Since the beginning of COVID-19, I have been absolutely unhinged by how clearly and how loudly God will speak when we are actually listening to Him and listening for Him. It’s almost as if COVID-19 helped to strip away everything that was clouding our faith and cluttering our lives. Although the things that it took away weren’t and still aren’t inherently bad things, just because it’s not a bad thing doesn’t mean it’s always a God thing. I realized when COVID happened that there were a lot of good, but not God, things in my life and in our family life.
I know there are a lot of people who make the choice to homeschool their kids and it is a highly commendable decision. We tried it for a year when we first moved out here to California and found that it just wasn’t for us. My boys don’t do well being stuck at home without pretty consistent schedules and routines. When COVID happened, we had already transitioned into traditional public schools.
Both of our boys were succeeding and doing well; both had friends and were on track academically. They gained independence and a lot of great progress had been made academically. I was making strides where my business was concerned. I found monetary success and achievement as I hustled and strived to hit goals along the way.
God doesn’t work on our schedule and He doesn’t always value the same things that we value.
I love my work—creating and taking photos; capturing moments for families to cherish for years to come. I also love my family and being a mom…I just don’t love having to try to juggle them all at the same time. If you want complete transparency, most days I would rather spend my extra time creating a brand than doing laundry. I’d much rather spend my computer time editing photos instead of teaching my 6th grader long division. I love my husband and children more than anything. But being a wife and a mother has never been the only thing that I wanted in life.
Like many moms, when things shut down, my job and my income disappeared. Someone has to take care of and teach our two school-aged children. As an active duty service member, my husband obviously couldn’t just up and leave his work because of the pandemic. (He works more now than he was pre-pandemic.) I spent many, many weeks feeling bitter and resentful about this setback in the plans I laid for myself.
“The heart of man plans his way,– Proverbs 16:9
but the Lord establishes his steps.”
Sometimes, hard reminders hit us like bricks. If anything, 2020 reminded me that my best laid, best-intentioned plans aren’t God’s plans and intentions. I wrestled daily with the realities that this year wasn’t going to go the way that I had hoped. That’s when God began to do a work in my heart. God tends to have a habit (at least in my experience) of making sure that He repeats Himself.
Maybe it’s because I am notorious for trying to force my own will into His plans. Perhaps it’s because there is so much extra noise in our lives and I can’t always hear Him. Maybe it’s because He cares enough to make sure I don’t miss the lesson He is trying to teach me. No matter His reason, I’m glad I serve a God who is persistent.
God began to place in my path women (both in real life and on social media) who advocate and empower other women to thrive in their role as wives, mothers, and homemakers. People who are real-life friends, friends I’ve never met in person, social media influencers I never managed to find before, and authors whose writing and work I admire. There is a lie in our current culture that too many women believe. This lie says that if women aren’t doing something outside the home, they aren’t doing anything worthwhile. I fell trap to this lie for several years. It has taken a lot of time for God to shift my mindset.
When I initially started feeling this nudge in my heart—this shift toward something more and something else besides the daily grind of “making it”, I kept coming back to the same word: Gatekeeper. Initially, I heard it in a sermon, then saw it on an Instagram account, and finally studied it in the book of Nehemiah. As I began to pray and ponder and eventually study its meaning and significance, I landed on this verse in Proverbs…
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.Proverbs 31:27
As moms, we are the gatekeepers of our home. We are responsible for guarding and protecting what comes into and goes out of our home day by day. While the men in our lives serve a great purpose and are here (just as we are here) to compliment us, we have been created for a divine and unique purpose. I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible talks of a Proverbs 31 woman and not a Proverbs 31 man.
Ladies, in a culture that tells us to do more and be more, I think it’s time to realize and recognize that “more” isn’t always God’s plan or purpose for us. While I don’t think God condemns a woman who chooses not to stay home or isn’t able to stay at home because of her life circumstances, I also don’t believe that He places more esteem or prestige on a woman because she does. Culture, in its own sense, has discredited and diminished the significance of the role and position of homemaker and gatekeeper.
As women—as Christian women—it’s time that we embrace and accept the roles that have been given us. I’m not saying women don’t need to pursue their other goals or their other dreams…not at all. What I am saying is that I believe women need to embrace their roles within the home. Stop trying to side step our home lives because we don’t feel it’s “enough” and instead, seek out the gospel and God’s powerful hand within our home. In the coming weeks, I’m going to be exploring this position as gatekeeper in a series of posts. There’s so much that God has been teaching me and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.