warning: this is a long heart-y explanation of a minor life decision that you can skip to the end to read about.
What does it mean to be a woman? A godly woman?
I don't think I've wrestled with a question bigger than this, ever. Is that silly?
For some reason, it is easy for me to believe the Lord in some very big things that He promises us that don't totally make sense. Like, He loves us. He forgives us. He will provide for us. But, what I really want to sit down and grill Jesus about, "If you meant for me to be a biblical woman, why didn't you make me better at it?". Let me give you some phrases scripture uses to talk about what women are supposed to be like: reverent, self controlled, teaching younger women, pure, working at home, submissive, loving, gentle and quiet spirit. I really believe Him that His plan is always best and therefore, I want to follow it... but if I've said it once, I've said it a million times - "Lord, if you want me to be a biblical woman, why did you create me to seem so different from this?".
As time has gone by, I've seen his answer for me. If He'd given me the ability to master this on my own, for me - my pride would be blinding. Some women are born wonderful cooks with patient voices and no anxiety whatsoever. You know, like Mrs. Duggar. Maybe she can do it with humility, but I really believe that if the Lord had not brought me to desire a picture of biblical womanhood for my own life in a way that made me truly seek after it - if He'd just born me out as this mini-betty-crocker, I'd be the one getting the glory, not Him (atleast in my own mind). But now, when I get through a day without raising my voice - I praise the One who has made me quiet! I could weep over those words, He has given me a quiet voice for minutes, hours, days, or seconds when normally - my sinful flesh would want to yell. When I make a meal that pleases my husband and nourishes my family, there isn't an ounce of pride - because I know Jessi would have burned that meal and used feta when I was supposed to use mozz. Somehow, the Holy Spirit is even enabling me to cook and feed my family, and to take joy in it!
So, when people ask to pray for me lately - I almost always tell them the same thing to pray for. Ability. God has humbled me and shown me the weight of my job as a wife and mother. I used to see it as not enough and now I see it as too much. Three small children with physical needs and emotional needs and spiritual needs, and my sinful flesh fails before my alarm goes off at 5am. I ask everyone to pray for the Lord to give me ability - to care for these children, to love my husband, to serve them, and to carry the burden of pushing them closer to Jesus daily.
The sweetest part, He is answering that prayer. Still, no award winning days where I save the whole world or get all the laundry done - but He is increasing my ability and my joy in my job. Through prayer and the council of other women, I'm finding there is actually time in the day to get it all done. If I truly leave it all on the floor, pour myself out as a drink offering, and put my own self desires and plans aside - He will help me accomplish the tasks set before me in the hours of the day, while giving me grace for the next.
The semi-sad part, I don't think the Lord is giving me permission for two jobs anymore. If I spend my effort and time and energy into doing side design work that is fun and not my main focus, I'm expending this miraculous energy and ability on the wrong task. Maybe later, when the burden isn't so heavy and I get a kid or two in school or I all of a sudden become a rockstar who can get all the laundry done and have a quiet time and have friends and be a mom.
Until then, no more side job.
No more design jobs.
No more Naptime Diaries & design.
Just Naptime Diaries. Just Jessi.
Praying for ability & grace and a bigger understanding of Jesus.
There's a lot more I'd like to say about this, but I'm pretty sure it's way more important to me than it is to anyone else - so I'll keep it to myself. Thank you for your business, your referrals, & your support in my little side business. Maybe one day it will be back!
But I'm not holding my breath:)