I opened my closet and studied the options dangling from my hangers. What was I going to wear for our family photos? Certainly not a formal dress, a t-shirt, or the styles from a decade ago that somehow still hang in my closet.
I am not a fashionista. Ask my trendy 18-year-old sister and she will tell you she would love to revamp my wardrobe. I really don’t think much about clothes and I have no reservation taking the hand-me-downs from friends. So why exactly did I feel a lump in my throat? Why did I feel emotional over my limited attire? Was it because Andy teased me that all our clothes were dirty and the piles of laundry spilling from our rooms and bathroom were proof of my incompetent housekeeping job?
I grabbed two shirts and presented them to my friend who was taking our pictures. She picked the one that matched best with the girl’s clothes.
“I just don’t ever buy clothes for me.” I self -consciously said to Melissa. “I only spend money on clothes for the girls. They are the ones the really need them since they are growing and wearing them out. I just wear jeans and a t-shirt most days.”
In that moment, I could have walked to my room, closed the door and cried. The emotions felt so raw that I knew this was not a simple case of, “I have nothing to wear!”
So what was it then?
The truth is I felt embarrassed. My laundry had never been piled that high. I was swimming in a sea of dirty clothes, dirty dishes, and unplanned menus, struggling to stay on top of necessities, like clean underwear, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Melissa was visiting, she is a Children’s Ministry Consultant and she is good at what she does. She had come to do training for us and we learned so much from her. She is making a difference in the lives of children across the United States by investing in the churches that invite her to come. My job, on the other hand, consists of my little home and there was evidence I was failing miserably with my maintenance skills.
As I opened my closet, I was really asking: Do I matter? Do I make a difference? Am I more than a mom and a wife and a housekeeper?
God I am failing at this homemaker thing, I don’t seem to get it. I honestly don’t even enjoy it, it is a chore. I need your joy to do the simple things of raising my family. Yet I know there is more to my life than cleaning and cooking and folding clothes. Help me to see what you see when you look at me. Help me to understand your plans and the season of life I am in right now. To embrace it with joy, to follow you wholeheartedly.
And it is in the moments of brokenness where I experience God’s love and compassion transforming my life. He sees me. The woman. Not the mom, cook, or house cleaner I see, but me. A 31-year-old woman that He created to have dreams and hopes and stories and ideas.The one that is right here and right now for a purpose.
Yes, what I do matters to my husband and to three beautiful little girls that have been entrusted to my care. I know that what my girls see happening within the walls of our home will shape who they become. A loving mommy in a ponytail, t-shirt and jeans can mold little hearts and help them grow in love, compassion and acceptance. My interactions with people at the church and with friends matter. My involvement with the girl’s school can make a difference.
I am thankful that God does not tire of reminding me of truths I can easily forget.
“What about we go to TJ Maxx and we get you some nice shirts.” Melissa proposed the following day.