When I lived in Dublin City in the early 80's I used to work. Because I came from a large poor family, and because my father encouraged us to do well for ourselves and not rely on men to get us through life, (he had 7 daughters) I became very independent and would strive to be strong and not to be dependant on anybody, especially a man. I would pay my way in restaurants, holidays, anything, and felt awful if I were under any complement to anybody.
When I had my son Seán, I was just the same. Because I didn't drive, sometimes I relied on people to drive me here and there and would give them money for petrol and this would help me feel less of a burden. I really disliked cooking and thought it was the most boring thing in the world to have to do. My plan was, as soon as Seán was old enough, he would go to play school and I would get some part time work.
After my conversion things changed for me in these regards. I wanted to be with Seán more. I didn't mind spending most of my time with him. Also I longed to cook for somebody! My sister and my pastor used to call over every Tuesday morning and I used to be happy to make up something small for them to eat for lunch. Nothing fancy, a salad or omelette or soup etc. This pleased me and these feelings took me by surprise!
Before I married Niall I started to get used to making dinners for more than just me and Sean.... I would invite visiting speakers to my home, along with other people from the church, and that got me back into the swing of things. So by the time I married Niall I was very happy to cook and wash and keep home and homeschool... Something I would have once really disliked, I now love! Having said all that, I am not a fab cook and sometimes still get a bit bored cooking two times a day..
I am so glad and grateful that the Lord has taken me out of the workforce. I do have a small job cleaning a local community centre once a week that helps pay the bills. It is literally 3 doors down from my home which is great. Once we made the choice to home school Sean then that took the option of working outside the home from me. I am grateful for that.
I am not superwoman. I can't work outside the home, then come home and shop, cook, wash, dry, iron, clean, be mother, wife, helpmate, sister, be a regular church goer, let alone spend time reading the Bible, reading other godly books, pray and visit folk.... I just can't do it all and I don't want to.
So how do we get on? Just live a simple life. It may not be as simple as I would like it to be, but by today's standards it's pretty simple... But the benefits are amazing! We son't have a lot of spare cash but God provides for every one of our needs. So, right now, this is what my life looks like.
I get a lot of hand-me-downs... I quite enjoy that!
I buy second-hand.
I buy new in the sales.
I buy very little make-up.
I don't buy perfume.
I very rarely buy magazines.
I have a great friend who cuts my hair for free :0)
I don't drink.
I don't smoke.
What we do...
Sometimes we go to the movies.
We go to the pool.
We go to the Library.
I go to visit my sisters and brothers in the Lord.
Sometimes we go on holidays.
We light a fire and settle down to watch a movie or read out loud to one another.
We have a family bible/prayer/song time most days which we all enjoy.
We go on outings.
I visit neighbours and friends.
We visit family.
We visit a local nursing home.
We go to church services.
This September I hope to go to a Baptist college for a part time three year women's ministry course.
I do a lot of community gardening in the estate where I live.
I am on the residents committee.
I couldn't do the half of this if I were working, and I would be working if God hadn't given me the desire for a more simple home life.
I love my life, I really do. I love my home which I call 'my nest!' I love my family. I don't care if the world thinks it is unusual for me to be home so much, to be fulfilled with my life as it is.
Not too long ago I would have despised this kind of lifestyle, now I love it.
I am not is any way putting down women who work. I am just saying that I believe that at this time and moment, this is what God wants 'me' to do and I am grateful.