Christian Working Mom Interview for January, 2007
Devotion Idea
Announcements
Blog
Online Bible Study
Interview

Devotion Idea

Many of you have shared how hard it is to have a devotion or quiet time. I imagine a lot of you commute to work. I would love to tell you there are some CD devotions for Working Moms, but I don’t know of any. If you do know of some, please let me know. Anyway, Women of Faith have some CD’s of devotions you can listen to in the car on your way to work. I have attended one of their conferences and the speakers are terrific. For more information, click here.

Announcements

Thanks so much for all of you who were willing to be interviewed. We have several interviews for the next few months. You ladies are terrific. Also, we continue to have more and more women fill out the CWM Survey, over 1300 women have filled out the survey. If you have not filled out the survey go to www.christianworkingmom.com and click on survey. There is little or no research available on Christian Working Moms.

Blog

You can find the CWM Blog at http://christianworkingmoms.blogspot.com or click on blog from www.christianworkingmom.com. I know we have a lot of women visit, but not post. Please join us in the discussion. Also, check the blog frequently. Often women will post a question and want some advice, so you may have the answer for a fellow CWM’s question. On the blog will be posted a question, related to this month’s interview. I have received numerous emails from women who are the sole provider for their family with a stay at home Dad or the one who makes the most in their family. So, if you are in that situation please share on the blog. You certainly can share other things as well.

Online Bible Study

The online Bible Study can be found at http://kimberlychastain.com/discussCWMU. We have 3 lessons posted. I do promise I’m will have the fourth one up soon and will post on the CWM blog when it is up. You can start anytime and work as you can, please post your answers no matter when you get it done.

Interview

Michelle is a 39 year old married CWM who lives in the US. She has three children, a boy who is 7, girl age 3 and a boy who is six months. Michelle is the President of, OmniSure Consulting Group, Inc., a risk management firm that helps improve quality of care for elderly and disabled.

Michelle shares the following joys of being a Christian Working Mom: My job is an answer to prayer. It meets my family’s needs and has a number of perks (travel, flexibility). I enjoy the way my work helps me to feel well rounded; like the Lord is able to use my talents in multiple environments and to benefit many people (like I imagine the Proverb 31 woman did). I’m exposed to people of various walks of life and backgrounds and am able to share my faith with people I’d not have otherwise had the opportunity to. As the president of the company I am able to provide a Christian work environment for my employees where God can develop and use their gifts. They know I care about them and their families; their total well-being. I pray for them, their marriages, and their kids, and I know they pray for me and mine.

Michelle shares the all too familiar struggles of being a Christian Working Mom:
1. I used to feel judged by others. Now, I don’t notice the judgments of others so much anymore. Instead, I realize that I sometimes envy the people I used to think judged me; or I entertain feelings of unworthiness. I’ve caught myself feeling jealous of women who, by the world’s standards, have highly “successful” husbands and therefore have the money to do whatever they want. I’m not sure I would want to stay home if I had the choice but I nonetheless find myself thinking I’m less of a woman because I don’t have the option. Like if I were a real princess, I’d have been rescued from a life of labor by a rich prince and I’d have all the options I wanted. Yes, it’s silly. And wrong. I have a wonderful husband, who loves the Lord, adores me, and daily labors and sacrifices himself for his children and others. His provision for me and my children and others far outweighs anything I could put a dollar amount on.
2. My husband is a stay-at-home dad and for a long time I tried to make him a “Mr. Mom” so that he was as comforting and encouraging and sensitive as I would be if I were an at-home mom. For example, when I’d hear that he told my crying son “you’re fine, stop whining,” I’d try to correct him: “Honey, I know you mean well but what a young child needs is someone who will let him cry, who will give him a hug and kiss their boo-boo.” This didn’t go over very well; as my husband (whose masculinity was already under attack by those who thought at-home parenting was “women’s work”) didn’t care to take validate the stereotype by becoming more like mom. I’ve learned to accept that he’s a stay-at-home “dad” not a Mr. Mom, just as I’m a working mom, not a woman “wearing the pants in the family.”
3. Changing hats is hard at times. As the president of a company, I’m used to controlling the ship. But at home, my husband doesn’t respond well when I communicate with him as if I’m the “boss”. And, my children aren’t as compliant or easy to manage as my employees. I have to consciously remind myself at times to make the switch as I walk in the door.

Michelle’s favorite Bible Verse is: James 1:27 “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I’ve made a career of caring for widows, and my husband and I have taken in children whose parents were unable to care for them due to addictions or abandonment. It has been hard at times, which has caused me on more than one occasion to look at others who seem to have it so much easier and question God. This verse affirms me, and reminds me to keep my eyes off others so that I’m not polluted with worldly longings.

God is teaching Michelle the following right now:
I recently listened to a teaching by Beth Moore in which she discussed how when the high priest came to arrest Jesus, Peter drew his sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. She drew comparisons between the sword Peter used and our sword, the Word. It became evident to me that I’ve cut people’s ears off a number of times in my zeal for what I think is right, or God’s will. And then, because I’ve taken matters into my own hands, they can’t hear from God. I’m learning to let go and let God; to cultivate a quiet heart; to talk less and pray more. In doing so, I’ve seen that it is generally fear that causes me to act on my own. Fear that God cannot or will not handle the situation. Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword back in its place. For he who draws the sword will die by the sword.” I probably couldn’t count how many times I’ve eaten my words or seen that I do the very thing that I have pointed out in others. Jesus asked Peter, and seems to be asking me, “Do you think that I cannot…?” (Mat 26:52-53). My rebuttal was: “But God how could Peter NOT try and defend Jesus? He didn’t know what You were up to….” And then it occurred to me that if Peter had been watching and praying like Jesus had previously asked him to, he might have been more in tune with the will of God. He might have had the quietness of heart (trust, peace) he needed to pause and look to Jesus for direction before drawing the sword. I’ve been watching and praying since and it’s amazing what God can do if we will let go and let Him.

Words of Encouragement for other Christian Working Moms: The Wife of Noble Character (Proverbs 31) bought property, she had servants (employees), she had a business, she imported and exported, interacted with merchants, she tended to the poor (because she had the means to do so), and she managed to handle things at home so that her children called her blessed as did her husband. I imagine she made mistakes. I imagine she had such a full plate that at times she wondered if she was doing anything well. I’m sure she wondered if her kids were going to resent her for not being more available. But in the end, she had no fear for her household. Why? I wonder if it was because she feared the Lord (which is, she had faith). Perhaps she was able to relax through it all because she felt in her spirit, and knew in her heart that in as much as she loved the Lord and lived according to His purpose, God would work all things together for good. (Romans 8:28)

Michelle would also like to share: One morning I was reading Luke 8 which starts by describing Jesus' ministry traveling and teaching and it tells us there were a number of women with him and "These women were helping to support them out of their own means." (8:3). “Ah hah!” I thought, "I and other Christian working women are in good company!" Jesus' ministry was supported (financially) by WOMEN like YOU! Earning an income and serving your family and others with that income is our spiritual act of worship.

Michelle thank you for so much for sharing from your heart. You are so accurate about your description of the Proverbs 31 women and that earning income is a spiritual act of worship. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says we are to glorify God in everything we do.

Again, please visit the CWM blog at http://christianworkingmoms.blogspot.com to share your experience as a sole provider or the major breadwinner.

Till next time,

Kimberly M. Chastain

Kimberly M. Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the author of 2 ebooks and an online Bible study. You can find more information at www.christianworkingmom.com. For a free, initial coaching session send an email to free@kimberlychastain.com.