I am a bit of an outcast I think. In my church, the overall Christian community, I struggle to find my place. Every women’s conference, workshop, retreat, devotional, book club seems to have one main perspective-to be a virtuous, good wife and mother, then you must be a stay at home mom. You are made to feel that if you don’t do that, then you are sinning or somehow out of the will of God. It is not always stated explicitly, but it is often implied. I struggle to find my place. It has often been hard for me to find advice within my Christian community. Many women look at me and say, “I don’t know how you do it?” Some have even pulled my husband aside and told him, “You need to bring Anika home full time. This is just too much.” The thing is NO ONE knows my story.
Let me make one thing clear. I am NOT working full time because I need a break from my kids (actually they are enrolled in the school I founded and I drag them with me wherever I go, LITERALLY!). I am NOT working full time because I hate doing housework. I am not working because I need some type of other fulfillment outside of home and family. None of the usual reasons women work outside of the home apply to me. I am working full time because I feel that God has simply called me to do what I am doing. When I tried being a homemaker, after my first son was born, God made it abundantly clear that he had not called me to do it. There was a major unrest in my spirit and I felt him leading me in another direction. And I wrestled! Boy did I wrestle! But finally, I obeyed a very unusual call for a girl raised in a home where dad worked and mom was a full time wife/mother. So here I am. Now, if you have other reasons for staying at home besides the one I have given…even if it’s because you hate housework, that is OK! If you need a break from your kids, that is OK! If you need a fulfilling career outside of homemaking, that is OK! This is your journey! This is between you and Jesus and you must be at peace with where you are in life! God has called us to a life of joy and fulfillment. In my accepting this and realizing that I am not some Jezebel for choosing to work outside of the home, I gained a new perspective on Proverbs 31 and one thing that became quite clear to me is that this lady was actually a career woman just like me! I look forward to showing the perspective to other women who find themselves sort of a rebel in their Christian community. Get rid of the guilt, get rid of the feelings of inadequacy, get rid of the fear that you are somehow destroying your family by choosing to work and join me on the journey to finding yourself in the Proverbs 31 woman!