On deductive reasoning, a lament and things I forget

A few weeks ago, I made the following realizations:

1. While I have a college degree (thank you, Mom and Dad!), it is not exactly a degree that translates directly into a profession. Like, for example, an engineering degree = being an engineer. A nursing degree = being a nurse. A math degree = ?
2. I have been a stay at home mom for almost fifteen years.
3. Thus my job skills include doing laundry and loading the dishwasher. Neither of which I accomplish on a regular basis.

My deductive reasoning has led to all sorts of panic induced worry. Or worry induced panic, take your pick. It goes something like this: I have no marketable skills! I’m a nothing! I’ve done nothing! What if something happened to my husband? Maybe I was supposed to be and do something else? Maybe I messed up the Lord’s plan for me? Woe is me!

Pitiful, I know.

My husband, knowing not how to rightly deal with panic prone females (and who does?), has at turns 1) let me fuss and cry, 2) offered to get more life insurance, and 3) rebuked me ever so gently. Okay, I’m thinking maybe he does know how to rightly deal with panic prone females. He’s had lots of practice, to be sure.

The other night I returned to my lament, “Oh, poor, pitiful me, I have no marketable skills!” Though this is the third or thirtieth time he heard it, he asked me, “And why do you need marketable skills?”

“To be important,” I answered as tears sprung to my eyes.

See, it’s more than just a worry about how I would provide for my family if something (God forbid) happened to my husband; it is also a desire for legitimacy. To remind myself of my own importance. It’s stupid, I know. I know that this job I do, though I don’t do it all that well, is important and of extreme consequence. It just doesn’t always feel that way. More often than not, I feel like a big fat (anonymous) failure caught in an endless cycle of mundanity (which may not be a word but it sure feels like reality).

“You know the scriptures better than that,” my husband chided me. He’s right. I do. I forget.

I forget that the Lord is sovereign, that I am not.

I forget He will provide, no matter what may or may not happen to my husband.

I forget I can trust Him, that my worry is at its essence a lack of trust.

I forget that His grace is more than sufficient, that my biggest need is not skills or accomplishment but forgiveness of sin and right standing before my Creator.

I forget He’s granted me both of those things…and much, much, MUCH more…in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

I forget He knows the plans He has for me, and He is able to complete the work He began.

I forget that whatever I do–laundry, dishes, hauling kids to and fro–it is opportunity for me to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. He is as much glorified in the humble and the ordinary as He is in the big and exciting, if it is done in His name.

I forget I am to trust Him today–and tomorrow–seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. He is faithful!

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

8 thoughts on “On deductive reasoning, a lament and things I forget”

  1. I'm in the work force, but some days I really long to be home so I could minister more effectively/often to my family & friends. (See…it doesn't matter where you are, Satan always makes the other side look greener).The TRUTH is, that God's giving me opportunities to minister, and He's certainly giving you opportunities to be SOMEBODY. They may not be the opportunities we'd planned, but they are no less important. (I'm preaching to myself here, too, friend).Love you.

  2. I’ve always worked full time even after I had kids, albiet as a child care giver in my home. And I still go through panicky thoughts like this. I’m approaching my ’50’s in a few years and I always said I will not do dayhoming after the age of 50. But really what else can I do? My piddly little certificate in rehabilitations services is much behind the times and pretty much useless. I’m not computer savvy and the thought of shift work makes me want to faint. LOL. So all that to say I can totally relate and thank you for the reminders of how big God really is!

  3. What’s even worse… is all of that plus having no children to warrant the lack of skills, etc. that you mention. Believe me, I have been there with you! And I always use the reasoning, “But what if something happened to my husband? What would I do?” When it really comes down to the fact that I just “feel” like I don’t do anything important. Oh how the enemy likes us to be discouraged and distrusting of what the Lord is doing in our lives!Thank you for being willing to admit that we are both in the same boat together! And for your gently reminder that God is in control!

  4. A very convicting statement I heard one time was that “Doubt isn’t the opposite of faith; worry is.” That has really stuck with me.And I bet that math degree comes in handy with homework. I used to be able to do trig and precalculus, even algebra. Sadly, it’s all Greek to me now.And now my girl has to do a poster with pics from magazines of things representing linear equations. Huh?! So she opened the Macy’s ad and said “look at that great stack of towels – all those parallel lines!” I can get her the magazines, but that’s about all the help I’ll be!

  5. We moms rock! We rule! We forge the character of sons. If you don’t think women have world-altering influence, take a look at what men will sacrifice for a hooker. Take a little time to Google quotes of famous men about their mothers. You might want to start a little file. (But do I identify with your feelings? Totally!!!)

  6. Oh friend. I wish I could lift this burden from you. I cannot help but think that when we look back at our lives we will never wish we had traded this time raising our children for a marketable skill. Although, sometimes – in the moments of mundanity (And YES, that is a word) it’s hard to convince myself of that.

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