Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Easy Side of Life

I am able to sit at this computer right now because of this glorious gift of Lisa, my maid. It's been a week and a half, and I feel like I can breathe again, like a great burden has been lifted. I've had four bad allergy days since she came, and if she hadn't been here, I know that the minute Erik walked in the door I would have shoved the kids at him, taken two drowsy allergy pills, and hit the sack. Instead, we hung out as a family after dinner, albeit with a subdued mommy. Life is manageable again.

I have moments when I can sit down and have nothing that must be done. I can't tell you how long it's been since I felt that. I can call friends, plan ahead, go out with my husband, attend Bible study, and best of all, spend uninterrupted time with my kids.

Some of my friends who have maids don't like it in some ways because they feel like something has been taken from them. They feel like they aren't doing the role they were called to do, which is to serve their families. I don't have this feeling, and I think I've figured out a possible reason why. I think it has to do with love languages. Mine is quality time, so to me I am suddenly free to really love my kids in a way that I couldn't before. The first day Lisa was here, we listed out on our homeschool board what we were going to do for activities (both school and non-school) and Megan joyfully wrote, "Play with mommy!" Maybe if your love language is acts of service, you feel like you are hindered in loving your family if someone else is doing the service tasks in the house.

I also think that sometimes we unconsciously embrace a very American value of independence and self-sufficiency. It wasn't long ago that it took a village to raise a child, and in many places (including Asia) that's still true. People in the States used to live in small towns where family members were close by to help. People knew each other better and watched out for each other more. That's just not the case anymore, and along the way we've developed this mentality that good moms do it alone.

Can I be honest? I think there's a lot of room for pride in that attitude. I don't see much in the Bible that tells me I should go it alone, or that my worth comes from how well I serve my family. Certainly I want to serve them wholeheartedly with the Lord's strength, trusting Him to give me what I need for each day. But being a mom and keeping a peaceful, ordered home is a tough task, and I'm finding there is great benefit for my family by having someone come alongside to help carry the load. I think I'll be able to be a better wife and mom because of Lisa's presence.

So why didn't we do this four years ago when we came? Oh, so many reasons. Mostly money - it's not cheap. Up until this last year, we had a neighborhood community that was incredibly supportive. Our new house is big enough to accommodate another person (just). My health got too bad. Erik travels too much. And the list goes on.

But bottom line because I think is what God led us to for this season. I think there are things He wants to do in us and through us by providing her. I think He's chosen to bless us with her at this time, and we want to bless her in return. It's a win win, and so far it's great.

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