Homemaker

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Church free up! And finally I am able to fellowship with people I haven’t seen in over a year. There were lots of teeny ones that I hadn’t seen since the pandemic and I even got to hold the sweetest little one. A friend of mine took a picture of me feeding her and sent it to me. When I looked at the picture, I smiled in my heart because of all the recent work God had started in the area of family and homemaking.

A few weeks ago my mentor and I were talking. At the beginning of the session I was asked to state the pillars of my life. As I listed things, family came to mind but I shoved it back and told myself not to say it. As we continued to discuss other things I was asked to define success. I stated all the things I wanted to accomplish and ended with, “but of course, not at the detriment of my family.” At this statement my mentor reflected on the dissonance.

Not knowing what transpired in my head, he highlighted how interesting it was that I stated not wanting to accomplish things at the detriment of my family but when I stated the pillars of my life he observed and even mentally noted that I hadn’t said family.

He was right, I didn’t and I couldn’t. But why? I pondered on it all evening. What was this incongruence on the insides of my own heart. As usual I went to talk to God about it. I told him I wanted to have a family but something hard on the insides of my heart had demanded that I steel myself off from the prospect of it. I was made to feel I couldn’t and so I decided I wouldn’t.

You Can’t
I love serving at church, being around my friends and being out of my house. Most of my life that was me. I was active, involved in everything. I thrived in the spaces God placed me and was constantly out. This was what I was told to do as a single Christian – serve. The truth was outside of that mandate, my extravert-self wanted that lifestyle.
Because I was constantly out I was made to feel that I cared more for those things than home. I had been told that my outside accomplishments and friend involvements were way more important than my home commitments and that I probably wouldn’t be able to do homemaking well. Plus, I didn’t cook as much as others, and I didn’t feel free to experiment. A caricature of myself was being created with each pronouncement. The storyline was you can’t do outside and inside; one or the other. This combined with disappointments with family I had began to develop a narrative – “I can’t do homemaking”.

It Is WORK
In addition to all of this was the reality that doing family -like everything in life – took work. It could be satisfying but also grueling. The challenge I had was that I had become used to prioritizing work and serving. With a super busy week, I would be fine with a bowl of cereal at the end of the day for dinner. In my mind family meant having a full meal ready for breakfast lunch and dinner. That seemed impossible with my present life.

I had also seen so many successful black women struggle with both. If they were driven, then they were single or divorced (not every one of course). Every time I heard of a successful black woman getting divorced I shuddered. One research site stated that black women in the States have a higher divorce rate than any other demographic and a person with a first degree gets divorced at a higher rate than those without a degree. While I was a Caribbean girl these numbers and my observations impacted me. I am a black, Caribbean woman with two degrees.

I laid out all of this in journal and wept. I had closed out a God given desire in my life because of the narratives, examples and words spoken over me. That entire weekend I was either crying or praying.


God began to heal, reminding me of truths and dispelling fears. He reminded me that I was not what was said about me. He reminded me that as the author of family He was the person to look to and not my fears. He was the one that gave me all I needed for salvation, He would do the same in all areas of my life. My responsibility was to trust and obey Him.

Betty Crocker
Little changes happened after that. I began cooking more, sheepishly calling my “wife” friends to teach me over the phone. I realized I loved learning new recipes and seeing the final product. I researched décor for my space and made adjustments as I could. I began taking weekends off and signing off completely by Friday afternoon unless I had something pressing. I sought out mentorship and books to learn more and renew my mind. I released the toxicity that I had allowed in my heart that came from fear and lies and it felt more like the authentic me.

When I held the little one that Sunday I smiled at the journey. I stared at the picture with joy that God had begun a work in my heart ? One day, God willing I could be a wife, mother, Director and writer and He would guide the balance needed. He continues the work and I continue to stay steadfast.

  • a Heart Committed

Deceived by Desire

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired…she took of the fruit thereof…” (Genesis chapter 3, verse 6)

Desires are a normal part of human existence. The problem is sometimes it quickly morphs into demand. Carolyn McCully says that demand is us closing our fist over the desire.

Desire

Desire, she says, “leads to demand, which re labels itself as a “need” and leads to expectation of fulfilment.” We make ourselves, hear things, and see signs, and make decisions that are not led by the Holy Spirit.

Like Eve we sit and stare at the fruit. It looks desirable, good for company, able to make us feel special and will be there for us and, like Eve, we succumb to the deception and take of the fruit. We doubt God’s goodwill for us and lay aside His commands. There is no possible way that what we see in front of us is not from God. Us not stepping out must be fear.

Scarier still is that we hide our desires ever so deftly behind spiritual confabulation. “God said.” “I believe God is leading”. This traps your friends into silence because who wants to be the Pharisee that says you haven’t heard from God.

Deception

I first met him where puppy dog dreams began – youth summer camp. He was outgoing and sporty. I didn’t think he would ever like a girl like me, so I put feelings aside and enjoyed a friendship.

We soon lost touch but somewhere between gumbo and mid year’s, in college we reconnected. Old friends bonded by similar culture and a love for the Lord, we enjoyed our frequent chats on the phone. Separated by state lines our conversations started out infrequent but eventually became staple part of our lives. My friends began to question but we just enjoyed our interactions with no pressures and what-ifs.

I don’t remember why I decided to pray about us. It probably seemed like the natural progression in the whole scheme of things. He was attractive and fit a lot of what I wanted in a mate, so I prayed. In my heart I sensed it clearly “no.” My quick disappointment faded. I was used to hearing God say no, and we were not entangled with romantic gestures, so I continued the normalcy of our friendship.

Deceived

Then he called. I can’t recall anything prior to his concerned voice on the other end of the line. As he prayed the Spirit ministered to my heart with such delicacy and fervour that I could not help but become overwhelmed. It was a short to the point call. He ended it after he said amen. I sat in my room in awe of the moment and then it happened.

As I laid in my bed praying the thought “this is the guy for you”, played deftly through the corridors of my mind. It didn’t sit right with me at first, because of the “no” previously impressed on my heart by God. I pushed it out of my mind yet it played again, questioning why God would not give me a good thing. I thought more on it, and although I had my misgivings my desires beckoned louder.

Truth got pushed further away the more I looked at what I desired. He was a godly man, good to me and was able to help me grow in the Lord.

A way out

The Bible explains in James that it is our lusts that draw us away. In order to escape the depravity that is our sinful nature the following principles from Scripture are helpful.

1. Spend more time with God.

Where was Eve as the deception occurred? The more time I spent talking with this guy, talking about this guy, thinking about talking to this guy the more my desire increased. There is this constant training in godliness where we daily let go of our desires and put God in His rightful place as we spend time with Him.

2. Hold your thoughts and desires alongside scriptures

Adam Marby in article How not be led by the Spirit, states “Attempting to follow the Spirit’s leading without the Bible is foolish at best and sinful at worst… It’s entirely possible that someone had a profound spiritual experience that led him or her to no longer trust the Bible. That’s deception. The Spirit himself tells us we’re to expect such deception (2 Corinthians chapter 11 verse 14). The Spirit wrote a book, so being led by him starts there.” If what you believe you are to do does not line up with scripture and its principles, you are being deceived.

3. Get counselling

A sure-fire way to not walk with the Spirit is to try to walk by yourself. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs chapter 12, verse 15). Throughout the Scripture we see evidence that in order to live a Spirit-filled life it is important that we are being led into and among his people. “God—at the infinite cost of his life—has given us not just a spiritual relationship with himself, but also with each other.” Adam Marby

As Adam Marby states, “Sin is deceptive, and our desires even more so. So, in order to guard ourselves let us spend time listening to his Word, his people, his wisdom, and his ways.” Doing this will increase the ease of being led by the Spirit. If not, it’s open season for deception

Relationship Advice – Overload

“Happy New….Marriage!”

Having seen about five people get engaged in the space of the two weeks of holiday I am ecstatic. Relationships are a beautiful blessing from God. I scrolled timelines and read posts of congratulations and well- wishes grateful to be a part of this new season in my friends life.  There was another part of this, however, it was the discussions with friends on status and everyone has something to say.

Everybody is a relationship guru! 100 Ways to Determine the Right One. Five Hundred Reasons why you are Still Single. Ten Sure Ways to Develop Yourself as the Proverbs 31 Woman.

Being no stranger to the blogs, vlogs, and maybe a cassette tape or two (I am so old), I can assure you  I had my fill of opinions. From books to panel discussions people stated their claim on what makes a person a possible mate and how to make this possible mate attracted to you.

I first read because I wanted to understand. I wanted insight into how this whole thing worked. I wish I could say, that as a believer, I read only godly input on this thing, but that is sadly not the case. The top ten ways to make a guy melt was mixed right in with the how to be gentle and meek. I wanted to know wow him and work him. It was a sad state.

Then there was reading because I wanted to know what to look for. Christians spoke of getting divorced because they supposedly missed God which had me worried. I didn’t want to miss anything and certainly not the right spouse. So to make sure I didn’t miss God or Mr. Him I again read and asked and patrolled blogs and magazines of all sorts.

To this desire there was no end of advice. Make a list  and check it twice.. (wait that’s for Christmas). Date to get to know what you like – like some how there was a need to try on guys like they were high fashion clothing that I fancied. Fast, consult leaders, know his goals, have a game plan, and those were the “good” things. Meeting and marrying “the one” turned into a stratagem.

“Don’t allow your emotions to negate God’s abilities”

Eventually, I began to resent the whole thing. I got tired of the process. For me, and many others all of this was to help distract from the longing. It was a fledgling attempt at trying to make sense of why one was still single. Though in some instances gathering all this information was to hone in on God’s way and will for our lives some of the motives got lost in transit and  we used these words of wisdom and to help us feel better about our state of being and help God along. But God is able to guide us into the best pathway for our lives. (Psalm 32:8)

 Don’t get me wrong I do believe that God has blessed many people with wisdom on topics that will help guide, encourage and restore people. Trust me the irony of advising you to not take on too much advice is not lost on me. What I am attempting to get across here is that in the searching let it become more important to be a woman after God’s heart than getting the right man. Get to the place where the word of God becomes your ‘How to’  for living and loving.

In reading the Bible I realize that just following how to live for Him and how to love like Him answered all the questions for dating, marriage and beyond. I realized I don’t need a panel discussion on why church men take long, to help me realize my wait has nothing to do with guys and everything to do with God’s timing.

Solomon so wisely said,

“The words of the wise are like cattle prods—painful but helpful. Their collected sayings are like a nail-studded stick with which a shepherd drives the sheep.

But, my child, let me give you some further advice: Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out.

That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:9 (NLT)

I didn’t need long talks over grape juice (or Martinelli) to determine that it was my desires that sometimes became God. My desire became demand which became expectation which when unmet caused disappointment. It wasn’t mindless men, but wayward wants. I needed to submit again my desires to my Almighty King and rejoice in the blessing of redemption and the beauty of His sacrificial love. I didn’t need to read more I needed to fear God and obey His commandments.

I submit to you ladies that learning to be more like Christ is what we need. Set your mind on things above so that the Lover of your soul is your guide and your contentment is in Him. Happy New..Satisfied Saint.