Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home-Wife

Dale and I don't have kids yet (God's choice, not ours).  Consequently we have had the standard amount of frustration and sadness and hoping and grieving.  But a hidden side-affect of infertility has recently been coming to a boil in my heart and this morning it hit 212°.

I have been waging a silent but violent war with my culture for almost three years.  I didn't realize it till this summer, knowing only that I felt vaguely assaulted most of the time. Then I went to Texas for nine days and helped my best friend paint her bedroom and I came home inspired, motivated-- and mad.  

Western Civilization makes an unspoken yet intractable assumption that if I have no children, I have no possible excuse for staying home.  "What's the matter, just lazy enough that you won't get a real job?" they seem to ask.  "Oh, you teach watercolor?" they exult, relieved. "Great!  At least that's something," and suddenly my existence is valid again.  If they knew it was only for two hours one day a week they would probably ooze back into puzzled contempt of this selfish little introvert who won't help support her family, so I frequently fail to mention my schedule and my pride shows its true colors by siding with my enemies.

But all the contempt in the world has not managed to quench the yearning of my heart for my home.  This yearning is so strong that I practically feel the burn.  It's a longing like we all long for heaven, for love, for safety, for joy.  It finds relief in the strangest things-- a vacuumed floor; clean dishes; folded laundry; a half-done quilt; a started painting; cleared counters; not-dead flowers in a garden bed; dinner ready when Dale gets home.  

"Well, all of those things are nice and a good idea," say my assailants, "but are they truly necessary?  Aren't you just selfishly doing the things you like to do anyway when there are babies to be saved and homeless to be fed and Bible studies to lead and money to be earned and the sick to visit...."

And, and, and.

Yes!  Of course there are other worthy things to do!  That is the crux of the dilemma, the barrel of good things and whole truths over which the enemy has me.  But they aren't fair questions.  They are being presented first of all as mutually exclusive, and then in an order of importance, losing value as they go.  I am trying my darndest to discover if my home is a ministry I'm allowed to prioritize, deserving of more than whatever is left over at the end of my day spent serving everyone but the most important person in my life.  Is my husband and his castle worth-- in God's eyes-- the vast majority of my time and effort?  I think so.  Does God?

This is where I want to know if any of you have developed a "Theology of Home," as it were?  Proverbs 31 is the closest I've got so far.  While Superwoman certainly ventured out of the house (vs. 13, 14, 16, 20, & 24), the core of her majesty is her home.  There she works and provides, oversees and stores up to give out, teaches and lives, loves and makes beauty, and in so doing blesses her family and servants.  (Ah yes, by the way, exhausted moms, you can't be a true P31 without maidservants.  Just saying.)  Every verse draws a more finally-detailed pictures of the home as a place of power, not simply a haven from the "real world".  It is the real world, and from it the rest of the world is fed, physically, emotionally and spiritually, and the generations are blessed.

For now, that's enough for me to go forward.  So the seasons are changing.  And it's not just the bight in the breeze as the sun rises or the edges of yellow on our maples trees.  Seasons are changing for me. I'm coming home.  In passive-aggressive rebellion I've listed my occupation on Facebook as Full-Time Wife and Homemaker.  And I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.  

Let me hear your coming home story!  Or about your journey towards that end.  Tell me if you've found your own Theology of Home in the Word.  Let's let our sisters out there know they do not yearn alone.


Debbie said...

I'll have to comment later.

Elisabeth said...

Sister-you are EXACTLY where you should be. You are right on. I love what you're doing. A part of me is envious of you. And a part of me is thankful for you and what you're learning and doing, because like with the spiritual world and the health eating/herb world, this is once again you and/or the MacInnis clan teaching me ways of life. Ways that go against normal society. Ways that are whole, real, true, and right. Ways that seem crazy to many (especially here), but healing and healthy and redeeming. And I'm very thankful for your presence in this way.

I'm not a married woman who hasn't had children yet. I am a 31 year old who hasn't even DATED yet. And I can tell you-coming from a materialistic, high maintenance, career-obsession state, I have only been taught that staying at home is a negative thing. I have 3
jobs and ministry going on. And despite that, I want nothing MORE than to stay home. It IS the highest calling. Do you watch Downton Abbey? The women work and long for a home of their own. To manage and have charge over. There's so much to be learned from this, yes?! Anyway....I love what you say. Because I ache every day for marriage and a home of my own. Without it, something just isn't......right.

Caleb Maclennan said...

You know you're in trouble when the comment system rejects your comment because it's too long. Really? Am I THAT long winded?

To find out, one must experiment with real wind and measure the output. Eight minutes and fifty five seconds of air. Some of it hot, some of it—hopefully—not. Your mileage may vary.