“. . . to be busy at home . . .” (Titus 2:5)
Most of the women in my family have taken the Titus 2 teaching to the extreme. Whenever I go home, I feel like I’m watching those “perfect” housewives from the old movies: sparkling homes; neatly ironed and starched laundry; hot meals every morning and night. These women manage to be neatly groomed at all times. They work, are active in church, and maintain social calendars.
It’s hard for me to believe that I was a part of that circle until chronic illness took its toll on my body. When I got sick, I knew there was no way I could maintain the standard of housekeeping I’d grown up with. For years, I struggled with guilt because I lacked the ability to uphold my responsibilities.
When a bad flare hit and all I could only manage to do was move from the bed to the couch, I forgot about keeping such a demanding schedule. At the time I didn’t know if I would fully recover, so I took as much joy in my young children as I could. I allowed them to pour their toys all over the floor, watch cartoons, and eat pizza. All that mattered was being close to them.
That episode freed me from bondage, from the desire to be perfect; to control my life and physical appearance; and to meet the standards set by the women in my family–not those in God’s Word.
Slowly, I learned balance.
When I talk with my children about their childhood, their memories aren’t about a perfectly cleaned home or the meals for dinner. They talk about the fun they had building tents with blankets; playing mini cook in the kitchen; “racing” to see who could put away their toys the fastest; snuggling with me and Norm for bedtime stories.
They have admitted that they were not aware of how sick I was. That makes my heart glad and eases some of the guilt I’ve carried about being a sick mom.
I’m so thankful that I have adopted a “good enough” mentality that has freed me to concentrate on what is most important in my life – my family, my friends, and my relationship with God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for being perfect so we don’t have to strive to be. Help us to rely on Your wisdom and strength. Set us free from the need to impress others. Amen.
About the Author:
Dorothea Love lives in California with her family. She has lived with various chronic illnesses and pain for over 20 years. She relies on God’s grace to strengthen and encourage her each day. She loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her in the Sunroom at: http://www.restministriessunroom.ning.com/profile/Dorothea Love or read some of her other works at http://www.dorothealove.wordpress.com
What helped you to learn to balance your life and let go of the expectations of other people?
Steven Curtis Chapman sings “One Heartbeat at a Time.” If you feel like a mom who is struggling to keep up with life and wondering if you are handing down a legacy or just anxiety, please take the time to watch this video. As I watched it today, it was a blessing God wanted me to hear. I know He wants you to hear it too. You are good enough. Never doubt it. -Lisa