Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Just the Way You Are

on October 11, 2011

Just the Way You Are

In the last week or so, I was blessed by similar messages coming from different places:

God loves me just the way I am – and will use what I have to give.  He doesn’t ask for me to be something I’m not.

I met a friend for coffee, and we talked about how we didn’t feel we were really good at anything in particular (yes, two Ph.D.’s saying that!).  I was encouraged that I wasn’t the only one.

The same week, Chad was reading Just the Way You Are by Max Lucado to our toddler.  The story describes five children who have been adopted by the king.  In preparing for his coming, one is working on intricate wood working as a gift.  A second child labors over a painting fit for a king.  A third child is busy practicing beautiful music that she can offer.  A fourth studies hard, using his intellect, hoping to impress the king with his wisdom.

The fifth child, the youngest, doesn’t share any of these given talents with her siblings.  “All she had to offer was her heart, for her heart was good.”  She invests in people.  She knows them by name.  She cares about them.  But because she had no gift, she was afraid she would disappoint the king.  But when the king comes, she is the only one who has time for him.  The king points out her gift to her – that she gave her heart, “your kindness, your time, your love.”

(Just in case you wonder about our life being real, with one sentence remaining in the story, Clara threw up on me.)

The last place was through the Bible study I’m doing, Beth Moore’s Beloved Disciple.  On that particular day, one of the highlighted passages was Acts 3, where Peter and John heal a crippled beggar.  What stood out to me was, “Peter and John gave what they had.  I love the words ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk’ (v. 6). God never asks us to give what we don’t have.”

In this transition to staying at home, I feel a little intimidated.   I am not skilled in housekeeping, as I’ve mentioned.  I don’t have a talent for decorating our home.   I don’t sew.  I am not good at stain removal or planning fun crafts or organizing play dates.  I can get caught up in thinking about all the cool things other stay-at-home moms do – that I feel totally incompetent.

What I need to remember is:

  • God will use what He’s given me.  My special handwriting and enjoyment for writing letters and notes to people.  My interest in cooking and baking out of love for family and guests.  Yes, even my crazy interest in applied statistics and problem solving can somehow be used for His glory.  I don’t have to look like every other stay-at-home mom to be a good stay-at-home mom.  (Would there ever be two such women exactly alike?  See how silly my thoughts can be?)
  • Though I may not be gifted in the domestic arts (If only they were domestic sciences!), my little girl has my heart, and that’s what matters right now.  My time playing with her on the floor is worth more to her than a clean kitchen or a hand-sewn dress right now.
  • I shouldn’t worry about what I’m not.  Now, I fully expect that the Lord will be refining and growing me in some of these areas (and I hope with research and practice to develop some skills), but God made me “fearfully and wonderfully,” and despite the fact that I don’t seem to fit in well with my peers as an engineer, as a homemaker, or as a teacher, He has some amazing plan for this unique combination of skills and interests.  I need to trust Him with that and follow where He leads.

Are you sometimes intimidated by the ideal picture of who you think you ought to be?  Let’s look to Jesus and ask to see ourselves through His eyes.

~Dana

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5 responses to “Just the Way You Are

  1. Kim says:

    I think most women struggle with being “good enough.” We play the comparison “game” and come up short every time – at least in our own eyes. But that’s what is so amazing about God’s love. It’s given freely and doesn’t have to be earned. I still struggle with that truth, but it doesn’t make it any less true!

  2. Kayla says:

    Thanks for this reminder!

    I am planning to work part time or stay at home full time when our baby arrives in February. I, too, am struggling whether I am good enough to manage the new responsibilities. I think you mentioned in a previous post about not liking to wash dishes – me too. And I have a long way to go with meal planning and cleaning/organizing, but I am faithful that God will help me learn how to do these things to bless my family.

    The Max Lucado book you mentioned sounds good. I think I’ll add it to my wish list. 🙂

    Blessings on your journey!

    • dckrueger says:

      The book may be considered more of a children’s book, Kayla, if that helps. Chad and I found we both liked meaningful “children’s” stories when we were in our 20s. 🙂

      You’ll be a GREAT mom, and I hope we can encourage each other through this change that we’ll both be going through. Your problem solving skills will be invaluable, and I’m amazed by the challenges I see (That’s a GOOD thing for me. I like a challenge.) in household operations. 🙂 Household optimization, here come Kayla and Dana! 🙂 But sometimes, all you can get done is to hold and care for and feed your newborn, maybe sneaking in a shower. That’s one of the biggest adjustments for me – adjusting my expectations of myself.

  3. Lisa Maria says:

    Hi Dana

    I found you through Amy at Raising Arrows when I saw your comment on how people are discouraging you from your desire to be a SAHM. I just wanted to pop over here and give you a little encouragement. I’ve been a SAHM for nearly 19 years (in Dec). I had the same disparaging things said to me. Like you, I was pregnant with my second child and the first was a year and a half.

    I wasn’t that great at housekeeping myself and though I had helped my mother in the kitchen at home I still had a lot to learn.. as my husband would discover with my first attempt at soup (which was more like flavoured water lol!) Don’t be discouraged, take it one step at a time. From the looks of your blog post above… you understand and believe in yourself.. that’s important! Hold on to the Lord’s guidance and seek His wisdom in all things.. you won’t go wrong there!

    Being a SAHM is a vocation.. it is rich and rewarding in itself. I wont mislead you.. you have to make many sacrifices, but God will give you the strength to do this, especially if He has placed it in your heart as He did in mine. As you said in your blog post.. He will be teaching you as you go along.

    Good luck and God bless!

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