Monday, February 15, 2016

Repost: Profit & Loss Statement for the Family, 2009 (with new notes added)

For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?
I read that on a blog. Sure, I know the verse connected there, but sometimes you read something and it just sticks in your heart.

I have the whole world here. Really, I do. Oh sure, someone will read this and their first remark will be to laugh (maybe hysterically even). I don't work...well, outside the know what I mean. There are still a lot of women who have to get their satisfaction cups filled out there in the world of business and gainful employment. 

LOL...never have understood that phrase, "gainful employment" at all. I know it is referring to monetary ends, but I've been there, done that, and I like to think I was rather good at all that when I did it, but truth is, no matter how you slice it up and serve it, there isn't anything at all of any real gain to be had out there in that world. I'm far more gainfully employed right here where The Lord has placed me. 
2016: While I have days where I long for some interaction among the masses, I still truly do not miss being in the workforce. Honestly, my temperment is not suited for much interaction anymore. I'm still out-going and all, but by and large, I just don't have the patience (go ahead and say it...or filters, LOL) to be among the masses for very long.
Someone will no doubt laugh and point to the fact that my husband is working off the homestead, out of state. Well, there are blessings in that as well. The obvious blessing off the top of my head is that he has a job, out of state or not, he is working. There are alot of folks right now that don't have that at all. 

The next blessing in that is that old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. We don't have to be together 24/7 to have a close family, although I will say that you do have to have the right hearts to make it work. We had some struggles during those first months of his being gone. He would probably say no, but see the thing is, his mind was filled with the busy-ness of the job at hand...while my mind was filled with the empty-ness of not having my husband and best friend here with me all of a sudden, or the father of my children here to lead, guide and direct us. I know I had a more difficult time with the transition than he did, but I never looked at it as less than a blessing. This season of our lives was prayed over well, long, and deep. We have built some rather strong cords in this time. That can't be seen as anything less than blessings, right? 
2016: yeah, not quite the same glowing report today, after what has been about 8 years of working away from home more than not. Yes, the blessing of still having a job is there, but let's face it, if you are married, you just don't have any business trying to carry on what amounts to two separate lives. He feels trapped by having to work away to make a decent living and provide. I feel abandoned being left here to take care of things on my own. He hates having little in his life outside of work. I hate having nothing but empty time in mine. Yes, there are still 5 children at home so realistically my calling is still in full force here, but as a married woman, loving my children aside, I feel pretty lost at times here. I'm like a fish out of water most days. It sounds silly, and bordering on pity-party lines, but I have a husband...and while taking care of my children and my home are important to me, I miss being a wife.

My husband may be off the homestead right now, but we are deeply etched into his heart and that greater portion stays here with us all the time. Not every woman with a working-minded husband can say even a small bit of that. That knowing that we have is what builds this house stronger. It saddens me when I can see that not happening in other families because I can only imagine the stress of heart they walk in. Your treasures are where you build those heartcords and far too many families are building very weak home and family cords these days.
2016: Our marriage is strong. Those heart cords are still well intact. It's just lonely...on the road and here at home.
 My oldest son is gone on his own life now. Those chickens have come home to roost, as they say. I can see the fruits of those years of labor and while I see a great deal of spoilage there on those branches, I can see a decent harvest nonetheless. He has made his portion (and then some) of bad choices and childish decisions, but I suppose that is what has to happen in order to grow. It is a blessing to know that, selfishness and sometimes outright stupidity aside, he did hear much of his teachings growing up and he will continue to grow into a man not only we, but he himself, can take pride in. His biggest struggle is that he does not always stand strong in his convictions, but tries to hold the beliefs of folks simply not raised with any sort of direction. 
2016: I can honestly say that he has matured a great deal (finally, LOL). He stumbled a lot, and no doubt still will, but he knows where he is going now. And while I still see the occasional spoiled fruit on a branch, there is far more of a useful harvest than there was several years ago. I take no bow for any of that. I know where my parenting failures are and how many have settled in my barn so to speak. He was raised right, and he knows it. It is finally starting to show more often than not. There are now 3 more out of the nest here. Oldest daughter has been doing her own thing in Illinois with her grandmother and great grandmother, being an adult and all that responsibility that comes with it. She is doing a great job. Again, not from anything I've done. She was raised right. Next daughter is married now and has her own family. She is still feeling her way around things, but by and large she has most of it nailed down well. Next son is working with his dad. He is making poor choices on a routine basis, but no more than I saw in the others. It's harder to guide him away from those choices when he is surrounded daily with others not raised under the same influences he was. He is at the age where he chooses to take his direction from those without his best interest in mind. He alone gets my deepest prayer covering right now. They all do, but you know there are times in a parents life where the prayers flow freely, but more deeply in one direction. This is that time and he is that direction.
These blessings would not have happened here, with all of us at home together. We had to divide out the homestead just a bit, as it were, to cull the weeds and make room for more of these good things. I'm definitely not saying The Lord wouldn't have shared many blessings were we all together at home. I can just see where we were blessed with so many things in this season of separation. 
2016: And I do still see where some blessings came about because we were spread out somewhat. I believe we would have attained those blessings regardless of the circumstances, but I refuse to say that it's all been for nothing. Not totally anyway.
Don't misunderstand me -- husbands and fathers belong at home. I fully believe that. No matter what the circumstances, you will never in a million years convince me otherwise. They don't have all of their hearts with their families when they have to divide those attentions between the world outside and the hearth at home. They cannot teach and guide their families when they are divided among the sheep and the goats. Divided attentions teach children they, too, can be divided in mind and heart. Scripture is pretty loud and clear about that...we cannot serve to masters. You will certainly end up failing and despising one or the other. Multitasking aside, we are not made for split-personalities. Following The Lord inherently means despising the world. Following the world most definitely brings you to the place of being at odds with what The Lord wants and demands of you. There is no way to serve them both. 
I know there are a good plenty of Godly men out there not at home full time with their families and life seems full of great blessings and wonderful fruit, but I am convinced to the very bottoms of my feet that when you walk too much in the world outside it causes a division within you somewhere deep. There is that small portion that simply doesn't give fully over to family, know what I mean? (Sure you do, if you're honest and truly look at the big picture....and I'm sure I'll hear all about it in this inbox, too)
Not to seem contradictory to what I've said either then or now, but if you've been here any length of time, you know exactly what my feelings are on being a "single parent" here on the homestead. I struggle. I struggle big time. Some days are not so bad. I keep focused on the overall plan and things run fairly well. Then there are the other days. And more and more those *other* days are creeping in and stealing my long range vision here. I am simply in a season where I am decidedly more "needy" than normal. I get tired of being left alone here, of having to deal with everything on the homestead by myself, with having no one to share my goals, successes, and failures with. Sharing with a phone call is not the way to do it. Sure, some women have military husbands and they are away for long periods. Some women have lost their husband and their future is one of solitude in that respect. I get that my situation is more pity party than anything else, but that doesn't make the emptiness any less real here. My husband is away by circumstance, by choice. In the depths of my mind, that is the dark shadow that passes over my days with more frequency now. I argue (with myself mostly, because that is what satan does with his foothold...and I argue with Dewey as well) that a lot of families are single income, they do just fine, and they are AT HOME together, not separated. I allow thoughts like "if he WANTED to be at home, he would find a job here and that would be that, hard times or not" Where there's a strong enough will, there is always a way kind of thinking. Obviously it isn't quite that cut and dried, but I have never been much of a see the gray area type. I am totally black and white. It is, or it isn't. No inbetween spaces. And those thoughts are the ones that govern my dark days. And those dark days are too embedded here lately. Something I am working hard against taking over. It's my new struggle here. I intend to win over it, but it is still a struggle.
Ahh, I know....I seemingly bunny trail hither and yon all the time. Blessings and those righteous prayers is where I started :o). I don't know that my prayers are always all that righteous, I am human and I fail greatly daily, but they flow from my heart and the places of emotion that it moves in, sometimes good and sometimes misdirected, but always deep and sincere.

For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?

That mom not working daily for the hearts of her children walks a pretty empty life. She builds no future for herself, let alone for The Kingdom. She walks in the shadows of life in this world. The world is pretty enough, and it certainly has its attractions and more false love and false teachings and false guidance than ever before (sadly much of that comes from inside the church...but that's another soapbox there!). But where is the profit for you out there? If I never stepped in tune with any part of the world again, I'd still be blessed and content, truly and greatly. I only lose that sense of contentment when I worry about those around and all they have or do. My heart doesn't dwell at home where it belongs when I try to follow those whose lives are entwined in the world and its pursuits.

2016: Yes, I feel very much like I am merely walking in the shadow of my life these days.
My worst failings in that respect -- that I allow the world to turn my children's hearts, even a little. Once I follow the world -- reading blogs here, keeping up with the latest things going on, the doings of friends out there, etc. -- I allow a part of my heart to wander from home. Satan grabs that moment and sparks something in not only my heart, but the heart of my children especially. Satan isn't interested in me or you. Read your Bible...he is interested in the children. They are the future of God. By dangling the internet in front of us, by offering us deals on satellite TV, by waving events and activities galore in front of our wandering eyes, he wiggles the entire world...this messed up, fallen from God, thriving in selfishness and false-believing world...before us and we dive right in claiming there is worth there.
2016: I believe this whole heartedly...satan is not the least interested in you or me really. His interest is in the children. They are the ones he will gain control over and bend away from God and toward his own desires. They are the ones with the least foundation, because it is still being formed. An adult can be steered away from God, but the victory for satan is not there. He assumes those victories are a given. The sweetness for him, the true thumbing of the nose toward God, comes from stealing away the bricks of the foundation we lay for our children. We see a finished wall....satan sees loose bricks he can pull out at any given time. The worst part is what I said below...satan cannot craft anything new, he can only use the pieces we have already set into place. The downfall of our children only happens because we allow those bricks to be placed without proper adhesion. 
 And there is some worth in all those things, of course. Satan cannot invent anything of his own. He can only use what is already there. He will use the good stuff same as the corrupt. There are so many things I learn online, so many good things for my family and our future. Things I could never learn were it not for the internet at my fingertips. But it comes with a deep price. It comes with my turning my children loose to it as well. They learn great and wonderful things as well and that is not of itself a bad thing. But their eyes are not stayed on Christ as He tells us they must be. They are trying to follow me as I swagger on the ridgepole between this world and God's world. When my attention is taken for even a moment, a piece of their hearts is turned that way as well.
When MY attention is taken away for even a moment, a piece of their heart is turned that way as well. Did you fully grasp that? When I lose focus, they lose focus. And lately I have lost a great deal of focus. And ignoring it doesn't help matters, it simply hinders it all the more.
For what does it profit a mom if she gains the whole world, but her children are lost?

There is no profit in it. Without meaning to, too many families gain the world by trying to live in it several hours a day and give the leftover portions to their families. Some spend hours, or days and months, away from their only true duty within their homes and families, on jobs that soak up much more of their hearts than they want to admit. Some send their children off for several hours a day for education. Their energy is spent, their pursuits are futile toward making steps toward God and His Ways. And worse yet -- they try to give the leftovers to God. God doesn't want leftovers. He wants your heart in its proper place and He wants your children kept focused. Bring the fathers back home to truly guide their families into something strong and eternal and let the mommas get back to the business of praying fervently over their children with clear minds.

Bunny trails can bring you a blessing, too :o) 


Bateman Homestead said...

What an excellent post Deanna. I love how you go back to what you said several years ago, and evaluate again, based on things that have changed, and things that haven't.

I am keeping you in prayer with your struggle. I can't imagine how hard it must be.


Yvonna said...

Thank you for sharing your heart, your husband, your childen, yourself and your Lord. Thank you for sharing your life momemts, whether backsliding or moving forward on that bunny trail. Our Lord is always here with us (and I when you need a listening ear). Love & Blessings To You Dear Friend.♡ ~~~~Yvonna


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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