It's funny how sometimes God puts what we need to know right in front of us at the perfect time in our lives. Last night, I was bemoaning my lack of purpose, my lack of direction to my husband. While I couldn't explain it in a way that would make sense to anyone (even myself!), the fact is I've been missing a reason. When a person has a job, they want to do well. The reason? Getting paid, a promotion, praise, and any number of other beneficial adjuncts to a career. Being a stay at home mom is truly a blessing, however, it does make for a rather confusing "job". A mother's entire self worth is based on her ability to mother and nurture. With a job, if you follow commands and do good, you receive the payoff. In the career of mother, your payoff (which to me would be a well behaved child who follows commands and eats all of his vegetables) depends on the emotional state of little beings who believes that lack of chocolate milk for lunch is tantamount to the Great Depression and is grounds for kicking, screaming, and occasionally throwing said lunch from table. Motherhood is a career that is destined to be thankless, which can leave even the best mommies feeling they are lacking.
After sleeping on these troubling thoughts, I woke up this morning and turned to my devotionals, which from first glance had little to do with anything occupying my mind, but turned out to be the balm I needed for my mental worries. This one was about the fruit of goodness, which is similar to but also very different from kindness. Goodness means active benevolence. The gist of this is that God has a predetermined purpose for us, based not on our abilities, but abilities for the common good. The result of doing these good works is God's praise and an increase of responsibility.
If, instead of looking at my "job" in a worldly sense, I looked at it in a godly sense, perhaps I could find the meaning, the reason, the worth that can't be found in the daily grind of motherhood. God entrusted these two little beings to me. He gave me a wonderful husband to provide for us, and a nice home to live in. If I look for my worth in these, heaven knows I'm doomed to fail. Kids are, as previously discussed, thankless (especially in toddlerhood!), and husbands, regardless of how great they are, could never give you enough praise to make endless laundry and dishes worthwhile. If instead I start looking at my family and my job as the tasks God has entrusted me with, and look to him for my reward in them, I think I'll find the reason I've been so desperately lacking, the worth I've been unable to find. If he believes that I can do it, and has faith in my abilities, than do I ever really need the praise of another to keep me motivated? It sure is nice, but from now on, I think I will try harder to find my worth in God's eyes, since he is the one who delegated this to me in the first place.