Guest post by Nicole Serrao
It wasn’t so long ago that I was caught up in society’s portrayal of achievement. My driving factors of success, or my life goals as you may, were based on the worldly definition of a fulfilled person and life. Having children has slowly morphed my views of fulfillment and contentment and reopened my heart to our Father.
I was driven by materialistic gain – a large house, a good paying job, high end vehicles in the parking lot and frequent vacations because our wealth would warrant that, of course. I’ve worked towards these goals for as long as I can remember, slowly checking boxes upon completion: university – check, career – check, home – check, bigger home – check. Thankfully my husband was intrigued by my ambition and happy to be along for the ever-evolving ride.
And then we had our first daughter. In Canada we receive a year of maternity leave, and as it drew to an end, I was scrambling around trying to find any way I could to be home, knowing that I could not possibly return to work and leave this piece of me in the care of another. And although God was beginning to work in me, the “lifestyle” I was building did not warrant me staying home and I was not willing to let those “hard earned” milestones fall to the wayside.
The desire to get back to basics began after the birth of our second daughter, our preemie princess. My birthing experience was not “textbook.” Although I have always prayed and would have called myself a Christian, spending many hours in the hospital praying and watching God’s miracles daily in someone so important really brought me closer to God and helped to acknowledge His calling of my spirit. Here the journey begins – the joys, the struggles and everything in between!
I’m still working full time; thankfully blessed with work from home a few days weekly in which I get more time with my little ones. However I’m still feeling the struggle between realizing the newly desired basic lifestyle and the existing precedence of our lives that I set (no less!). God is working in me and changing me from the inside out. He’s changing my ambitions and I now WANT TO BE A FULL TIME SAHM!
You Can Stay Home with Your Kids!
Note from Erin: My new book, You Can Stay At Home With Your Kids: 100 Tips, Tricks, and Ways to Make It Work on a Budget is out!
This beautiful, hardcover book gives 100 of my best money-saving tips in bite-sized, easily-digestible chunks to help any mom curb spending and create more income for her family.
Each tip comes with an action step to help you make real, lasting change in your family’s bottom line.
And there’s more change that I would like to implement as my life goals continue to shift:
1. Cooking healthier and having dinners that are not rushed while cooking in black slacks and a blouse fresh in from the rush hour commute.
2. Rearing my children to be Christ-like in this deteriorating world, teaching His word with the good book and by example.
3. Having more quality family time.
4. And adding another child to our family in which I once thought only had room for one. (How foolish I was to think I had ultimate dominion over my life and that my ways were best!)
Oh, did I mention that my husband and I are journeying to Christ in two different vehicles? One is a race car waiting to get to the track to really take off, and the other is a flat-tired car that requires manual pushing. Where I play Christian music in the car or watch good-natured shows, he prefers the regular radio and MTV.
So how do I move towards these newly desired goals? Well, the straight forward and honest answer is: THROUGH GOD! Through constant prayer and knowledge that God knows my heart’s desires. Given that my goals are becoming closer to what God intended for humanity, I believe He is happy with my wishes.
And believe me, these fixes although they sound like easy fixes are very challenging. Financially one income just does not seem doable on any monthly expense calculation I do. I cannot, nor do I want to force Christianity on anybody, and although my husband attends church and takes part in family prayers he will come to God when he discerns God’s call on his life. And the move towards a simpler, more basic life requires a lot more time than I feel I can offer most days.
For now I will continue to pray as God’s will will be done. And who knows, maybe God’s timing could coincide with the future addition to our family. Not returning to work after my next maternity leave? I’m willing to work towards it!
As for my starting point on the road to the simple life? Knitting! I’ve picked up knitting and I’m thoroughly enjoying creating my very first scarf, knowing that I am making something that will warm my daughter’s neck for many seasons, that was made by my hands via the love of my heart. It’s a small win on a long line of changes to come!
Are you a working mom who desires to stay home? What is God teaching you on your journey?
I am a happily married wife and mother of two beautiful children, who; through God’s grace, is striving towards a more basic lifestyle that is focused primarily on faith and family. New to the blogging world, writing has always been a passion of mine, writing poems and songs throughout my youth and moving to children’s books once motherhood approached (all which remain in my personal library and may one day see the light of day!). For now, I’m enjoying the wonderful blessings I have received thus far and excited to see where God takes me on this journey of life!