20 January 2013

Motherhood: The Most Important Career in the Nation!

At school I visited the school vocational counselor quite a few times and my parents even paid for an independent vocational counselor, in an attempt to determine my talents and gifting and what career I should enter after school. My first choice was to become an actuary.

I absolutely love numbers, looking for patterns, solving problems, but in the middle 80’s you could only study actuary in the United Kingdom and there was no way my parents could send me to the UK.

Becoming a dietitian, helping people, sounded like a good idea and I enrolled at the medical school of the University of the Free State. After four years I graduated and started working in the state hospital where I got my training. It was interesting and I especially loved working with the little children who had cancer and diabetes, but it wasn’t my passion. Eighteen months after I graduated, we identified the need for someone to take care of the financial side of Christo’s business - designing and servicing medical equipment at that stage. I resigned at the hospital, doing the bookkeeping at Christo’s business, while practicing as private dietitian at an infertility unit, a few hours per day. I loved the combination and got much satisfaction out of my two jobs.

In 1994 I fell pregnant with our firstborn, after a miscarriage, the previous year. At 28 weeks I got bladder infection and almost went into premature labour. Fortunately, my gynecologist friend at the Infertility unit, where I practiced as dietitian, recognized my symptoms. I was admitted to hospital immediately and they could stop my dilation.  The weekend after they discharged me, we counted the costs of me doing two jobs. Though I enjoyed it tremendously  it was stressful - and I didn’t do it primarily for the money. We decided I would stop being a private dietitian and I would just take care of the finances of our business, after all numbers was my first love.

By the end of 1995 we moved to Cape Town and Christo started a shop that sold men’s toys, telescopes, knifes, etc. I still did the bookkeeping of our business, at night, after my baby boy fell asleep and Christo could keep an eye over him. During the following years our family business changed from selling men’s toys, to running a health shop, we surrendered my womb to the Lord and I started homeschooling our 3 children at that stage.  Often Christo would need to do courses over a weekend or for a few days in the week and then I tried to run the health shop, with 3 little ones, 6 and under, playing at my feet. This was not at all an ideal situation and I was freaked out. By the end of 2002 we realized this is not going to work.

Christo, gifted in researching, gathering information and problem solving, took over the bookkeeping and got an assistant in the shop. I was now exclusively homeschooling our children, having more babies and Christo experienced the awesome grace of the Lord in the financial management of our business, while he is not at all gifted or talented in that area.  Over the years we often talked about my gifting of working with numbers and the obvious growing need for me to be more involved in our business. Not only in the financial management, but also in consulting mothers, due to my experience with raising 8 children, with colic and severe food sensitivities for 18 years and counting. But each time I felt the pull to become more involved in our family business, we discerned the much bigger need of taking care and educating our precious children. 

With my older children becoming young responsible adults, helping big time in our health shop and the little ones not being babies anymore, I helped Christo put up a new bookkeeping system for our shop over the past two months. 

On Saturday morning I went with Christo to the shop. What an enjoyable time I had! I had the privilege to give some advice to a few clients, out of my own practical experience; chat with a rep and got very excited about possible promotions for the shop; and enjoyed every second of streamlining our bookkeeping system.  As I sat there, I realized what an absolute joy and satisfaction it would be to work in our health shop. It is all my passions in one. I love share and give people advice, I have the dietitian background and personally worked through health issues for years with pregnancies, births, babies and food allergies and sensitivities. Then there is my first love of working with numbers, not to mention what a relieve it will be for my husband when I take over financial management, after all it is my gift and talent, not his.  Gifts and talents given to me from the Lord with a reason, right?

But, stronger than my longing to move into the business again, was the knowing my first calling, passion and responsibility is with my precious children - the eternal Gifts God gave Christo and me, with a reason! 

How often women today argue themselves out of their responsibility and calling of being a full time mother, taking care of the bringing-up and training of their children themselves, with the exact same passion and longing I experienced over the years. God gave each of us gifts and talents and He commanded us to not hide it under a pile, remember?

Absolutely right, with just a slight change of accent. We need to remember as women why God created a Man and a Woman. Both are created in the image of God. The man to present the character of God as Father, the woman to attribute to the feminine character of God as Nurturer. In this we are created in the image of God, each of us has personal gifts and talents. Now we must remember nowhere in the Word of God, God ever contradicts His own words. For that reason we must always evaluate a topic/situation with what the WHOLE WORD OF GOD says about that topic/situation. 

Women are created to be Nurturers, Care-takers, Home Makers. Whether they are mothers or not.  Did you notice great women of the past, like Mother Theresa, represent the nurturing character of God even without carrying a baby in her womb? A woman doesn’t need to give birth to a baby, to present the image of God. All the talents and gifts a woman is bestowed with is for this one and only reason, to take care of God’s creation in a nurturing and loving way. And when you are blessed with the privilege of giving life to a little person and become a Mother, it is the calling on your life to take care and nurture that child, no matter what the longing of your heart outside the home. 

The longing in my heart to go into the market place, look rather dim and dull, when compared to the eternal value of pursuing the calling on my life of taking care of my children myself. There is no greater career in the world than parenting my children. When I’m training my children for the Lord, I’m in His perfect will. A Mother’s faithfulness in her home will have its impact on earth and also in eternity. It will change the world!

I’m so blessed to have my children around me every moment of each day, though often feeling totally overwhelmed by tiredness and frustrations, it is the most precious time of my life.  I cannot think of anything in my life that can be more meaningful and more joyful than these wonderful days. These days that make the never years. Never enough money, never enough time, never enough sleep - but always enough love!

These are the busy years, the wonderful, hectic, impossible years. But soon my children will be grown up, I already experienced it, and then I’ll have plenty of time to cultivate my outside passions. And then I wonder, will it be so wonderful as I sometimes dream it will be? Aren’t I in the middle of the most wonderful years, right now?

Bearing and raising my children is a long-term investment - in fact an eternal one! Often an unknown concept in our culture where everyone wants everything to happen instantaneously. 
....Many of us have never been taught to believe that someday we will have to give an account to God, face-to-face, for the spiritual, emotional, and moral work that we steward in the lives of our children. The souls of our children will last for all eternity, and if we believe Scripture to be true, the way we shepherd them will undoubtedly have repercussions far beyond our lives here on earth.                 - Sally Clarkson
We must come to think long term. In my current season I’m privileged to taste the sweet fruit of a young adult, raised for 18 years in my home. These were often lonely years, where someone seldom noticed what I did, doing the same old thing every single day. I have another 18 years of raising children before me, I also have the opportunity to, in a very small way use some of my talents and gifts in my husband’s business, and I can boldly say, I still choose to use my talents and gifts in my home, where the influence goes on into the generations and even into eternity. I just have to trust the Lord that He will take care of financial managements, while my heart, soul and body are at home, with my children.

Every Mother loves her children
Not every Mother loves Motherhood.
- Nancy Campbell

Dear Mother, you might be struggling with some of these conflicting ideas of loving your career, even believing your are at the exact, sweet spot of using your gifts and talents; while desperately loving your children, but unable to say yes for going home and spending your gifts and talents there where no one noticed, raising and educating your children in the ways of the Lord.  

Think long term!

Step into the perfect will of God. Sacrificing your personal longings and preferences, for the higher purpose of bearing and raising eternal souls for the Lord.

Rejoice and be glad in your high and noble calling as a Mother.
You have the most important career in the nation!
Your are changing the world!

With Love

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
Matthew 6:33

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