This guest post comes from none other than my wife Dayna, and I'm excited to share it with you. The following reflection is an edited version of a devotion she shared at a women's Christmas party. When I read it, I really liked it and asked for her permission to post it here.
I am married to a pastor and a mother to two busy kids. I have a 3 ½ year old girl and a 6 year old boy who started kindergarten this year. I work as a speech/language pathologist and am privileged enough to get the chance to work part time. For our family, this has meant some sacrifices but I have always felt it is what is best for me, my children, and my marriage.
As a Christian and married to a pastor I have heard a variety of comments about my working outside the home. Some are in support. Some are against, but are "relieved" to hear that I am part time.
|© 2014 Automotive Social, Flickr | CC-BY|
It is often the common person who posts these things, but it makes me think of Martha Stewart on steroids. It's not just some famous person you don’t feel you have to live up to. It is a mom of 6 kids who is working and still manages to make specialized, themed snacks for a party for all 6 while having a perfectly decorated Christmas tree and house.
How soon do we start comparing and feeling like we don’t measure up? When I choose to buy ready-made birthday cupcakes or fail to decorate the string cheese like reindeer, I start to judge myself as not good enough.
As a Christian woman, when I hear things about the wonderful Proverbs 31 woman (Prov 31:10-31), it makes me think of the ideal Pinterest woman. We hear how perfect, meek, mild mannered, and godly she is. It appears she does everything right, and again, we feel as if we are not measuring up.
But a couple weeks ago a friend of mine shared an article called Misconceptions of a Godly Woman by blogger Krista Ortiz. She wrote that she recently noticed something about the Proverbs 31 passages she hadn't seen before:
"She has NO FEAR of winter…"
"She is clothed with STRENGTH…"
Krista emphasizes that the Proverbs 31 woman is all those things we typically attribute to her but that she is also strong. "Not anything like the passive and weak woman we are so often encouraged to be. She has no fear of winter – the difficult times to come – and is most definitely not limited to planning weddings and using crockpots!"
...or, as I would add, having the best school treats or the perfectly ordered house. The woman we should talk about is the woman who God has made strong and capable and able to handle what comes her way. She is not perfect and will have trials just like others. Are we focusing on the wrong things?
It makes me think also about what is important in this Christmas season. What would Jesus want us to focus on? Would he care if we have the cutest stockings, the best gift bags, the tallest tree? Would he want us to spend our time worrying that we are wearing the right outfit or using the perfect dish to go to another Christmas party? Or would he want us to be thinking about how to make a difference in others' lives?
Are we helping a family make better choices for their children and families? Are we too busy to show love and compassion to a stranger, or even a loved one? Whether a working mom, far away mom, or stay at home mom, are we demonstrating love and strength to our families? Did we spend time with our children making a Chirstmas card or cookies, letting them frost them any way they want, even if they will go to friends and family without that perfect Pinterest design? Are we teaching others that they are important and loved just the way they are; that God loves us no matter what and that is why he gave us his Son? Are we focusing on the right things this Christmas season?
I'm proud to say that I consider Dayna to be one of the most dedicated, hard-working, and strong women I know. She is an inspiration to me and has made me a better person.
Visit the guest posts page of my blog to read others or learn more.