Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Wife - Week Eight

Question #8: Sara mentions several times in the book the struggle she has with being identified with her work.  What's your view of work, whether it's in or out of the home?  How do you typically identify yourself?  How do you think others identify you?  How do you want to be identified?

Well there are some loaded questions, eh?  That is so big in American society, and we have all probably done it.  You meet someone new and what is one of the first questions? "So, what do you do?"  I guess it always bugged me a little in the back of my head, but I was proud to be a teacher then a librarian, so I had no problem answering.  At the same time, I thought well I'm also a Christian and a wife and a whole lot of other things!

To me, work is work!  And I have been on both sides of the paycheck, so to speak.  Actually "staying at home" can be WAY more work than some jobs I know of!!  But of course society typically sees work as something you do outside of the home that earns you a paycheck.  I think this will take decades to change, if ever, unfortunately.

Identify myself....well that's in a state of flux right now!  As I said, I always went along with "I'm a librarian" as my stock answer.  But what do I do now?  I no longer work due to health issues.  I don't have any human children so I can't even say that I'm a stay at home mom.  There's not a single word for me anymore.  If I try to be cute and say "domestic engineer" I get, "oh, you're a housewife.....gee, what do you do all day?"  Then I have the urge to clock someone and that's never good!  Are you kidding me?!?!?  I do plenty!  I cook, I clean, I have to take the dogs out a minimum of 3 times during the day and at least twice we must play for awhile or I will never get any peace, I go to water aerobics, I do Bible study, I blog, I do laundry, I run errands, I do things for people at church.....I could keep going!!  And the worst (or maybe the best....haven't decided yet!) part of it is I have to get up everyday and repeat it all again.  I work myself into exhaustion everyday, and I get dismissed with a simple comment "wow, must be nice!"  Can you tell this bothers me just a little?  So anyway....still not sure how to identify myself.  Although I am really pretty happy with "housewife", I'm still struggling with worrying about what other people think about that title.  I KNOW I'm not supposed to, I'm still working on it!

So how do others identify me?  Lucky....Lazy....Those are the two I get the most.  Now I haven't had too many come right out and call me lazy, but I get some of the above comments and of course the "huh, you don't look sick." You know it actually takes more work to live this way than when I was "working".  I used to use part of my paycheck to pay someone to clean my house.  We also ate a lot of quick food.  Now I'm paying closer attention to coupons and sales, cooking from scratch....or close to some part of the house everyday, etc.  I just wish my life was recognized for what it is.  But then again, does it really matter?  I'm not supposed to be getting credit for the stuff I'm doing in society's eyes.  I'm supposed to be doing all that I do for the glory of the One who created me!

How do I want others to identify me?  I guess if we HAVE to choose a word, I'd go with housewife, but more than anything, I just don't want to be treated as a second class citizen because I stay home.  And in that, let me caution you as to how you think and/or judge others.  Maybe you are the other way.  Maybe you are a stay at home mom and you tend to look down on the mom who works outside of the home.  We all have to figure out what life choices work for us and our family as long as we are within Biblical guidelines and not doing anything illegal!  We have no business judging others for their life choices!  

So, the next time you meet someone new, instead of saying what do you do, try asking a little about themselves.  Maybe, "where are you from" or "do you have any hobbies"?  Maybe we can change this world one little icebreaker question at a time!!

Until Next Time.....


  1. I love how frank you are. I also am home right now due to a totally knee replacement and have been off of work for almost 2 years now. I agree 100% that is easier to work than be home all day. God has a plan for us all and we just need to be patient and pray it will show itself to us.
    So thank you frank Franny. I enjoyed your blog.

  2. Great comments. I have the opposite problem. I live in a community and go to a church where most women stay home and home school. I have had quite a few well meaning women lecture me on how wrong I am for working. Then I get the lecture on homeschooling and how public school is going to ruin my child and so on. I am not sure when it became such a point of contention on either side. Is it that each side feels guilty for the choices that were made?

    My goal since I was an itty bitty girl was to be a stay at home mom. I wanted multiple kids and just knew that my life would be perfect. Well life happens, in order to pay our bills I have to work. We live very frugally, but we can't make it on one income. We were only able to have one child, she is a blessing and we are so thankful. I want a big career, God called me to work in a church. I would love to have extra money to buy luxuries and go on trips, we live pay check to pay check. Life happens, but the one thing I am sure of is that I am where God wants me to be. There is NO doubt that he called me to work. He has blessed me in so many ways and I know that I am where I am supposed to be.

    Women are always so anxious to make someone else look bad in order to justify our lives and our choices. When we feel guilt over our life we tend to lash out and make other people feel bad.

    One of the things that I am working towards and leading other ladies into is using our words to encourage one another. We all have problems, stress and issues, but tearing each other down does not build you up. If we could learn to accept each other and love each other no matter where they are in life, we would all be better off!

    Thanks for all you do!


  3. thanks for the great comments ladies, I see that everyone understands both sides to this issue. I also hope, Like Cat said, that we can help each other instead of labeling each other.

    thanks again!

  4. When people ask me what I do, I tell them I am a child of God and I live for Christ. Everything I do I do for the Carpenter. He make decisions for me. I have walked in all your shoes..but my main career is to work for Him.

    Sometimes that means I have a job that puts me in the workplace. When it does, I know that I am there for a purpose. Right now that means I am a Certified Central Service Tech. It has great responsibilities. I clean, sterilize and get instrumentation ready for surgical procedures. If I make mistakes or dont do it properly, I can jepordize your surgery. But I usually just say to others, I clean bedpans...and I do that too.

    But, my main job is what the Lord leads me to do..from teaching children about mission in all parts of the world, or cooking dinners for our Mission Church, or driving a van to with people who could not attend without me.

    ...and one of the most important jobs is being a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. God gave them all to me.

    But, ladies, I have to say, I did not come to these conclusions easily. I had to walk in the fire and I don't advise anyone to ask the Lord for that kind of learning experience.

    I am so glad to be at the point in my life that I don't care what others think! I pray that all of you have that blessing really soon.

    P.S. My dad often said that he was busier after he retired than before and often wondered how he got everything done while he was working as a welder! All of your jobs, whether you are working outside or at home, are so important to the Lord and what he has for you. Wishing all of you great day ahead and peace in your circumstances!