May 22, 2010

A New Saga

Posted in Watermarks in Progress tagged , , , , at 10:37 pm by Tamara

It may be a little bit dramatic, but I can’t help thinking that tomorrow will begin a new saga of my life.  Hopefully, prayerfully, oh-PLEASE-fully, it will involve some “margin.”  Last Friday I officially finished/survived/collapsed at the finish line of my term of full-time work and full-time school at the same time.  I was able to get everything done, but it left me with NO margin.  No time to make new friends, be involved at church, cook meals, sleep, or deal with unforeseen issues (for example, I just about had a breakdown when Knightley needed to be taken to the vet last week, right in the middle of my big research project.)

One of the things that has been the most distressing to me is that I’ve felt like I haven’t been able to “be a wife.”  I don’t want to get into a big discussion of women’s roles here, and please don’t misinterpret me and think I subscribe to the “barefoot in the kitchen” model.  But, what I will say is that it was very distressing to me to head off to work leaving a half-folded tower of laundry, a floor carpeted in dog hair, and a note for Adam that there was canned soup in the cupboard (“Oh and could you please clean the toilet because you’re so wonderful?”), and then come home and immediately lock myself in the office with my textbooks (and my bowl of soup).  Adam, wonderful man that he is, very graciously picked up my slack, cleaning the house and even cooking.  But it still made me feel frustrated, stressed and unfulfilled.

I always knew I wanted to be a wife and mother (among other things) but I’ve actually been a little surprised by how fulfilling I find the “homemaking” tasks the feminist movement has made sound so negative.  I kind of thought other things would fulfill me and the homemaking stuff would just be work that had to get done.  But not only am I realizing how much satisfaction I get out of crafting our home, what has been more apparent of late is how UNfulfilled I feel when other life demands keep me from being able to actively create our home environment.  I can’t say I get big kicks and giggles vacuuming or cutting the fat off chicken breasts for dinner.  But, I love the total affect.  I love when the place we come home to at night, the place that envelops the most personal and cherished parts of our lives, can be described with words like restful, warm, nourishing, created, orderly, inviting, etc.

The shocking takeaway?  God knows what He’s talking about.  (Whoa!)  No matter what the world tells us, His instructions for roles are GOOD ideas.  Ideas that fulfill us and bring us peace.  And, here I have to give credit to my amazing mom, because I’ve spent my whole life watching her beautiful illustration of what this looks like.

So, after many talks with Adam, we decided it was time for me to cut back to part-time at work.  I should note that the reason we’re able to do this is because wonderful Adam is working two jobs right now to provide for us.  I feel a little scared and a little guilty: scared because this involves both a pay cut and an hours cut, and guilty because part of me is still saying, “You’re just too lazy to be able to handle it all.”  But, I’m holding on to two truths: first, God has been INCREDIBLY faithful to provide for us financially.  Adam’s second job was just dropped in his lap, for example.  And second, I believe God is happy with my desire to take care of Adam and our home, and if this is what He’s asking me to do, He’ll take care of burdens I can’t shoulder.

And last but not least, not only will this allow me to oversee my little home domain again, but it will also give me time to be involved in other things that fulfill me, like ministry and (dun dun dun!) THIS BLOG!!  So let the new saga begin, and may I protect it a little better from now on.

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5 Comments »

  1. Mom said,

    I like the sound of those adjectives: “restful, warm, nourishing, created, orderly, inviting.” I have seen you excel in making your home all of them and more. I’m glad you’ll have a chance to focus on it more now. Three cheers to you, and also to Adam for all his hard work!

  2. Tamara said,

    Notice that “spotless” was not in those adjectives…. Heh. Any word on a puppy? We’re already talking to Knightley about his little sibling.

    • Mom said,

      It will be at least a couple more weeks before we can tell if there is anything in the oven or not. Dad and I were talking about mid-October for a visit. How would that work?

      How is the fence project coming?

  3. Cindy Wilson said,

    What a blessing for you! I’ve long felt that our society places much too little worth on women who decide that making their home a welcome and safe place for their family is a legitimate job. And having the time to devote to serving God in His church is as much a blessing for you as it is for the church. Enjoy this time in your life. I’m sure Adam will enjoy it too!

  4. mary said,

    Tamara, it’s almost crazy how you penned my feelings exactly. I can relate so well. Thanks for sharing this and I’m glad you’ll be able to cut back at work a little!


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