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Why being a stay-at-home-wife is enough.

I read a lot of material on stay-at-home-moms, and rightly so, it is a difficult job with little appreciation. We SAHMs need all the encouragement we can get. However, I’ve seen little to no articles, blogs, etc on life for a wife before or after children. Our lives are centered around our children: getting them, raising them, shooing them off into the big world. Then what? What happens to the SAHM once all her children are grown & gone and she is left with an “empty nest”. She still has someone, someone who should have been a huge focus all along: her husband. She is still a wife, being her husband’s wife is still as much her calling as they celebrate their twentieth anniversary as it is when they celebrate their first. It’s true husbands don’t need quite as much attention or effort as babies, elementary children, teens, or young adults do, but they still need it. Whether or not a particular wife chooses to become a stay-at-home-wife after being a stay-at-home-mom is irrelevant, the fact remains that if she chooses to…it is enough.

Being a wife is a high calling, it was the original purpose for women being created in the first place. It wasn’t to bear children (though that’s arguably a very important role woman has), it wasn’t to help other women, it wasn’t to break the glass ceiling. Eve was created because Adam had nobody, he needed a help meet. Genesis 2: 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. We see here that woman completed man, Eve was created because Adam lacked something. The term wife is also here, she was automatically his wife. Women were created, primarily, to be wives and helpers to their husbands. Being a wife is the original calling of and for women. Everything else is secondary. 1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

All the examples in Scripture of good, godly women include her helping her husband in some form. The first quality mentioned about the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 is about her husband: 11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. 12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. In Titus 2 aged women are called to teach the young women how to love and obey their own husbands, among other things women should be. It almost seems a given in Scripture that wives should always be wives to their husbands, no matter their age or season in life.

Our husbands matter. Helping our husbands should always be a focus, whether it’s our main focus or a co-focus with raising our children. Wives may feel they can use their free time to pursue full-time volunteer, work, or study. Those are all fine, but if you choose to become a stay at home wife, you are enough. If you are a stay at home wife before you have children, you are enough. If you don’t have children and are ever a stay at home wife, you are enough. Don’t let this world convince you otherwise.

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Having Babies {in Opposite World} – My Response

Original blog found here: http://womenlivingwell.org/2013/04/having-babies-in-opposite-world/

I read a lot of blogs I agree with, but this particular witty one hit me. Basically, we live in what the author calls “Opposite World”. Pregnancy is seen as a disease, children are seen as a curse, and motherhood is seen as a chore. People, especially older women, say so. Not in so few and direct words though, of course.

With my first, I had PPD. There were many factors that contributed to it. One was Opposite World got to me, and won. “Motherhood is a drag job with no end to the draggy-ness. Only when the children grow up and move out is there any form of relief. You’re stuck for the next 18+ years.” I let Opposite World win…and I regret it. I didn’t believe God when he said children are a reward and fathers who have a quiver full of them are happy men. (Psalm 127:3-5) I didn’t understand why God called them “fruit” of the womb. Fruit is sweet, juicy…something very desirable today, let alone before mass quantities of processed food. Children should be desirable. I believed the World’s twisted view of children over God’s view. Children are so precious to God, He says it is better to drown yourself than to hurt one. (Luke 17:2) The World allows and encourages killing children who have not even entered the outside world yet. Satan is the prince over this current world (Ephesians 2:2), it only makes sense that he would go in the opposite direction of God and that his kingdom would follow suit.

When I was pregnant with my first, my sister-in-law asked me if I wanted to do anything before baby came. I responded “Go to Mexico”. I wanted to go somewhere exciting, as if my fun was quickly coming to an end, as if raising children isn’t fun. Being a clueless almost-mom, I believed Opposite World. Pregnancy is a disease, children are a curse, and motherhood is a chore. Three years and two children later…I really was so very clueless. Opposite World lies to you, do not believe it.children are annoying

My mission field

My church recently sent a group of young adults to Ireland for a 10 day or so mission trip. They held a VBS at a local church run by permanent missionaries we help to support. My church also sends missions groups to places like the Phillipenes and Mexico. Either way, the bottom line is, they are going to the utter most. Something big and exciting! Going to a foreign country to spread the Gospel, nothing so literally obeys Christ’s command in Matthew 28:19 to “Go and teach all nations”, especially in such a beautiful country with its rolling green hills and ancient buildings.

Now, how exciting does sweeping the kitchen floor, scrubbing dog throw up from the carpet, and wiping poopy bottoms sound compared to going to Ireland? Not very. It may not be riveting work, but it is necessary and very important! For me, this blog is about a year too late. I have already realized the importance of being a stay-at-home-mom shortly after my son was born, after years of feeling like being a wife and mom were stupid, pointless jobs in themselves. Wifehood and motherhood are two underappreciated jobs in our society, so it is easy for discouragement and doubt to creep into even the strongest mother/wife’s life.

I’m not talking about merely keeping our houses nice, obviously. I do believe that is important, but not the most important. The souls we are called to care for and help are more important.

Mothers are usually primary care givers to their children, therefore mothers hold the next generation of our society in their hands. How we raise and teach them determines the fate of this country. A scary thought, what a huge responsibility. Luke 12:48b For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: I think most mamas would agree, our children are “much”. Love them, teach them, raise them in the Lord. What you engrain in them now will not leave them, Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Usually this verse is said in a positive light- raise your children in God’s Word and they will believe when they are older. I believe it can go the opposite way as well- raise your children to be selfish, mean, have a bad attitude and when they are old, they will not depart from those things.

This special calling reserved for women isn’t just for mothers though. Not many know that Eve was originally created to be a help meet for Adam. I always thought she was created so they could fill the earth, which comes with being a help meet much of the time, but that wasn’t her primary function. Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. If you are anything like I was the first time I heard this, you’re “sexism alert” is going bonkers! My heart has softened since then, I now see this is an amazing calling for many women…to help their husbands. Wives are held in high esteem in Scripture. Many wives look to Proverbs 31 (The Virtuous Woman) to help their daily walk as a wife, mother, and daughter of Christ. Proverbs 31 is all about how righteous women are far above rubies. I quickly googled “most expensive jewelry”, the Heart of the Kingdom Ruby is a 40.6 carat ruby that sits atop a 155 carat diamond necklace. Valued at $14 million dollars! My brain doesn’t even comprehend millions of dollars! Righteous women are valued above that outrageous amount. My guess is our role is an important one.

Some missions are grand, others are simple. Some missions are short-term, others last over a lifetime. Some are in far away lands, others are right here in our homes. Home is my mission field, and I am thankful for it.

I’ve Gone Country

Okay, maybe not, but I have gone country-er. I grew up a city-slicker. I was born in Washington, DC and grew up in a near suburb. DC was about half an hour away (a few hours away with typical traffic 😉 ), I attended a very diverse half English, half Spanish Elementary school. My dreams were to grow up, live in a big city (pft of course!), travel the world, and be a teacher.

How distant that dream is now, definitely not things I want to do. I don’t think I’ll ever be “country”. I enjoy my little house, which is also in a suburb (though a suburb of a much smaller “big” city). I enjoy having modern technology, like the internet, TV, cell phones, etc. I enjoy indoor plumbing! 😉 I enjoy being close to stores, and close to people! I don’t think I could be a farmer wife. My life as a machinist wife is great though. 🙂 It is fairly simple, simple was never a word in my vocabulary. Simple was boring, I wanted big and flashy. Simple, however, is not boring! It is great! It is steady, secure, and fun! You learn to appreciate more and laugh at little things.

I always knew I’d stay home when my children were little, but I thought it would be a duty and I’d be waiting for that glorious day I’d get to return back to work. How funny. I have actually never had a career since receiving my bachelors in 2009. If I never have one, that will be fine by me. I am dreading the day I choose to go back to work, whatever work that may be. Financially, I know it will be needed, definitely not a day I look forward to.

I absolutely love being a stay at home wife and mama. I like being a housewife. I like using my new clothes line. Probably not this summer or next summer, but hopefully the summer after that I will plant a little garden in our backyard. This is one area I am definitely not 100% country, I don’t like dirt! I am hoping I will just get over it and work on a garden anyways! I’ve seriously thought about getting chickens for eggs, but am reviewing that thought. 😉

I guess in a nut shell, my life today is a lot more simple and plain than I ever envisioned it…and that is okay by me.

10 reasons to cook at home (and maybe even from scratch!)

Over the last couple years, I’ve been trying to cook at home more often AND cook from scratch. I still have a long way to go, and may never make every single thing from scratch, but I have come a long way since getting married 5 years ago! 🙂 I have found some really great perks to cooking at home and cooking from scratch.

1) Saves money. A general rule is the more convenient something is, the more expensive it is.

2) You can control what goes in. This helps if maybe your child has allergies or you just worry about chemicals, dyes, etc.

3) You can control flavor. Really spicy vs. more mild, really chocolatey vs. less chocolatey, more sauce vs. less….you get the idea.

4) Your family will appreciate it. Even if a meal flops sometimes, your family will be thankful that you work so hard for them. Maybe kids don’t always appreciate it, but they definitely will when they are older! I know I do 🙂

5) It’s fun! I really like being creative in the kitchen. The more you experiment, the more comfortable you feel trying new things.

6) When you do go out to eat, it’s a treat. It’s something special your family can do together once in a while, your kids get excited!

7) As a wife and mother, you feel fulfilled. It brings great satisfaction to work hard in the kitchen preparing a nice meal, then get to sit and enjoy it with the people you love. (It wouldn’t hurt if someone else did the dishes and clean up afterwards, but what can ya do? 😉 )

8) Learning experiences for kids. Depending on age, of course, let them help. Not only will they learn for their own adulthood, but it creates great bonding moments!

9) Leftovers! Maybe not all the time, but sometimes you can have leftover food for lunch the next day.

10) Spending quality time with your family. Of course you can spend quality time together at a restaurant. However, at home there is no one constantly coming up to the table “Is everything alright?” “Need anything?” “Here’s your bill.” “Please leave already so we can seat the next people.” (The last one is just a joke. 😉 ) You can spend as long as you want, or need, at the dinner table together. I have heard that children who eat a structured dinner with their family most every night do better in school, other activities, and are just happier in general.

Cooking at home definitely takes practice and trial & error. You will mess up sometimes and will have to make a quick drive to McD’s. It is a lot of work, but I think it is worth it 🙂

Two favorite cookie recipes

I make these cookies most often for people and everyone seems to enjoy them. I wanted to share the recipes in case anyone would like to make them 🙂

The first is ordinary chocolate chip cookies. I think the original recipe is Pillsbury, but over the years I have tweaked it to make it my own. I just call them “Emily’s Chocolate Chip Cookies”…creative, I know.

1/3 c butter flavored shortening

1/3 c vegetable oil

1/2 c white sugar

1/2 c packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c all-purpose white flour

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

chocolate chips

Put the shortening, oil, and sugars into a large bowl and mix using electric beaters. I like using the beaters because they are easier than hand mixing with a spoon, and Zane likes the beaters because he always gets to lick one! Then I add the egg and vanilla, I use a spoon from this point on (don’t want Zane eating raw eggs). Mix them in well. Add in soda, salt, and flour. Mix well. I don’t measure the chocolate chips, just add until it looks like enough. A lot of making these cookies is knowing how the dough is supposed to look, feel, and taste (yum!). I’ve been making these cookies for many years, so I do a lot of eye-ball tests.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. 9 1/2 minutes is perfect for my oven. Bake until they look almost done, that’s how they stay soft.

This next recipe is from my Grandma, I’m not sure where she got it. These are Cut-Out Cookies.

1/2 c vegetable oil

1 c sugar

2 eggs

Mix well.

2 T cream (I usually use heavy whipping cream or 1/2&1/2, I’ve also used whole milk, whatever I have on hand)

1 t vanilla extract

Mix well.

2 1/2 c flour

1/4 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

Mix well.

After all ingredients are mixed well, cover and put in fridge for at least 1 hour. I usually chill over night.

Roll out dough on floured surface (1/4″ or thinner depending on how thick you want the cookies) and cut out in desired shapes.

Bake at 350 for 6-10 minutes. Obviously if you roll the dough a little thicker they will take a little longer. I usually bake until the sides are just slightly brown, then I take them out.

These cookies are really yummy with homemade frosting! I don’t have a recipe for icing, I just add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and softened butter until the consistency is right.

Oh and don’t forget about the blob, it’s just as tasty as the nice looking cookies! 😛Blob