Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

My mother was (and continues to be) a wonderful example of a godly housewife and mother. My mother never worked outside the home once she had children. She raised five children, kept a beautifully clean and neat home, and homeschooled all five of us. She made most of our meals from scratch, because we rarely had the money to eat out or get takeout. She got up early, worked hard all day, and often stayed up late, making sure we were all taken care of. When my parents decided to homeschool us when I was in third grade, she set up a school room in our basement. We each had a desk, and we had to say our pledge of allegiance every morning. We had to raise our hand to ask a question, and we had to wear school clothes to school, not pajamas. My mom insisted on regular school hours, usually from 8:30 - 3:30. After school, we changed into playclothes and got to play outside until it was time for homework and helping her with dinner. She drove me and my brother to piano lessons every week, and sat out in the car during our lessons, helping my younger siblings with their spelling words or listening to them read. She got us up early each morning so that we could get ready for school, read our Bibles, and do some basic chores all before school started. We didn't have a dishwasher for most of the time I was growing up, but my dad liked to joke that he actually had five dishwashers (each one of us kids). We kids, however, were not amused by that joke. :) I don't remember the house ever being messy or dirty. She had us pick up after ourselves and help with the cleaning.

I don't remember her even hardly sitting down during the day. When she wasn't teaching, she was cleaning or cooking. Her Sunday afternoons were spent doing hours worth of lesson plans for the upcoming week. Even with how busy she was, I don't remember her complaining. My dad worked for the railroad in Kansas when I was very young, and he was gone overnight quite often. When I was ten, my dad moved our family to Missouri to attend Bible college to train to be a pastor. My dad juggled family, classes, and work for the next 7 years (induding getting his masters), and my mom never complained, that I know of, that my dad had to be busy. I think she accepted it that this is what God had called her to do, just as He had called my dad to train for the ministry. Was it hard? Oh, I'm sure it was, and I'm sure she was exhausted most of the time.

Finances became extremely tight, and we often shopped at a food pantry for cheaper groceries. There was one time when all we had for dinner was potatoes and eggs. That was literally all we had in the house, with no money to buy anything else. It was probably one of the best-tasting meals we ever had, because my parents taught us to be thankful that we at least had that. We certainly didn't go hungry that night. Another time, there was no food in the house, and no money to even buy dinner. It was about 4:30 p.m., and my parents had no idea where dinner was going to come from. The doorbell rang, and it was the pizza man. I don't even remember what pizza place it was from, but I remember very clearly what happened. The man stood there with two pizza boxes. My dad said, "I'm sorry, but we didn't order any pizza." The man explained that the pizzas were ordered and PAID FOR by someone else, and that they were all ours. We were so excited to see God provide at just the right time! I remember my mom telling my dad that she was willing to get a job to help out when things were so tight. She didn't do this because she wanted a job, but because she wanted to help my dad. My dad always told her no, that God would provide for our needs. And He always did! We didn't dress in name-brand clothes, but we certainly had enough clothes and we never had to miss a meal.

My dad always made sure we children understood the sacrifice my mom made for us growing up. My mom gave up everything to make sure we had a comfortable homelife and an excellent education. She had almost no free time for herself. She did without for herself, time and time again to put us kids and my dad first. And like I said, she never complained. We saw her doing all of this with a cheerful, willing heart, not grudgingly. To me, she was a wonderful example of a godly wife, mother, teacher, and homemaker. There were times when people ridiculed our family for the sacrifices my parents made. Homeschooling was not extremely popular back then, and neither was being a stay-at-home mom with no outside-the-home-career. In fact, it still is unpopular, for a wife and mom to be a homemaker. Society often dictates that a woman will feel more fulfilled if she holds down a successful career in the workplace. As a result, fewer women are interested in the true work and sacrifice of being a homemaker. But being a homemaker is a God-given calling, and in that, there is great fulfillment as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother.

photo by me


Joy said...

What a beautiful post, praising your mother! ("Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her...") She sounds like such a lovely, Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you for the inspiration!


Laurie said...

Joy, thank you for the beautiful comment. I am so blessed to have such a godly mother, and I hope the Lord will continue to work in my life so that I will be the right kind of mother to my children, too. :)