I'm reading a book right now that a good friend recommended to me. It's called What is a Family, by Edith Schaeffer. After I got past the first chapter, (which I need to read again now that I understand more of what she's saying and her writing style) I have been challenged to the very core of my homemaking. I never realized what "power" I have as a stay-at-home mom. I never fully comprehended the joy or pain I can bring into my child's life. I never understood that these little beings that surround me day in and day out, mirror so much of my own life.
Have you heard the saying "If Momma ain't happy, no body's happy"?
Today, when we got home from Church I caught myself reflecting yet again. When I put lunch on the table, my little Grace asked me. "Is there cheese on my burrito?". When I confirmed that there was, she proceeded to pout. What makes her do this? And it's not just cheese on a burrito, but rather the fact that this morning during worship, she wanted an animal cracker from her sister's baggie of snacks, not from her own. She was fussy then as well. In the past month it's been a constant battle with myself and with the kids to find an "attitude of gratitude". Where do they get this? Is it from me? Do I throw a fit when things don't go my way? Am I picky when someone prepares something for me? I really have to wonder if they see past the front that I put up and are seeing and hearing the frustration in my voice when things don't go the way I want.
According to Shaeffer, a family is a Changing life Mobile, and Ecologically Balanced Environment, The Birthplace of Creativity, A Formation Center for Human Relationships, Shelter in the Time of Storm, Perpetual Relay of Truth, Economic Unit, Educational Control, Museum of Memories, A Door that has Hinges and a Lock, and Blended Balances.
This is an incredibly high set of standards, and an almost impossible task. I wasn't trained to be and environmentalist, a human relations director, economist, teacher, museum curator, artist or even a theologan. And yet, my children are depending on me to teach them so much. There are many other titles that go along with raising your children. What other job has chef, chaufer, housekeeper, nanny, nurse, personal shopper, money manager and full time assistant written into the job discription!?! Not only must I teach them these things, but I must do it with a heart for God, and a love for others that shines through. Sometimes the task seems monumental. Sometimes I don't think I can do it. Sometimes, I don't think I am doing it. So, what do I do? Right now the only solution I know if is prayer. I figure, with knowledge, comes responsibility... know better, do better.
So what is a family? For me, it's a chance for growth. A chance to learn and grow and become closer to the One who created it all!