Thursday, July 7, 2011

On How I Became a Home Sculptor

The day I decided to leave behind my finance career and pursue homemaking full-time as the occupation through which I would invest all my time, gifts, passions and energy, I couldn’t avoid having a bit of fear parked in a corner of my mind. As romantic as it sounds, at that time for me homemaking dragged along a baggage of stereotypes that in some way had infested my heart.  I was afraid of completely letting go of any hopes of what I thought was a healthy dose of self reliance.  I also secretly feared the imminent “marked down tag” that in my mind came along with the profession of housewifery. For those dearly loved stay home wives whom I now highly admired, please do not let this part of my confession stop you from reading.  I promise that in just a bit you’ll get to the redeeming part of my story where I get over my foolishness.

Here it goes, I'll help you forget about my foolishness with our pics from our visit to our family in Ohio..

Yes I know Garrick, Momma would love to have this much land to homestead! =)
So I was depressed. I had worked so hard to get a professional degree in a foreign country and to work my way up in the corporate world pursuing financial stability and a sense of self-actualization, that this decision looked very much like a bungee jumping type of experience for me. I knew however, that behind all the foggy fears and uncertainties, that’s what I really ought and also, very deep in my heart wished to do. That was the best for our sprouting family.  I remember the long talks to my husband trying to explain all this. How difficult it was. I knew this was a decision that would deeply affect our life style and would give a completely different color and shape to the days ahead. I remember the streams of grace he poured over me as he reassured me of his support whichever direction I wanted to take.  Furthermore, sometimes he would even say jokingly that we would not mind staying home with our children while I go out to bring the bacon! Yep, that’s my husband. (He now says that actually it was not a joke!) =p

Garrick having a great time with his cousins
Meeting the many that we have never seen before!

And here there is mostly everybody!
So here I am, hundreds of laundry loads and cooked meals later...and another thousand hugs and kisses too. And as unappealing as at first this may sound, I am finding more and more romance in every one of our home-full days, in spite of the messes and stresses than I could have ever imagined.  I definitely don’t judge all those mommas that decide to split or better I should say, multiply their passions with the workplace, either because they would go ballistic if staying at home, or because of finances or any other personal reason. But I do want to share with those occasional friends that here and there ask me about the transition and wonder why we decided to become an OIH (One-income household) while getting the bonus of obtaining a full time domestic engineer, AKA homemaker.

C'mon momma, I like to swing even on the top of this mountain!

Everybody played!

Even the adults!

The decision of going thru this metamorphosis was not easy, but definitely worth it.  One of the remarkable things of it all is going thru the experience of rediscovering and making peace with my femininity. And in so many different ways! I’ll mention just a couple to keep this post short. (Ha!)  First, I think that embracing my calling as a full time stay home wife and mother has allowed me to fully experience being a suitable helper for my husband.  You see,  I didn’t have the opportunity to grow up with my father, so I never had the experience of feeling the protection of a male figure.  Because of that, I think following the matriarchal pattern that by necessity was established at home was my default setting regarding the ways of women and homemaking. Don’t get me wrong, I will always be grateful for my mother’s arduous job in getting me and my siblings ahead in life.  She certainly did it and against all odds!  However, though this part of my heritage prodded me towards a sense of courage, it also crippled my ability to rely on somebody else, and therefore to trust.

The three generations..

My husband's father and his lovely wife difficult to catch without the camera!

Now, among the myriad of things I’ve learned from my short 4 years of marriage, is that trust must be one of the most important foundations to build a stable marriage.  I think taking the step of getting rid of my self-reliant tendencies, has not only liberated me from my trust issues (which by the way, was not only a problem limited to our home walls, but further to all my relational spectrum, including God), but has also allowed my husband to grow in many ways as he took a firm grip of his manly calling as the provider of our home. I can’t put in words what a delight to my soul it is to know that I can safely tend and nourish our love nest, resting my mind and heart under his mantle.  Nor can I put into words how grateful and proud I am to have a husband that courageously responded to this call.  I do not want by any means to undermine any families or men that for any circumstantial reasons need to stick to a double income family. I am just very grateful for my husband for not shying away from the prospect of hard work coupled with a frugal lifestyle in exchange for the richness of a housewife. Wow, I said it! =)
Garrick on his very first boat ride!

My hubby and Ky-Ky wrestling in the waters of Lake Seneca

Garrick very tired after having so much fun!
Now, the harvest from our planting myself at home does not end there. I actually have discovered a world of potential and beauty that had never imagined being there. Like the masterpiece of art that the sculptor is able to visualize into a raw chunk of stone. Kind of the way Michelangelo did when envisioning his famous David, when most everybody doubted he could, out of that very imperfect piece of marble.  Not that it’s easy. Actually getting that smooth breathtaking sculpture does take lots of time, sweat, blows and laboring with the chisel. However, embracing my calling to stay home and dedicate my time and energy fully to sculpt my home and all contained in it has given me a complete new ownership of the project. From the prospect of having all the time and energy to nourish, be the primary teacher and the one who celebrates all the milestones of my children while I see them grow, to carving our love nest out of the boulder of dailyness and the ordinary. From exploring and lovingly writing the volumes of our family cookbook and kitchen stories (and I confess, sometimes they will be about failures and exhaustion) to carefully knitting and nurturing the relationships that God intentionally brings to our family life.  From having the energy and time to learn and practice the ways of homemaking and even a bit of homesteading! To setting our own home pattern and rhythms, and to learn to respect and love my husband the way God designed it to be.  To learn working together as a God appointed team to serve Him and our generation and leave a legacy that is worth passing on.  Isn’t this a super awesome assignment? Isn’t it a blessing to be able to use the power of focus of my time and energy to achieve it?  I think it is. And for that I am not tired of saying: I am grateful.  I can’t say I know with all certainty that I know how things will look like in 5, 10 or 20 years from now. I know we have some plans, but the Lord can change them at any time. However, I know with certainty that we are striving to make the most with what we have been given today, and that includes my time, my energy, and our home.

 “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us. Yes, establish the work of our hands.”-Psalm 90:17

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