Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

2.23.2011

Apron Strings

Guest Post by Hiedie

Let me introduce you to an amazing woman, who also happens to be my aunt. She is the stay-at-home mother of three absolutely wonderful children. She is a very talented writer and helped to mold our writing as we grew up--getting Aunt Hiedie's approval of our musings on paper was the highest compliment we could hope for. Understandably, she does not have much time for blogging, so please enjoy this rare opportunity to learn from her in the online world! (Aren't we blessed? We get to learn from her all the time in the real world!)


Lately I have had an attraction to aprons, retro fashioned fabrics, full and waist styles and especially those whispering frill and femininity, yes even the ruffled. Whether hand sewn for sale at a church bazaar or hanging on the rack at my local grocery store, these kitchen garments beckon me to glance at their price tags. There is something about wrapping a simple piece of cotton tightly around my torso that just makes me happier. Recently while reading a piece by Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley (founder of the Methodist church and a writer of many of our beautiful hymns - respectively) my affinity for this simple kitchen wrap gained monumental importance.

Learning that Mrs. Wesley would flip her apron up and over her head so that her children knew not to bother her because she was in prayer, for an hour no less, brought me a chuckle. What a clever mothering tip, as if she were turning over a shop sign to display whether she was “opened” or “closed.” I began to daydream about aprons of many meanings, of course my family would understand each color or fabric’s representation as I flipped it up over my own head: Mom needs a time-out; Mom needs to dry her tears; Mom needs to seek God for some advice; Mom needs a nap; Mom thinks Dad’s not romantic enough; Mom thinks Dad is super dreamy; and sadly but true, the apron I would likely don the most would be Mom needs Chocolate or coffee or both! My apron drawer - no my apron cupboard - would overflow with aprons each bearing its own special meaning. Well, I can only dream; however, I do know how grateful I am to experience such a vast array of emotions as a woman choosing to follow God’s plan for her family.

Staying at home with my 11 and 5 year old daughters and my 5 month old son is one of my greatest joys, if not the greatest. It’s difficult for me to remember the time when I was a working woman not even interested in having children, let alone staying home all day with them. Starting a family at 30 and working until I was 38, I experienced the whole super-woman I can have it all adoration from society. Thankfully my Lord was there to wake me up, reminding me I was gaining approval yet still feeling unsettled. But how could this be? We were taking lovely vacations, wearing great clothes and moving on to bigger and better, or were we? Ironically as we attempted to keep up with the Jones’s, God placed our family in a conservative neighborhood where we felt surrounded by families who had made the decision to make God and family the priority; wives were submitting, women were staying at home, and relationships were working. Surrounded by such mentors and role models, together we made the most difficult decision I have ever had to make; I would turn in a letter of resignation after 14 years of working outside of the home. My supervisor was so shocked he refused to accept that I wanted to leave a field where I had achieved so much success, stating he would grant a year’s leave instead, certain I would reevaluate and return to the profession. Laughing I told him that would not be happening – this move would be permanent (it took 3 more meetings before I convinced him of this).

Well that was 4 years ago and I thank God every day for allowing me the pleasure of running a household. Certainly our family has its share of struggles - we sometimes feel emotionally or physically drained, worry about the bills, get cranky and selfish - but joy always comes, for we know God honors the choice we have made for our family. True joy did not always come, it seemed to be accompanied by worry and fear before we let go of our plan for our family and followed God’s course. The struggles really can be heavy but faith has made the burden light.

The peace we have felt as we put our faith in God to lead and provide for our family far surpasses any monetary gains or false pride I accrued as a working mom. I believe God placed me in the workforce for so many years only to lead me down this path of complete fulfillment and contentment. Too many women my age believe they have missed out on some aspect of their lives and head back to school, seek hobbies outside of the home or even walk away from their marriages; I am grateful God showed me that what is out there is not what I desire. I can adore and appreciate my role as a woman whose heart is to serve God, her husband and her family. Tied to my apron strings – yes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8 comments:

  1. Beautifully put...thank you for encouraging us!
    I am with you on liking aprons - there is just something about them!

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  2. What an encouragement! Yes I too have seen so many moms give up the job and finally see where the Lord really wants them is with their families! I am so thankful for my mom always being there, when we were public and private schooled, she was always there to get us from school and then read to us and be with us the rest of the day! I am so grateful for her! I am always so grateful that my parents decided to homeschool and my mom never had to work outside the home in those years, so she could spend her time with us. :) I would probably be in the work force and not realize how the home is an industry all in itself! It can be a place of home businesses and productivity that really is so much better!

    Anyways I will stop blabbing, but yes when you are a mom who cares for your children I have seen that really help girls be feminine and boys be men!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca

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  3. That was marvelous!
    Thank you.

    -Penn

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  4. Very refreshing post.

    But be compassionate toward women who must work. My mom became a widow when I was 10 and my sister was 7. She longed to stay home with us, but didn't have that option. Staying home is best, certainly, but sometimes women can't make that choice.

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  5. Everyone has a different life story written by the hand of God, don't they, Debbie Lynne? We all acknowledge that there are definitely women who must work, and your mother sounds absolutely heroic. Oft-times in these situations, I believe that motive is everything. Are you working to mantain a certain standard of living, gain sense of accomplishment {pride}, or please everyone else and what they think you should be doing? Obviously, some women must work, and it has nothing to do with keeping up with the Jones's, ego, or fear of man. These women deserve our extra love and support, because they are living incredibly selfless lives.

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  6. What a beautiful and encouraging post! Thank you Aunt Heidie! You are so right, our only true joy is found in being right where God designed us to be. Blessings!

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  7. Both my grandma's were wearing apron's and allthough they passed away when i was very young i always get a very good cozy feeling seeing them on ladies! Even if i don't know the ladies at all!

    Thanks for the great post!
    Leontien

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  8. I am so thankful for this post. So often, it's easy to get caught up in society's view that we need to have a career before children. I think there's something in having time with your husband before kids, but I definitely have felt the pressure of having a "career" before we have kids. I then have to let God remind me that I'm not on this earth to have a career...and my greatest desire is to have children and be a wife and a mom.

    I love the idea of different aprons for different moods... :)

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