It was very nice seeing you yesterday with your husband and 16-month-old daughter. How wonderful to see the look of love and expectation in your eyes. You are a living testimony to that wonderful aspect of motherhood whereby God allows a mom to look at her child and see things that are lost on the average onlooker. The smile on your face when you spoke about her was akin to how you looked as a little girl when something you really, really appreciated was before you.
But, my dear friend, I also saw another look; one that I have witnessed in others and felt myself. It is the look of "This is all going by so fast! Will I do everything I'm supposed to do correctly? I think I may run out of time."
So, some advice from a woman who has passed the half-century mark, who has been married a couple of decades longer than you, and has been a homeschooling parent for all but three of her eldest’s 29 years of life. You have all the time you need if you commit your time to the Lord and endeavor to glorify Him and enjoy Him in all you do. Will you do everything correctly? Of course you won't. But, that is beside the point. By using the time you have while your little one is still quite young, you can prepare yourself to be her teacher, mentor, and counselor while preparing her to be the best daughter, possible sister, friend, and, eventually, wife. In other words, the journey is as important as the destination.
Find and cultivate relationships with other wives and mothers in different stages of life and learn from them through their mentoring and friendship. Don't think "book-learning" is so important that you neglect other vital aspects of education. Recognize that all of life can be used to teach about the Creator/Savior and that character is ultimately more important than academic achievement.
Keep in mind that someday you will be the older woman and will have the pleasure and privilege of sharing your experiences with those new to their wife and mother profession -- maybe even that little bundle you are currently chasing around the house. Hopefully you will be able to look back on your life, realizing when you honored God as a daughter, sister, and friend and when you didn't, and be able to share with her the lessons you've learned from maturing, confessing, and accepting the Lord’s forgiveness. All in all, I think you will find that being a mom is among the most rewarding of professions even though you don’t have alphabetic degrees after your name.
If I may adjust the words at the close of Proverbs 31 for you:
Look well to the ways of your household and do not eat the bread of idleness. Your children will rise up and call you blessed; your husband also, and he will praise you: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but as a woman who fears the Lord, you will be praised. You will be given the fruit of your hands, and your works will praise you in the gates.
A Seasoned Veteran
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].