My new mission

It has been a truly awful day. I am wrung out and exhausted. I need some encouragement and refreshment. And God led me to this blog with this story and challenge:

At my house we have a rodent problem. We’re working on it. And before you really start judging me and my housekeeping skills (although, some of those judgement’s, I’m sure are earned) I will tell you that we live in the country…not the far out country, but far out enough to be surrounded by wide open fields and people who own horses and other livestock. I had chickens at one time and that didn’t help our rodent problem. Anyway, suffice it to say that when we moved here 3 years ago, I had a terrible fear of all things rodent, spider, and snake and now, because I’ve become accustomed to seeing these things, my fears have subsided considerably.

Anyway, a couple days ago my dad came over and was helping us do some electrical work…in order to do this, he had to go underneath the house. In one of our rooms, there is an opening to under the house and he asked me to pass him a screwdriver through that little opening. When I went over there, I saw what I believed was a dead mouse. Later on, dad confirmed that it was a dead mouse. Yeah, gross. But not something that I’m completely unused to. Yesterday however, I was out in that particular room cleaning it up and I saw that over in that corner, the dead mouse was still there. I kept looking at the mouse in the dark corner. I saw it’s legs and it’s face. It was gross and fascinating at the same time. I mentioned to Josh that the mouse was still there and needed to get taken care of.

Later that night, Josh went back to the dark corner to take care of the mouse. That is his job after all, as the man of the house. He looked all around and couldn’t find it. I kept telling him exactly where the mouse was, and wondering why he couldn’t see it. He looked for several minutes and didn’t see the mouse. So he asked me to show him where it was. I bravely went back there to help him find the mouse. And I realized, that what I had been looking at, wasn’t a mouse at all. It was a wadded up piece of fabric. Even though I had looked at it several times, and the more I looked at it, the more details I saw…the legs the face…the teeth. And my dad said it was a mouse. But the truth was, it wasn’t a mouse.

The problem? I didn’t shine a light on it. I was frightened to shine a light on the “mouse” because I was afraid of seeing it. Really seeing it. And so, I went on trusting that what I was seeing in the dark was, in fact, truth.

And you know…I think we do the same thing when it comes to what our roles and responsibilities are as women. Think of the media. We don’t have TV in our house anymore…but I can’t think of a single semi-current show where a happy stay at home mom is the leading character. Always she is working. The only show I can think of where a mom stays at home with her kids is Desperate Housewives…but that’s not exactly a show that I would like to model my own life after. Society obviously downplays the importance of being a stay at home wife and mother. I have never personally gotten any negative comments with my decision to stay at home with my kids, but I have however always felt like I somehow wasn’t as important as my friends who were out conquring the world in their office jobs, or saving the world by teaching children how to read. I always have felt like I have to “justify” my decision to be at home with my kids by stating that I couldn’t afford the daycare with having 5 kids…ha ha.

It is so easy to take what we think is the truth about being a working mom, and look at it over and over until we start seeing the detail in it. When we look at something long enough, we start seeing more and more truth in it. And we have people confirming to us over and over in our lives, through media, and even through example, that the “truth” that we’re seeing, is in fact truth.

But what happens when we finally get brave enough to shine a light on it? We realize, that what we thought was a mouse, is actually just a piece of fabric. We realize that what we thought was truth, was not Truth.

Here is my challenge to you, women of Courageous Homekeeping. (And I can’t exactly take credit for this- it was a Mark Driscoll idea) I challenge you to turn off your TV’s for a couple weeks. And instead, read through Proverbs, Ruth, and Esther. And just for fun, 1 Peter and Titus. These are some of the books of the Bible that either are written specifically for women and about women, or have chapters in them about a woman’s role. At the end of two weeks, I am going to ask some of you to talk about what you learned. Will you do that? This is a risky move on my part! Because what if no one rises to the challenge? Then I’m going to look stupid. Please don’t make me look stupid.

The name of our website is called Courageous Homkeeping for a reason. It takes immense amounts of courage to fight the cultural “norm” of being a working mom. It takes immense amounts of courage to shine Light in those dark places that we think are truth. Shine the light, Ladies! Face that fear! And come back here in two weeks, ready to tell me what you learned. Are you ready?

For God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of love, and of sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

I am going to do this challenge, not cutting out TV, but reducing TV and internet time to look for proper, Godly encouragement and wisdom. Hopefully I will be able to keep a note of what I learn on here so I can refer to it when things are tough again, as I am sure they will be!