Learning to Love My Apron

There are a lot of things I love. I love quiet time. I love my family. I love good food. I love the Bible. I love good friendships, good coffee, good conversation. I love perfect weather. I love design, bright colors, exercising, holistic living. I love my husband. Most of all, I love Jesus.

Then there are a lot of things I don’t love. I don’t love bugs, or any tiny creature that moves and isn’t where it’s supposed to be. I don’t love strife or gossip. I don’t love grease. I don’t love clutter. I don’t love sadness.

Ever since we moved here, I started praying for the Lord to shape the desires of my heart. His Word says “He will give you the desires of your heart.” But that doesn’t mean He will give you anything you want. As you surrender, obey His Word, walk in faith and mature — your desires will become His desires. You will see your likes, your loves, and your hates change and conform to bring more glory to God.

I read this amazing quote yesterday. “All mothers love their children, but not all mothers love motherhood! It’s when we love and embrace motherhood that we enter into the joy and fulfillment of motherhood.” She went on to say how this also relates to our homes.

I have spent the last two months studying through Titus 2 and my mind has been blown to a whole new level with some practical ways to apply the many truths in that chapter. When dissecting Titus 2 — it says older women should train the younger women to do a list of things. One of those things is being a keeper of the home. Other translations say workers at home and industrious in their homes. There is already a lot out there about Christian women working (stay at home, working, work from home, etc) so my goal is not to add fuel to the fire. I believe Titus is pretty clear along with many other passages. I believe we must “work” well at home before we “work” anywhere else be it serving at church, volunteer, paid job, anything. That is different for everyone especially based on your husband, ages of your children, health, etc. I believe it is a matter of the heart and circumstances — and God is the ultimate judge of our motives.

I love and value my job at home. I work full time. Additionally, I have had many opportunities over the years to work outside the home. We all know there are always ways to do more — it’s doing less and contentment that is harder to find.

When we first moved here, I started working outside the home part time. I was doing some staging, photography and design work for a boutique downtown. I wrote about how that all happened here. I seriously had the best boss in the world who quickly became a dear friend. The relationship felt like a mutual blessing and I believe God blessed it for a short season. Getting out of the house one day a week was helpful in meeting new people (before we found a church) and it provided extra physical motivation to keep my duties in line at home. As I surrendered to God (as I try to do all things) my love for it, we also prayed about family plans, what this next year might look like and also new opportunities at the boutique.

While still studying Titus 2, the truths about loving your husband, loving your children and keeping your home were being refreshed to a motivating new level. I started praying and wrestling, “Ok God — here is what I love. I love designing and I love this, this, that. What does my husband love?” I asked myself, “What does my husband really want that I have still resisted embracing? Why?” “What do my children need more of that I prefer something else over?”

I intersect all of this because when I need direction and answers, I ask God for clarity. I don’t believe He leaves me to wonder. His Word is clear and conviction of the Holy Spirit is clear. Will I accept it, trust and obey? Or will I still fight for my way? I have learned not to fight God — I never win.

God made it very clear. Another pregnancy. Did God miss that post when my husband said he was good with 5 for a while? Well, in the post where I shared about taking the job, the last prayer I said I would pray was “To keep humbling myself. All of my talents are a gift from the Lord and I want to use them for His Kingdom and glory!” Every time I get pregnant, I am completely humbled. First, it never ceases to amaze me that God sees fit for me to carry another life. It is no small miracle. Conception isn’t easy and I have countless friends who I have walked through infertility struggles, miscarriages and waiting for years with. I truly believe God is Creator, of any and every life. Thus, I don’t chock up another pregnancy as “Oooh — we’re just good at making babies.” Every heartbeat is His to give and take.

God’s lovingkindness always blows my mind. As I asked for clarity about all of my time, talents, desires, dreams and passions it seemed like the answer was “Here, another blessing to provide more clarity on where I want you right now.” When I am pregnant — anything and everything that is not a must-do I take off my plate. I try to rest more and baby making is no small feat. I am very aware how my hormones, stress, temper and pretty much everything fluctuates — so when pregnant, I aim to do pretty much two things. 1) Grow a baby. 2) Keep everyone else alive and loved. And those are TWO HUGE THINGS!

I talked with my boss ( aka — sweetest person in the world), shared our news and she said “We love you so much, you have a job whenever.” In the midst of that, we also assessed our house for goats, chickens and overall projects that we want to tackle. As I embraced the clarity of projecting any “extra” energy I have into loving my family and home (more), a way to love my husband was to embrace his vision for our land. People — this is hard for me! I do great things inside, but send me outside and I act like a sissy. Back to wrestling with God! “Change my desire for this! Help me love the vision. Help me embrace it and grow me where I am weak!”

Then finally — keeping the home. Being pregnant draws me evermore so back into our home. I don’t go far typically, but there is so much that draws us away from our homes. Thoughts, social media, peer pressure, even well meaning friends. It is hard to fight the lies of the world with God’s truth and goodness. Remember, Titus 2 says we have to “train” to learn how to do this, it doesn’t come naturally and now days it is very countercultural. I shared a four part series related to that a few months ago. For me, being a better keeper of my home means growing in home-making areas where I am weak. Be it food-prep, organization, outside chores that can bless my husband — the list is endless and there are countless ways for me to flourish in and around my home!

The same woman I quoted earlier said this, “J. B. PHILLLIPS translates Titus 2:5 “home-lovers.” It is sad that many women do not love home. They want to get out of the home. I believe the reason for this is that most women have been brainwashed to look negatively on the home. They have been educated to think that the home is a boring place, an insignificant place, and a demeaning place. No one has told them the truth about the power of their home. School and college never taught them that home is not only a place to nurture and train our precious children, but it is the place where we can truly fulfill all the creative and productive dreams God gives to us.”

Ladies, God’s Word is true and real. I want to encourage you in these truths! If you are worn and weary in motherhood, don’t look elsewhere for validation. Look to God, the giver of these good gifts and ask God to redirect you. If you don’t love your home as much as you could, ask God to change your heart. He is ready and willing to change your heart to love your husband in new ways, to love your home more creatively, to love your children more purposely and to do it all well. Ask God to “give you the desires of your heart.” Love and embrace these things, and enter into the joy and fulfillment of the true gifts that they are.

I never thought I would say “I love my apron.”  It’s been a blessing to put it on and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. When I take it off at the end of a long night, it is like I take off my uniform for the day. It is usually covered in boogers, sauce, foreign liquids and lots of love. But I wear it with honor, pride and strength for I know that my identity is in none of this, but God is exalted in all of it.

With All My Love,

Johnna

One Response

  1. You make me tear up and laugh, all in one blog. A profound thought: Every heartbeat is His to give and take. Love, Dad

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