewelry, learn how to quilt, have a part-time catering business...if you figure out how to make it all work, let me know.
Love you,
Michelle

Queenie said...

I'm another one who doesn't think it's too much to ask for. I always remember how God sent an angel to minister to Elijah (who happened to be running away and pouting at the moment, right after God had performed an awesome miracle) with fresh-baked bread and water. In fact, his words were, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." Check it out: 1 Kings 19. Sound like chocolate chip cookies to me.

Queenie said...

Hi again. . .I'm sorry that I didn't even introduce myself. My friend Betsy told me about your blog and I like it so much. I hope what I wrote about Elijah didn't sound like I was implying that anyone but him was pouting. I only included that aside to underscore the idea that God's tender care doesn't fail under any circumstance, even if (when) we aren't "perfect," a fact for which I am very glad!

Rebecca said...

Queenie, thanks for your comment! I'm glad you came this way too... and yes, Elijah is a good reminder that God's care for us never fails!