I think the highlight of my week was seeing a side of my daughter that I hadn't seen before. As she performed at her senior recital and gave her salutatorian speech (yes, I'm mighty proud right now!), I was totally caught off guard a time or two as I caught glimpses of a young woman, and not just my little girl. It moved me to tears more than once!
In the last year or two, I've thought quite a bit about what I am teaching my girls, not just in terms of an education, but a vision for being godly women who desire to be capable wives and mothers. When I say that, I mean young women who have a passion for the role of being a keeper of the home.
It's not that I never thought about it before, but I began to realize how often I send contradictory messages to them about pursing careers (that would basically take them outside the home) as opposed to developing a desire to be capable women who will take up the torch and carry on with the next generation. One minute I'm chasing dreams with them and talking about all that they could do if they just strive hard enough, and then in the next breath, I catch myself and realize I need to talk to them about what God's vision is for their lives.
Don't get me wrong... I don't want to raise daughters that are uneducated, who have never had an opportunity to reach beyond their four walls, or feel forced into accepting a role that isn't a joy and calling in their lives. But at the same time, I ask myself...
Am I undermining the Holy Spirit as He tries to work in their hearts?
Have I helped them to stop and consider what God wants them to do?
Do I reflect a heart of joy as I live out God's calling on my own life as a wife, mother, and keeper of the home?
Have I helped them to see that keeping a home and homesteading is an honorable occupation and intellectually inspiring?
These are just a few questions that I keep hearing in my heart.
Because I was raised in the 70's and 80's to be a career woman, I have tended to parent much like my own mother and father parented me. According to my very encouraging Dad, I could have the moon if I would just pursue it. He had no doubts that I could do whatever I wanted. And he constantly reinforced that message. But along with that came plenty of expectations to earn a degree and get a "great" job. It was assumed I'd work outside the home. Then I received Christ into my life and my world was turned upside down.
No longer did I have a drive to do only what I wanted, but now I longed to know what Christ wanted for my life. Eventually, I realized that since He knew me better than I knew myself, I could trust Him to guide me if I would just be willing to let go of other people's expectations.
This is the message I really want to convey to my girls. But am I?
Until the last couple of years, I'm not sure I seriously considered the message I was subtlety conveying to my girls. But God is good and brought it to my attention so that I have spent the last 24 months or so trying to deliver a more Christ-centered message. There is no longer an emphasis on "What will your career be?" and now being a wife and mother has been highlighted anew. The new questions are...
"Do you want to be a wife and mother?"
"What would that role look like in God's economy?"
"Can you do this or that and be as committed as God wants you to be?"
"Would this degree/education/training help you in the role He has called you to?"
"How can you glorify God and fulfill the role He is calling you to?"
"What is the passion and vision He has placed in your heart?"
"What talents and spiritual gifts has He given you and how can you use them for His service?"
So where are we in all this today? Waiting on God. She will spend a few months looking for a job in a field she is considering - the culinary arts and food science - take a few on-line courses, and pray about what she really wants to do. Pray for her. And for her father and I as we must now let her fly (although we will be flying alongside for a while). Our greatest joy will be a passionate love for God in her heart that drives her to Him for all things! Including a vision.