Rediscovering Home

I have been thinking a lot lately about how very deeply blessed and privileged I have been to be able to stay at home to be a full time wife and mother and homeschool my children. I know many women who would have loved to have that opportunity, but were denied it. I thank God for my sweet, kind, generous husband who recognised how beneficial it can be for a family to have the wife and mother at home, and that it was worth giving up a second income for.

And yet I have found ‘homemaking’ frustratingly and discouragingly hard, and as much as I desired to be ‘domesticated’, it has been a struggle because I have both a lack of practical knowledge and a lack of natural talent in this area.

I have realised that I have allowed my heart to slowly drift away from my home and family, and as a result I have looked elsewhere for satisfaction, fulfilment, status, recognition and ministry.

But I can also pinpoint the time when my heart began to grow cold – it was when I lost my fifth baby in a row, and I realised that I would most likely never fulfil my dream of having a large family (which was integral to my overall vision).

I started my married life with a vision of very old-fashioned, traditional, back-to-basics homesteading, based on a mixture of Little House on the Prairie and the Waltons (and if I’m honest that’s still my vision and ideal – I love the videos from Homestead Blessings, for example), and my vision was encouraged by reading Mary Pride’s provocative books ‘The Way Home’ and ‘All The Way Home’, amongst others, which advocated many of the things I was aspiring to.

But my reality has been very far away from that dream – I’m living a frustratingly fast, modern life which, although we escaped the city, does include regular trips to town for activities (which I’m beginning to question the value of), and sadly doesn’t include having access to any land at all.

I still haven’t learned how to cook properly or knit or crochet or quilt! So the result has been overwhelming discouragement. Perhaps it was all just a silly dream?

And yet, I feel as though somehow I have abandoned my first love. I seem to have looked for God and ministry in all the wrong places, and finally He is drawing me back, and turning my heart back to my home, back to my husband, back to my children.

I spent years as a young wife and mother desperately searching and hoping and praying for a Titus 2 mentor, but there were none, not a single one. Nobody in the church, or in the Messianic congregation, were living out anything like the traditional Titus 2 role at home. So mothers like Mrs Ingalls and Mrs Walton were my role models.

Now I am in my 40s I realise that, whether I like it or not, whether good or bad, I am setting an example for young wives and mothers. That is an awesome responsibility, and I don’t want to let another generation struggle the way I did.

So as much as part of me has been longing to escape ‘failure’ – the failure of my dream life to match reality, I realise I need to make teshuva, to turn around and go back the way I have come, and find the peaceful, gentle path I was searching for all along.

My own particular vision of Godly womanhood may not be at all what young women are looking for or would aspire to at all. In a way, it’s irrelevant because that’s not the life I’m actually living.

But this is the way it is described in Titus 2:3-5:

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

I’m really just feeling compelled to meditate again on this passage and what it means, and I hope that, despite all my flaws and failings, my life and my lifestyle, such as it is, will be achieving those things and giving young women something realistic and truly Godly to aspire to. And may the word of God not be blasphemed.

Shabbat Shalom!

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