From SAHM to FTWM - Lessons Learned

It has been a year since I started working full time out of the home.  Getting a job outside of the home was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.  Being a stay at home mom was all I had ever known; and to be honest with you – it was all that I thought I would ever know.  I had never really envisioned myself working outside the home.   When God opened up a spot for Zak in a special needs Christian school Rob and I began talking about me getting a job outside the home.  The thought of me being gone from the house all day terrified me; I couldn’t see how everything would get done if I was gone eight hours each day. 

This year has been filled with lots of learning curves; but it has been an exciting year as I have done something I have never done before.    Here are some things that I have learned this first year of being a working mom:


*I LOVE my job.  

I had no idea how much I would enjoy going to work and interacting and engaging with other people.  I love going to work and seeing my coworkers.  I love being part of the team where I work.  I love the challenges that I have at work that are different than I had at home; and I love getting a paycheck for the work I am doing.  I never imagined that I would love working outside the home as much as I do.

*Being a SAHM prepared me for being a FTWM

More than once in this past year I have found myself amazed at how things I did as a stay at home prepared me for working outside the home.  Time management, laundry organization, planning school work – all of that equipped me with the knowledge I needed to do a lot of the tasks I have been given this past year.    

*Teamwork Matters     

Whether I like to admit it or not, more than once I have played the martyr when it came to my roll as a SAHM.   Sometimes it was the laundry, meal planning or just housework – but there were a lot of times I just felt like I could not get it all done.  However, I was reluctant to accept help or accepted it with guilt because the affairs of the house were my “job” and when I wasn’t able to get them all done I felt like I was failing.   This year I have learned (at it took a while for me to get this one) that my husband and I are a team.   He helps me when I have a lot on my plate – just like I try to help him when he has a lot on his.  It just makes for a happier home when everyone is working as a team; but that leads to another lesson I have had to learn:

*It doesn’t have to be done my way

Ouch!  This one has hurt.   Sometimes the reason I didn’t want the help was because I wanted things done exactly how I wanted it.   While order and details are important sometimes it is just better to allow others to do it their way for the sake of getting it done.  By far this was the hardest lesson for me – but the one that has brought the most peace to our everyday life. 

*I love Family Time

When I was a SAHM and homeschooling I was with my kids all the time.  Don’t get me wrong – I am thankful that I was able to be home and spend so much time with my kids while they were growing.   I consider it a huge blessing.   This year my time has been divided with home and work; and I have found that when I am home with my family I really focus on them and enjoy being home.  I value it more than I did as a SAHM.  I also have found myself doing away with distractions when I am at home in the evenings and on weekends.  I want to be 100% there with them when I am there with them. 

*If Your Mindset is Wrong – Change

Another ouch.   In the stay at home mom world and the homeschooling world there can be on overarching mindset that working outside the home is WRONG.  The hardest part about me working outside the home was having to evaluate if I believed that it was wrong for me to be employed outside of the home.    As I prayed about it and evaluated it I had accept that some philosophies that I had accepted through the years were not completely biblical.  The Bible clearly teaches that the first roll of the wife is to care and oversee for the needs of her household.  That has been and always will be my first and highest calling.  It is not my only calling.   Once I evaluated this and humbled myself to what the scripture teaches (and not what other people’s opinions were) there was such freedom to fully embrace this next chapter of our lives. 

What a year it has been!  Overall I have learned that a Mom does what needs to be done to meet the needs for her family and her children.  Zak has thrived in his new school; and Anna has blossomed at hers.  I have enjoyed watching God unfold His plan for us in this new adventure.   It’s neat to know that my time as a SAHM was part of God’s plan for my life and for my children and that this new chapter of our lives is a part of God’s plan for us and for our children’s future.  How blessed I have been to have been able to experience both! 

I trust that you are content and thriving at the place God has you in your time of life right now; and know that God is always growing us and preparing us for what is coming up ahead.   No stage of life last forever.  Take in all God has for you now – and be ever learning for what He has for you in the future. 

Thanks for stopping by.  I’m so glad you did!


Doing Life - Together

This past month we celebrated another anniversary.   A lot of years have gone by since he popped the question and I said "yes".  So much of life has happened since then that looking back it feels like we were just two young kids, madly in love with no clue at all about married life.    That evening at the altar with the sun shining through the church window, we each committed our lives to each other.  We said our vows and lit our candle.   He kissed his bride, we ate our cake, and then ran through a shower of birdseed.   We arrived at the church in separate cars, we left together just the two of us.    

Our love story beginning…

Together we have enjoyed a honeymoon, set up our first apartment and learned how each of us enjoyed spending our personal time.  We have endured the flu, food poisoning, mono, bug bites and allergic reactions, morning sickness, cancer and celiac disease.    We have enjoyed vacations, weekend family getaways, and romantic bed and breakfast spots.   We studied Autism and ABA therapies, and picked out homeschool curriculum.    We have laughed together and cried together.    We have figured out how to make groceries last longer to get us to another paycheck and enjoyed steak dinners and romantic anniversary celebrations. We have had vehicles break down on the side of the road, cleaned up vomit from the back seat of the van, and experienced riding in a tow truck down a mountain together.     We have experienced the heartache of having friends turn against us and talked together about the anxiety of making new friends after relocating. Together we have remodeled a house, prepared for a home study and cried together as we welcomed a new child into our family (four times in a hospital room, two times in a court room). We have experienced the heart wrenching pain of burying a child and felt the isolation from each other as we grieved.      We have planted a garden together and shoveled snow together.  We have argued about cat dishes, car payments, hair styles, extended family and furniture placement.  We have shared what God is teaching us in our quiet times and read aloud our personal journals to each other.  For the past twenty seven years we have kissed each other goodnight, gotten up in the morning,  made the bed together and went about our day as a couple.  It has been wonderful and it has been difficult.  It has been us doing life – together.   

I have spent a lot of time this month thinking about the blessings and the challenges that we have had through the years.   They have grown us together.   The good times as well as the bad has shown us just how much we need God.     One of the most beautiful things about being married for a significant length of time, is being able to watch the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in your spouse’s life.   To be able to watch as God uses the difficulties and the blessings in life to conform us to the image of His Son.  When I look back over the past twenty-seven years I see God’s hand in all of it.  He has taken two young kids and has walked with us as we did life together.  He has taught us, encouraged us, grown us, and blessed us.   He has drawn us to Himself and to each other. 

I am so thankful that God has given me someone to do life with.  I am truly blessed.  My prayer is that I will be able to look back twenty seven years from now and see how God has continued to work in our lives, matured us and made us more like Him.    


Affirming our Faith During Trials

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers {various} temptations {trials}; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience…”

Trials are a part of life.  MacArthur defines trials this way:    Something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy, or happiness in someone’s life.   Trials can be big or small. They can range from news of a debilitating illness to going into the laundry room and finding your washing machine's last leg just broke.    Trials also come in multiples (notice the verse says 'various' trials); and it is not uncommon to have one big trial with lots of little trials coming at you at the same time.  

Anything that takes you outside your comfort zone and causes you distress is a trial!  If you are not in the middle of a trial now – you have been – you will be.    


There is something I have found to be so helpful to me when it seems the trials could overtake me.  In fact, just last week, I was met by several trials and found my spirit and my emotional state burdened down with several problems.  As I was working, I realized that I needed to stop focusing on all the problems and trials and focus instead on bedrock truths that I know to be true. I have done this many times -   I call it affirming my faith during times of trials. 

In the Christian life there are many things that we believe; but there are some truths that are foundational and ground us spiritually as we meditate upon them. They are basic truths we know to be true and it is good to remind ourselves of them when trials (no matter how big or how small) come into our lives.    These are the truths we must chose to focus on during times when we are burdened down with the cares of this life.   It is of utmost importance that we move from a horizontal (earthly) view of our trials to a vertical (eternal) view.

  Here are the truths I use to affirm my faith:

1.  God Loves Me
Satan loves to see Christians doubt the love God has for them; and Satan loves to use times of trials to lie to us and say that if God really loved us we would not be experiencing what we are up against.  This lie of Satan slips up many Christians – and it is just that -  a lie!  Calvary alone proves God loves us.  If there was no other example of God’s love – Calvary would be enough.     Perhaps this is my favorite verse when I meditate upon the love God has for me:

Isaiah 49:16 – “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands…”

2.  God is Always (and Only) Good

God cannot be evil.  God cannot act selfishly or out of hatred.  He is good.  Even when life is bad and we see bad things happening around us we can know that is because we live in a fallen world – in a world that has heartache because of sin and the fall.  However, dark this word can be – it does not change the goodness of God.   When we take time to look, we can see each day God’s goodness to us.  In the midst of difficult situations it is good for us to take the time to remember how good God is and has been to us. 

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning:  great is thy faithfulness.”  (Lam 3:22,23)

Photo Credit:  Rachel Spurgeon

3.  God Will Never Leave Me

There is no trail so dark that God is not there with us. As Christians, we face nothing alone!   This is a comfort to know – He is always there.  This is also a truth to cling to in the midst of our trial.

He is there  - when things are difficult and we feel our hearts would break.  
He is there - when we don’t know what to do.  
He is there  - when it feels like He is not there. 

You want something to hang on to?  GOD NEVER LEAVES YOU.  If you feel like He has – you can rest assured that your feelings are wrong and the Bible is true. 

 Take this statement by faith – “I will never leave thee – nor forsake thee.”  (Sometimes that verse has to be believed in spite of our feelings!) 

4.  God’s grace is Sufficient for Anything I encounter in my Life

No trial can trump God’s grace.   God’s grace is His power given to me to encounter the difficulties I face in my life.   So when something is too hard for me – it’s not too hard for God.  What an amazing gift God has given us as Christians -  the ability to ask for His strength and His grace in any situation we encounter .  I love what Christ said to Paul as he encountered weakness and a deep trial in his life:

“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ 

I love Paul’s response to Christ’s statement to him:  “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me..  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake” for when I am weak, then am I strong.”   

In the middle of the weakness – that is where you will find God’s grace!

5. God has brought others through trials like Mine

Satan would like nothing more than to have you think that you are alone.  Satan loves to isolate.  It is a comfort to know that other Christians have walked through trials similar to mine.   What an encouragement to know that I am not alone in my trial!   Whatever you are in the middle of right now – someone else has been there too. 

Vehicle problems?
Financial difficulties?
Children who cant get along?
Housework that seems overwhelming?
Unplanned pregnancy?

You can take comfort in knowing you are not alone.  Scripture records the lives of many who have gone through dark times, books shelves can be filled with books on missionaries and other Christians who have gone through trials in their lives.   Don’t be afraid to look for others who have gone through trials – you will find comfort.  Don’t forget to share about your trials with others in the future.  We all need to know we are not alone in our suffering and trials.  (ICor 10:13)

6.  Trials Have the Ability to Give us a Spiritual Perspective

For a Christian, our life and the trials of life are more than meet the eye.  There is another realm that we cannot see that exists right now as we live our life in the day to day.   When I grasped this it completely changed the way I was looking at a trial that had plagued me with despair for years.  Here are the verses that the Holy Spirit used to change my perspective on my trial:

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:  for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (Emphasis mine)

I had gone through a deep heart wrenching trial and every time I would think about it I would think about how difficult it was and how sad it had made me.  I thought about the tragedy of the trial.   Then when I read these verses I realized I was only seeing the “things that were seen” and I was failing to see  the eternal things.   It was like the Holy Spirit put on some spiritual glasses and gave me HOPE that my trial had eternal value.    Don’t just see your trial from an earthly perspective – that is temporary.  I challenge you to seek an eternal viewpoint.  (Romans 8 in a wonderful chapter to read and reread during times of trials.) 

Satan loves to see a Christian defeated by the trials life brings her way.    We don’t have to be defeated!  It is amazing to realize that the trials we encounter in this life can actually deepen our faith and affirm the very things we believe about God! 

Can I challenge you to allow these truths to affirm your faith in your God?  He is doing something through the trials that you are walking through at this time!  How wonderful it is when the very things that Satan would love to see trip us up and discourage us in our walk with God actually has the opposite effect!  Trials can BUILD and STRENGTHEN our faith in God!    Allow the trial you are in the middle of right now affirm your faith and deepen your walk with God.