Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For All the Stay At Home Moms- Or anyone who sometimes feels like they're under House Arrest :)

Acts 28:30-31
30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! 

In reading Acts a few months ago I came across a verse that totally rocked my world and changed my perspective in a huge way.  You see, I'm a stay at home mom, for the most part.  This new chapter of my life came pretty abruptly, as does the birth of a new child.  Suddenly, your entire world is filled with change and just when you thought you were getting the hang of life you realize that you are back to square one.

Talk about a rude awakening.  In fact, it's an awakening that occurs every hour of the day...and even every hour of the long, sleepless first few months:)

Being a new mom comes with so many changes and adjustments...but being a stay-at-home mom is a whole-nother-level of change.  Not only does your entire world change, now revolving around this tiny human being...but so does your entire occupation.

I don't think anyone can really appreciate what that actually means unless they have gone through it.  All of a sudden the area in which you are an expert no longer seems to exist- and you are thrown into a new job with new rules, a new boss (mine was 7 lbs- but still demanding), a new location...and no orientation to get you accustomed.

The demands of being a mom are never ending (but, are the sweet, sweet joys). 

But I know for me, there have been many days in which I wondered how God was going to use me in this new phase of life.  No more adventure-filled mission trips to Africa.  No more visiting the projects and going door to door meeting some of the sweetest people I will ever know.  No more spending months in 3rd world countries, hours at an orphanage, or late night conversations with friends in need.

For some people, they might have the superpowers to accomplish all those things....but not for me.  The birth of my daughter brought many changes to my life.  It ushered me into a new season.

I have been on a journey of finding God's will for me in this season of my life.  Now, don't get me wrong, I think being a mom- and being a good one at that- is enough of a purpose for any hard working mom.  But for me, I had entered a season in which I felt that there was more.  My soul was thirsty for more.

And then, I stumbled across this incredible, incredible passage. 

I've read the stories of Paul's journey's in bringing the gospel to the world plenty of times.  But never did I really grasp the fact that two years of his most significant ministries was spent in the city of Rome, under house arrest after being ship wrecked.

For two years, Paul was not allowed to leave his home...but that didn't stop him from having significant impact on the kingdom of God and loving on the people around him.  For two years Paul proclaimed the name of Christ within the walls of his own home, accepting visitors, and welcoming friends into his home.  He encouraged them, loved on them, and shared with them the hope that he had in Jesus...

That clicked with me in a large way. 

You see, there are times that because of the demands of a baby and life as a mom that I, too, feel as though I'm under "house arrest".  Now granted, being a mom is nothing like prison.  It is a joy and a blessing to invest in our children and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  But as far as the flexibility, freedom, and spontaneity I used to such thing anymore. 

My world is limited by the sweet little child that God has blessed me with.  She is my world, and she comes first.  That said, as much as I would love to be "free" in living my life...nap times, bed times, and feeding times come first!

Talk about a sort of house arrest.  

But God opened my eyes in a huge way by showing me that just like Paul, I can be free to do God's work through my life no matter WHERE I am or what season of my life I am in.  I want to take that challenge and really live a life that reflects the love of Jesus to the world around me right within the walls of my own home. 

The past few months, just like Paul, I have made it my calling to really use my home as a place of ministry.  I have opened my home to friends for lunch, for prayer meetings, bible studies, coffee dates, play dates and dinner gatherings.  I have used this place as a way to share all that God has given me with the people around me, and to teach all that God is teaching me.  And in turn, God has opened my eyes to the people that really do need this kind of hospitality and love.  They're all over the place if you take the time to look for them. 

We can be used by God no matter where He has placed us....because He has placed us there for a purpose.  

My prayer for you is that God renews your passion for this specific season in your life.  Whether working a dead-end job, studying, a stay at home mom, career, or looking for a career...God has placed you in this season of life for a purpose.  Be open to what He has for you, be open to His calling on your life.  Because no one else can do what God has created you to do.  

Can I get an Amen?


  1. Well put, Debby! I always think of being used where God puts us. In my job, I want to be the best software engineer and reach other software engineers, that's my mission field... and with a baby coming in October, I have a feeling I'll feel a little like in prison staying at home for maternity leave (almost 6 months) with our little one, but you're right, being a mom... and ministering to moms will be my mission field. Thanks for this post!

  2. Janjouna,

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I am so excited for your little bundle arriving in October and I'm sure you will be a great mom.

    God has plans to use you in this upcoming season of life in new and exciting ways...keep me posted when He does:)

  3. What a great post...and the verse that went with it! It's refreshing to get that perspective on things.
    For me God has used motherhood to refine me like nothing else I've gone through in life! It truly is a humbling (and blessed) time.
    Thanks again for passing this along. I always enjoy reading other people's blogs. Looking forward to seeing you at MOPS!

  4. Thanks Nancy,

    I really believe that...refinement is definitely a part of it. Thanks for reading and for your thoughts and encouragement! See you soon!

  5. Great post about "seasons"... I have had many seasons-- one of my longest seasons was singleness which taught me more than I wanted it to-- Now I, too, am on this journey and it is all that I hoped it would be and more! The joys outweigh the struggles for me now as I accept my limitations and allow others to reach into my life -- to give me wisdom when I have none left for myself (hee hee... as a fellow counselor, I am sure you can relate...) Thanks for the post and I look forward to a great Mops year together Deb... or do you prefer Debbie or Debra? (Andrea)

  6. Andrea, thanks for sharing your thoughts...I can definitely relate to those seasons. This season of motherhood is definitely filled with joys and challenges...yet another way God uses our children to refine us and make us more like Jesus. Thanks for reading, and I', so excited and look forward to an awesome MOPS year :)

  7. Appreciate your thoughts, Deb. I have always said that being married teaches you about unselfishness, but having children teaches you more about unselfishness than you ever wanted to know. We definitely do put our lives "on hold" as it were, but God - the Sovereign Lord - uses this time of mothering -if we let Him - to create in us a more loving, surrendered, selfless vessel than we ever would have been otherwise! It certainly does give us a newer appreciation of Isaiah 49:15-16. Oh, the depths of His Love!

  8. Thanks Brenda, you are right you learn about unselfishness in a whole new way :) I really appreciate your thoughts and it is so true how we are being transformed to be more and more like Jesus with each act of surrender and selflessness. What a great reminder.

  9. Debra,

    Hello. My name is Rachel, and I have read 2 RELEVANT Magazine articles of yours, and thought to myself -- wow, she's right over there in Hershey! How cool! I live on the West Shore. I forget what the first article was, but this one was about reclaiming purity. I really appreciate the article, and was so happy to find your blog!

    This post encouraged some well-kept tears to escape from hiding. I recently returned from a 2 month mission trip to Mexico, and am in the "praying and waiting" time on "what's next"... in the meanwhile, finding myself bounced around by the pressures of American society...and finding my single, substitute teacher status somewhat shameful. I have been dreaming of the day when I can be a stay-at-home mom for a long time, but also long to return to Mexico for more mission work there. Anyway, your post is yet another reminder of being fully present and appreciative of this season and all seasons. God bless you and your family.

    Sincerely, Rachel Campbell

  10. Rachel, I'm so glad to hear your story and to have the honor of learning your story. Never allow yourself to see singleness as shameful. It's not the lack of fulfillment, rather, it's a season with it's own category of fulfillment. May God really guide you, make Himself known to you, and show you the direction to walk in. May he give you the wisdom to be present in this season of life...thanks for your sweet words and encouragement.


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