I do at least one load of laundry a day.
I fold it and sigh.
Because now I have to put it away.
I run the dishwasher at least once a day.
I love when the kitchen is clean.
But sometimes the dishes sit.
The dogs need to go out.
And then they need to come back in.
And then the floor needs to be wiped down where they brought muddy paws in.
And then the kids are hungry.
And so I cook.
I make most food from scratch since we started eating gluten-free in April of 2012.
I love how much healthier our how family is.
But cooking from scratch means that I prepare 3 meals and at least 2-3 snacks a day, 7 days a week.
You do the math.
On average, I am in the kitchen (cooking) about 1-2 hours per day.
That makes a lot of dishes.
And then there's the crumbs on the floor and the spills on the shirts and the diapers that need wiping and the fridge that needs cleaning out (because something has SERIOUSLY gone wrong in there with the stink that it's projecting) and the clothes that need putting away and the dogs that need to go out, again...
I'm a stay-at-home mom.
And I don't make money.
And I have a garden.
And I have two hungry children and two hungry dogs.
And a husband who works a full day and then comes home and eats.
And some days I wear makeup, and some days I don't.
Shoot. Some days I don't even wear a bra.
And some days I feel like I'm living a groundhog day life.
And I'm not whining - I'm not ungrateful or wishing this job/life would stop - I'm just saying...some days, the life of a stay-at-home mom is, well, seemingly uninteresting.
Except on days that it isn't.
I never thought I would stay at home with my children, full-time. But now that I do, I can't imagine not. Molding these little hearts has been the most rewarding things I have ever done. I know, without a doubt, that the spunky fire in my 2 year old would have been used for evil and not good had I not been the one to direct her to using her spicy attitude in the right ways. My husband concurs. That second-born has sass.
I'm a second-born, too.
And I'd like to think that I have spunk. Maybe even a spark.
I heard this song last week - and watched an interview with the artist. While I closely identify with what Steven Curtis Chapman sings in his song, Do Everything. I even more closely identify with Alicia Keys in Girl on Fire.
My parents never - and I do mean NEVER - badgered me to make good grades. They expected me to study and try my hardest. But they never shamed me for making below a B. For whatever reason - purposefully or not - their hearts never intended on making me identify with the things that I did. Instead, they always fanned the flame in me that was ME. My dad used to tell me that I was spunky and while I was outspoken, he would remind me that no one could or would tear me down because my confidence was strong. He always complimented my beauty and told me that I was the most beautiful girl in the world. He told me that singing with me was like singing with the Dixie Chicks - that I was fun to listen to and be with. My mom always told me that I was wise beyond my years. She told me that as long as I tried my hardest, that I should be proud of whatever it was that came from my hardest. And that honesty was all she asked of me.
If you know me, or have followed this blog, you know that my home-life growing up wasn't easy. But the love that was good - was SO good. My parents sparked a fire in me when I was little. They pulled out of me the very things that God planted. Spunk - sass - determination - strong-will - a voice.
And even though I'm the house cook, and most days the maid, I know that this gig isn't just who I am.
I am a voice for the Nations.
I am a voice for God.
I am a picture of healing.
My marriage is a testimony of grace and forgiveness.
My love for my dad is proof of Jesus.
My identity in Christ isn't shaken and my love for Him is deep.
And I'm like you.
I have every reason to give up. I have every reason to identify with what I do every day - for that to become me.
Or I can close my eyes and remember.
I can remember and even recall the first times that I stood up for injustice, or the first time I felt something fierce burning inside of me, a righteous anger; or the first time I sang with all my heart, or the first time I spoke with confidence knowing that it didn't matter what they thought of me but that if just one person received what I said, all of the snickering would be worth it.
Those memories are when I was just a little girl.
The dishes and dogs and laundry and shopping...some days those things seem to tell me that my voice is gone.
And other days, when my girls are singing along with Alicia Keys...
I know that the fire is still roaring.
And even though it was just over coffee in my living room, or at the park, or on the phone, or the coffee shop...all of the snickering in the world is worth it if I was able to set even a spark of a fire inside you.
God didn't make women to be weak.
He certainly didn't make me weak.
This girl is on fire.
Go ahead, snicker.
I am SO ok with that.
[enjoy a listen to Alicia Keys' song with the link, in red, above]