I bake bread.
3 to 6 loaves a week.
What picture does that bring to your mind when you read that?
What kind of person do you think I am because I bake my family's bread?
Do you know what recipe I use? or what equipment I use or don't use?
How about how often I bake bread?
Does any of that matter?
So, why am I rambling on about making bread?
Well, it seems to be a good analogy for a couple of different struggles I have had in my life.
I have struggled with my calling to be a homemaker.
You see, I had a picture in my head that I thought was the "right way" to be a homemaker.... the Biblical way, maybe, but for sure the "right way".
This homemaker that lived inside my head and did everything "right" had the perfect schedule that she used to make sure that every little chore got accomplished. She went about her chores happily. She loved to bleach the grout around her bathtub and mop her floors. There was never dust on her bookshelves and her living room got vacuumed every other day.
And this is big... her husband NEVER had to do any housework! Because homemaking was her job! And if her husband mopped the floor, that would certainly mean that she was a failure as a homemaker. That's what it says in the Bible, right?
(well.... no, not really...)
The reality is that I can never live up to that picture in my head. Maybe one day, when I don't have 5 kids at home with me all day, every day, I will look something closer to that picture... but definitely not at this stage of my life. And you know what? I don't want to look like that picture anyway!
Then there is my other major life struggle... how I walk out my relationship with Jesus in my every day life.
There always seemed to be these hidden "rules" in my head or they were suggested by others as the "right" way to live the Christian life. Ways to serve, ways to worship, ways to "do church"....
OK, so all this stuff has been rolling around in my head. And the Lord has been showing me so much as I have grown in my relationship with Him... showing me what is true about my struggles. And I so wanted to share them here, but I wasn't sure how to do that.
That's where the bread comes in.
A lot of my friends bake bread.
But not one of us does it exactly the same.
And that is where God brought me one of those "Ah Ha!" moments.
I started thinking about this...
Those of us that bake bread each do it the way that fits us best.
We use different recipes. (or modify the recipe to suit us)
We bake at different times.
Some grind their own grain, others buy their flour at Publix.
Some hand knead their dough, others have Kitchen Aid mixers or Electrolux mixers from Switzerland...
All these differences, but at the end of it all, we all are baking bread!
There is no one "right" way to do it.
And that is what is true about being a homemaker, a homeschooler, a wife, a Christian. (and so much more) There are no lists in the Bible that lay out what a Christian homemaker does every day. (Nope, not even Proverbs 31!) There are no lists that detail out how we are to live for Jesus every day. At least none that start with rising before dawn to have a quiet time and end with serving in the nursery every Sunday. (smile)
For me there is so much freedom in this realization. And there has been joy in the discovery of how I have been made to do what God has called me to. I don't have to be anyone else. Just who He made me to be.