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The prayer of a reluctant working mom.

I’m a working mom.

I never wanted to be a working mom because as a child, I concluded that I didn’t get enough love from my mom because she was a working mom.

Later, I found this was not the real reason; a dysfunctional family was much more to blame. However, it didn’t keep me from drawing that foundational conclusion about being with my kids versus being out of the house for much of the day.

So you better believe I was shocked, dare I say appalled, when I heard God tell me to get back on active duty in the Army right around my baby’s 18th week of age. I yelled, I cried, and then I had to face the lie that I believed: “Stay-at-home moms love their kids more than working moms.” Apparently, God was not going to let that one lie anymore.

I yelled, I cried, and then I had to face the lie that I believed: “Stay-at-home moms love their kids more than working moms.” Apparently, God was not going to let that one lie anymore.

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Why did God call me back into the workforce when my husband and I had a fiscally viable 3-year plan to live off of the GI Bill while we got our online degrees and raised our baby together? Well, there were a several issues involved:

  1. God has launched what some call a kairos season in the world and God needs everyone to play their part outside the home in order to change the world; for me, that’s in the military
  2. God has been preparing me for this level of leadership for over 20 years; this is my time to facilitate change
  3. God is honoring a conversation my husband and I had in which we concluded that as long as one of us was able to stay home with our kids, we would be okay with the other one working outside the home; in this season, it’s me but it may switch in the next season
  4. God is also honoring a conversation we had about getting in-home help for the stay at-home parent so that he or she always gets time to do self-care, connect with community, or do anything else he or she likes; we love our cleaning service and our part-time nanny
  5. God is using my job to allow us to travel the world together from time to time, which are family touchstone memories for us when things get tough; our next trip is taking us to Hawaii!
  6. God has repeatedly reminded me that the military is where my ministry lies in this season

All of that is well and good, but one thing has remained heavy on my heart: testimony after testimony from pastors’ kids and children of Christian parents that stated why they walked away from Christianity:

  • My parent was always helping others but never me
  • My parent looked upstanding on the outside but was unloving in our home
  • My parent cared about his or her ministry more than me
  • My parent was never home

Spouses of these parents often complained of the same thing. So, as a reluctant working mom, I have kept this prayer deep in my heart and often on my lips: “First to my household, Lord, and then to the world.”

…as a reluctant working mom, I have kept this prayer deep in my heart and often on my lips: “First to my household, Lord, and then to the world.”

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It’s a prayer that reflects a spiritual principal. When we ministering to the world with the Holy Spirit, the presence of God is upon us. It is poured out on us like a jar of oil upon our head and overflows onto those around us. People’s lives are most affected by how much we are able to direct that oil onto them. As we receive more, they should receive more—and the ones who should be receiving the most are the ones who are the closest to us in body, soul, and spirit: our families. If I have a bucket of water to give to the world so that they may survive a drought but my family dies of thirst, I have missed the mark.

I have a deep belief that my family needs first-access to my love, time, and resources—including my spiritual gifts. My husband if joined with me in the center or my life and my kids are our in our inside circle, my God-friends are in the next big circle, the people to whom I minister are in the bigger circle around them, my community is in an even bigger circle, and the world is in the biggest circle of all. In the end, I am accountable to how I love those closest to me in a way I am not accountable to the biggest ones. That doesn’t mean I don’t love those in the bigger circles; it means that I have to keep asking God for more love to go around to reach all the people in the my life. But if God gives me the capacity to love more, my family still gets the biggest portion of that gift because they are in the closest proximity to the source.

What are your prayers as a working parent or as the spouse of a working parent?

One response to “The prayer of a reluctant working mom.”

  1. […] Meanwhile, I was unable to reschedule the training I had missed. This resulted in my having to volunteer for an active duty tour to make up for our lost family income. That meant that not only would I have to turn down the opportunity to take battalion command, I would lose the opportunity stay home with my baby for her first year. Because of my commander’s irreversible actions, I had to become a reluctant working mom. […]

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