Slowing Down

Hello Beautiful Momma,

I have a burden on my heart to share with you my story.

The story of slowing down.

Living more intentionally.

More simple.

You see, many of us go through life forgetting that one day we will grow old and have regrets. Things we wish we would have done.

The most common regret people have on their death bed (sorry to sound so morbid) is not spending enough time with family. Loved ones.

Nobody ever says, “Geez. I wish I accomplished a better career. Made more money. Drove a better car. Had a bigger house. Traveled more countries.”

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
{1 Timothy 6:7}

I believe 90% of our life are the choices we make.

So my story begins…

I have a Bachelors in Social Work. A former foster care worker for the state of Oregon. I was in the unit that reunites children with their families. I met with biological parents struggling with addiction, foster children & foster parents. Also got to facilitate several local adoptions.

I’m sharing this because I want you to understand that my heart was completely in it. For me it was more than a job. It was very fulfilling despite the challenges.

I also worked with teenagers in foster care. These are some of the smartest most resilient humans on earth. They struggle the hardest. A lot of self-sabotaging. Cutting. Attempting suicide. Depression. Anxiety. In my eyes they are the result of neglect and victims of their circumstances. However, many are overcomers.

The point is, my heart was very much in my work. I love people. I love working with people.

Yet I couldn’t shake off the tug on my heart to slow down.

I was jostling my own children in and out of the car every morning on our way to their grandparent’s house for babysitting (where they were very much loved).

Still, my heart kept tugging me to slow down.

See, sometimes…much like the Egyptians that physically sacrificed their children to idols, false gods — we often pursue material stuff at the expense of our children.

I dropped down to part-time hours and thought maybe that would help.

Despite the change in pace (I had a great schedule), I felt my heart squeeze every time I dropped my kids off in the morning. The boys were growing before my very eyes.

“This can’t be it,” I thought. God didn’t give me these precious children so I would hurry them from one place to another.

To live a 100 mph life. A normal lifestyle in our society.

When I was pregnant with my third baby, I had a meeting with my supervisor where he looked at me (I wasn’t showing yet & was waiting to announce the pregnancy).

He said, “You’re doing great. You have potential. Leadership skills.”

I was torn.

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Here I had a thriving career. I  loved what I was doing. Couldn’t have picked a better scenario.

Yet, I felt called to be home with my children.

That day, I thanked my supervisor and gave it some thought. Now looking back, I see that I was being tested. How obedient would I be to the tug on my heart that God placed in me purposefully?

Rationally speaking we could have used the second income. Surely the benefits. Government jobs offer incredible medical packages for pennies on the dime.

We were not home owners nor wealthy.

Yet when I gave birth to my baby girl and put in my resignation I was overwhelmed with complete peace in my mom-heart.

A confirmation.

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6/7/15 The birth of my daughter that changed everything. 7 lb 15 oz of pure heaven.

 

I felt in my heart that what I was choosing to walk away from, God would threefold supply in other ways through my obedience.

We pulled my son out of private school. Tried public school. Took him out of that. Started homeschooling. Made cuts where we could, asking God for wisdom.

Yet every morning that I looked at my newborn baby girl and her two eager brothers, I felt unexplainable joy. The fullness of my heart was worth it all.

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A little photo-shoot while everyone was in a good mood.

 

I began to treat my home as a ministry. My children as my ministry.

Holy Ground.

I thought to myself, “What if I treated my home as preachers treat the stage at church behind the pulpit?” Think about it: The prayers put into it. The thoughtfulness. Planning. Even fasting.

What can I do in my personal life to reflect this approach?

I tried new recipes. Set the table as nicely as I could.

If I put out the best of the best for guests – why shouldn’t I treat my own family the same?

I pulled out the fine china. The new cups.

I began to see my children as eternal souls that needed not only discipline, but discipleship.

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Less correction. More guidance.

I stopped looking at the laundry basket as a burden, but rather a blessing that I have a family.

I reevaluated my commitments. I remembered what mattered most.

I quit nagging my husband about leaving his socks on the floor. Lovingly picking them up, thanking God that I had this incredible man who loved me so much.

To this day I still pick up his socks and don’t mind one bit.

We started having morning devotions and made more time for prayer. I vowed to myself that if I was a stay-at-home momma I would do it intentionally and go all in. (Otherwise I might as well be at work making money).

Fast forward to now: God completely went above and beyond. In the midst of it all He provided my husband with a better paying job than before. It came up unexpectedly. And then later on this past year, The Lord gave us an opportunity to move to North Carolina (also unexpectedly). Here we were completely able to recharge. To have a new beginning. To slow down.

Nearly two years after I quit my job. I’m amazed at where God brought us to.


I see how God was calling us to reevaluate the pace of life we had. To see what was most important and take intentional steps as a home to make that complete.

And I believe He rewards obedience.

The interesting part about this all, is that it didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t a result of reading some kind of book.

It was a personal internal change that occurred inside of me each time I took a baby step of faith.

I feel blessed to have time for cuddles with my kids. For paper airplanes. Tea times. Walks to the park.

All of this is a gift from God.

Yet, I wonder how much of our life is really a free will of choice that God allows us to make. Trusts us with. The values we prioritize.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
{1 Timothy 6:10}

I don’t know what God has in plan for us as a family but one thing I know is that He is faithful.

I also want to add that this is my personal story. I don’t believe there is only one way to living intentionally, or that it’s wrong to have pursuits outside of motherhood.

It’s possible to be a great mom while working outside the home.

You see, I am still pursuing my dreams. It’s just that…they’ve changed.

And I’m not a hero by any means. I’m just a girl trying to do the best that I can just like everyone else.

This is what worked for me and what I see fruits of in my life now.

Where life plants you, bloom with grace.

Everyone’s life is different. Each path unique. Sometimes you have no choice but to work. Single parents, for example. (I was raised by one).

We all have bills to pay. But how much of this is a lifestyle rather than our destiny?

Everyone is a working mother. Whether we work in the home or outside of the home. We are all working hard.

Nevertheless, if you are ever faced with a fork in the road and need to make a decision, open God’s Word and ask the Lord to personally show you the way.

Surrendering can look many different ways.

If you have 30 minutes, here’s a great sermon titled “Fake Wealth” by Pastor Jim Cymbala from The Brooklyn Tabernacle. I heard it this weekend and it really made me think. I think it can relate to this post: Copy & Paste Link: http://www.brooklyntabernacle.org/media/sermons/20170409/fake-wealth

 

Love & blessings…

 

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5 Comments

  1. Loved reading this!!! What a wonderful reminder. Really felt the Lord speaking to me thru your words. God bless your sweet family!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your story, I also resigned from my job recently for the same reasons, to slow down and raise my 3 children. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right choice, in fact today I had conversation with my former co-worker about my move, positives and negatives. But After reading your story I know that God softly reminds me that his hand is on my family and I am on the right path.
    You have a beautiful family!!
    God Bless you!!

  3. Violetta,
    Thanks for the encouraging post! God is always faithful!!! I always look forward to reading your blogs. May our Lord continue to bless your family.

  4. Wow! Inspiring story. Your a great writer! I’m also homeschooling my kids. I have a masters in accounting, but not working. God really does have better plans for us.

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