The Power of Your Presence (by Lisa Anderson)
The Power of Your Presence, Part 1
The world’s current message is that women can “do it all”—succeed with both a career and family. Even in the church world, that idea is promoted. I recently perused the website of a popular Christian women’s program. The only article I noticed that mentioned motherhood addressed the issue of how to transition from the workplace world each day to home and family at night—endorsing the do-it-all mentality.
What is best for our children and families? Let me share some examples that might help shed some light on the issue.
Jana is a mother from church with two teenage children. She had always been a stay-at-home mom until she and her husband decided to help run a karate school. This demanded that she work from noon until 10:00 p.m. six days a week. Life at home was no longer normal, and it wasn’t long before they started to see changes in their son and daughter. Those changes became so pronounced that she decided her job was not worth the toll it was taking on her children. She gladly quit her job and returned home, deciding her children’s well-being was not worth the extra income. Everyone is much happier now. Most people think teenage children are fine with mom in a full-time job. Jana’s family proved otherwise.
Jennifer recently made the decision to quit her job and focus on her marriage and family. Previously a single mother, she had no choice but to work during that season of life. Now she is happily remarried. Unfortunately, her boss was expecting her to work longer and longer hours. That, and a comment from her oldest daughter, caused her to re-evaluate her priorities. Her daughter, a freshman in high school, had just made the dance team. Due to her work schedule, Jennifer was unable to attend a big performance of her daughter’s team. When she apologized for not being there, her daughter responded, “That’s okay, mom. I’m used to it. That is just my life.” Her comment pierced Jennifer’s heart. She realized her daughters are growing up very quickly, and she wants to be there for them. I assured her that even though things might be tight financially because of her decision, God honors those kinds of decisions and will be faithful to them.
In John 14: 3 Jesus told us, I go and prepare a place for you…that where I am, there you may be also. What a great picture of motherhood! Jesus didn’t go to prepare a special place for us and then leave a note on the counter saying, “I hope you enjoy your stay. See you later!” No! Heaven is special because we get to be with Him! Over and over again in Scripture, God tells His people, “Don’t be afraid. I am with you.” That constant presence is a special aspect of God’s nature, I believe, we are called to carry and display as women and mothers. Our presence plays a huge part in raising whole children whose needs have been met.
Dear moms, on the days you feel unproductive and unimportant, know this: your presence alone is ministering to your children. It affirms they are important and a top priority in your life. Your presence makes them feel safe and secure.
A life with no regrets is one of my greatest desires. I have absolutely no regrets for all the years I have spent with my children. It’s one of the best things I have ever done.
Many blessings to you on your journey of motherhood!
Was your mother a stay-at-home mom or did she work outside the home? How did that affect you?
Share your thoughts on Jana’s and Jennifer’s stories.
Do you believe a woman can “do it all” and successfully meet the needs of her children and family? Explain your answer.
Explain why a mother’s presence is important in the lives of her children.
Pray that you will know God’s pleasure and affirmation in your calling as a mother and homemaker.
We are all in different situations. Some women are working outside the home and face unique challenges. Pray for each woman according to her need.