Posted on Tuesday, August 09, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

The City of God, St. Augustine (The Modern Library, 2000)

Although this particular edition that I have is from 2000, Augustine was an ordained priest at Hippo, and completed this book in the year 426.  I read this book years ago,  but I like to pick it up every now and then for a little spiritual snack.  Today I read this from p. 577:

For this reason, “let not the prudent glory in his prudence, and let not the mighty glory in his might, and let not the rich glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this—to understand and know the Lord, and to do judgment and justice in the midst of the earth.”  He in no small measure understands and knows the Lord who understands and knows that even this,that he can understand and know the Lord, is given to him by the Lord.  “For what hast thou,” saith the apostle, “that thou hast not received?  But if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hast not received it?”

This just led me to be so thankful for what I do know and understand about God.  I am so thankful that he has given us prophets and priests and kings that have pointed toward his Son Jesus Christ.  I am immeasurably thankful for the life Jesus led, the death he endured, his glorious resurrection, the apostles he commissioned, the gift of his Holy Spirit, and the inauguration of his kingdom.  I am thankful for the men and women who faithfully carried the apostle’s letters to the now infamous first churches, and those who have died to preserve them.  I am thankful for the brave martyrs who have stood firm in the fight to keep his church pure.  And I am thankful for God creating new life in me, giving me the faith to see his irresistible grace.  I am thankful for his enduring word that will not fade.  I am thankful for his promise.  And I am thankful for his covenantal love bestowed on his people.  I am thankful to be one of those people.  And I am thankful that he is so great, so immense, that I will forever continue to learn more of him for eternity.

Posted on Monday, August 01, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

The Great Divorce, C. S. Lewis (Harper Collins, NY, 2001)

I suspect that many of the most beautiful women today do not get the fame and recognition that those pretty-packaged Hollywood ladies are receiving.  One of the most vivid descriptions of a beautiful woman that has stuck in my mind was penned by C. S. Lewis.  He was describing a sort of heavenly parade in the honor of one woman who had finished her life on this earth:

And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.

“Is it? it?”  I whispered to my guide.

“Not at all,” said he.  “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of.  Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”

“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”

“Aye.  She is one of the great ones.  Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”

“And who are these gigantic people… look!  They’re like emeralds…who are dancing and throwing flowers before her?”

“Haven’t ye read your Milton?  A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”

“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”

            “They are her sons and daughters.”

“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”

“Every young man or boy that met her became her son—even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door.  Every girl that met her was her daughter.” 

“Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”

“No.  There are those that steal other people’s children.  But her motherhood was of a different kind.  Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more.  Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers.  But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives” (188-119).

Now this is the beauty that I aspire to be!  I want to be beautiful like Sarah Smith.  It is a beauty that changes people.  It is a contagious beauty that isn’t prideful.  Beauty is not something that we acquire over others, rather, it is a component of our sexuality that we share with others in an appropriate way.  It is not the lack of beauty in someone else that makes me more beautiful.  Quite the opposite, another person’s beauty can enhance my own! 

How often do we let jealousy corrupt our beauty or the beauty of others?  What are we doing to make others beautiful?  Woman have a unique opportunity to pass God’s beauty to so many others: our husbands, our children, our in-laws, our neighbors, our churches, and our communities.  Just think of the ripple effect this could make if we were to take it seriously!  We need to recognize the lie that our culture is selling about beauty and turn our eyes to the Creator of all that is beautiful.  There is much emphasis today on cleaning up the environment and keeping it beautiful.  Well, how about ourselves?

Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

If You Bite and Devour One Another, Alexander Strauch (Lewis & Roth, 2011)

The theme of this book is found on page 8:

When conflict arises, our attitudes and behaviors should reflect our new life in Christ given by the Holy Spirit who lives within us.  We are to display the fruit of the Spirit and not the works of the flesh.  We are to walk in step with the Spirit’s leading.  We are to be Spirit-controlled and not flesh-controlled or out of control.

Obviously, that’s way easier said than done, which is why this book is so helpful.  As I am reading Strauch’s biblical wisdom on handling conflict, I have been meditating on what it means to walk in the Spirit.  As he contrasts the fruit of the Spirit with the works of the flesh, of course I long to always display the fruit of the Spirit.  Why do I so often succumb to the flesh?  While we know many of the theological reasons for this, the church has to face an issue that wives do every day: submission.  Submitting to God’s word is foundational to walking in the Spirit.  God’s Holy Spirit gives the Christian both the desire and power to do this.  When we all agree, submission sounds good and dandy; but when we disagree, it is a painful process.  Submission cannot be a fake, outward veneer.  It begins in the reliance on the sufficiency of Christ.  My complete trust in Christ is the only way I will choose his way for his glory. 

This principle gets even trickier when we are sinned against.  How do we react?  Strauch reminds us, “When people, whether they are believers or unbelievers, abuse or persecute us, we are to respond with the most positive, proactive display of love possible.  Jesus does not call us to be passive martyrs who merely grin and bear it; we are to actively ‘bless’ those who wrong us and not ‘curse’ them (Rom. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:9)!  Our Lord wants us to pray that God would have mercy on and change the hearts of those who persecute and abuse us (p. 29).”  We want that fruit of the Spirit, but we cannot produce it ourselves.  We are dependent upon his Spirit in prayer.  He produces his fruit within us.  And even though this kind of pruning can be painful at first, the fruit is joy in the end.  Joy in love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).   Of course these are all attributes of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

I remember the day I brought my first daughter home from the hospital.  During my stay, nurses watched over my every move.  They charted diaper changes and nursing sessions, monitored visitors, regularly checked on our vitals, examined my husband’s worthiness, and offered all kinds of mothering advice.  Upon checkout, they even made me leave in a wheelchair and inspected our car seat.   Then, as my husband pulled up, they practically dumped me out of the wheelchair and waved goodbye.  Matt looked at me in panic.  He loved all the hovering and nurturing.  It did feel kind of strange to be driving away with this new baby to take care of all by ourselves.  At first, they acted like I needed to be taught to do the most natural of things, and then they waved me off with total autonomy.  Solanna turned 12 yesterday, and I’m still in shock that I’m allowed to be her mother.

Perhaps this is a sequel to my article, Housewives and Paychecks, as I’ve been thinking about the term professional.  When Matt and I were driving away with our newborn baby, he was horrified that we haven’t been properly educated for this weighty undertaking.  To try and calm his nerves, I followed the mantra that just resurfaced on one of my workout videos: fake it till you make it!  But seriously, all day long the humbling task of motherhood serves as a constant reminder of my unprofessionalism.  But what does that word even mean anymore?

A professional used to refer to someone who is paid for a specific task in which they are specially trained or educated.  Now, the term seems to imply a certain virtue in work.  We still use the first definition, for example, when we distinguish a professional athlete from an amateur.  And yet, we complain that professional athletes don’t behave professionally.  In this manner, we use the term to refer to a personal integrity.  To throw in another wrench, professionalism also seems to be amalgamating with political correctness.  Now one is expected to perform with virtue as well as model proper, cool lingo in conflict avoidance.  In this, I think we are confusing being good with looking good.  Fake it till you make it.

This week my pastor preached on the Parable of the Minas in Luke 19:11-27.  Here Jesus is showing his disciples that their whole idea of his kingdom is misconstrued.  They were expecting immediate royal rule and prosperity.  Jesus explains that he’s going to be gone for a while before he fully consummates his kingdom on earth.  There is an already/not yet tension going on.  So in the parable, the nobleman gives ten servants each a mina (about three months salary) to do business with before he returns to claim his kingdom.  Upon his return, we see that the servants were held accountable for their trading and gain.  The servants were rewarded for their profitable gains, and the one who did not invest his mina in any way had it taken from him.

Here Jesus is describing a true professional as one who creates gain.  I love John Calvin’s exposition:

Now, the gain which Christ mentions is general usefulness, which illustrates the glory of God.  For, though God is not enriched, and makes no gain, by our labours, yet when every one is highly profitable to his brethren, and applies advantageously, for their salvation, the gifts which he has received from God, he is said to yield profit, or gain, to God himself.  So highly does our heavenly Father value the salvation of men, that whatever contributes to it he chooses to place to his own account.  That we may not become weary in doing well, (Gal. 6:9,) Christ declares that the labour of those who are faithfully employed in their calling will not be useless (Calvins Commentaries Vol. XVI, p. 443).

I’ve already been paid.  And there’s much more to come.  But what am I doing with what I’ve been given?  Am I putting it out there for the use of the common good?  Sometimes we have that fearful feeling like Matt and I did leaving the protective care of those nurses.  While Christ is at the right hand of his Father, his rule has not yet been made manifest to the world.  But he has dispersed his people in the world to put to use what we have been given.  He equips us with different spiritual gifts, natural abilities, and opportunities to further advance his gospel message and to better serve our neighbors for the common good of his civil kingdom.  Like my pastor Jerry said, only Christ will make known its value.  He will bring to light what is hidden in the darkness.  He will reveal the true professionals.

Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

Feminine Threads, Diana Lynn Severance (Christian Focus, 2011)

There are so many awesome women shared in this book (along with some characters).  I wanted to pass on a bit of wisdom from America’s first English poet, Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672).  Anne and her husband, who was the governor of Massachusetts at this important time, had eight children.  Here is a piece of advice from Anne about raising children with different temperaments:

Diverse children have their different natures; some are like flesh [or meat] which nothing but salt will keep from putrefication; some again like tender fruit that are best preserved with sugar; those parents are wise that can fit their nurture according to their Nature (191).

For the most part I think that’s some pretty wise advice.  However, if you have the good kid that I discussed in another article, you might have to throw some salt on something that appears to be pure sugar. 

The whole quote reminds me of an inside joke my girlfriends and I shared in high school.  Whenever a guy was laying the lines on thick, our code for help was, “get out the salt.”  This was in reference to what happens to a slug when you have a salt shaker.

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

[caption id="attachment_421" align="alignleft" width="256" caption="Turns out other churches have used this one :("][/caption]

The other day, I drove past a horrible church sign.  In big, black letters it read:


It made me sad.  First of all, organ donors have something good to give to someone in desperate need.  This sign in front of an evangelical church insinuates we are a type of messiah, and that Jesus is the one in need.  Where is this message in God’s word?  As far as our heart is concerned, here is what the Bible says:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jer. 17:9)?

And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.  I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them.  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God (Ezek. 11:19-20).

I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart (Jer. 24:7).

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matt 15:19).

One who heard us was a woman named Lydia…The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.  And after that she was baptized, and her household as well… (Acts 16: 14-15a).

Scripture does tell us to believe in Him with our whole heart, but it also tells us that our hearts are corrupt beyond our own repair.  How can a depraved heart believe in and seek a good God for our righteousness?  Paul says we can’t: “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Rom. 9:10-11).  He explains to the Ephesians that we were “by nature children of wrath…But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…through faith.  And it is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (2:3b-9).

God’s not in need.  We so desperately are.  “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom: 6:17-18).

I believe this church sign is a result of a misunderstanding between free agency and free will.  Sure, we are free to choose according to our strongest desire.  The problem is, until God in his rich mercy changes our hearts of stone, we do not choose The Righteous One; we choose to glorify ourselves (slaves to sin, children of wrath).  We love to think that we have a free will.  We have free agency.  Our wills are in bondage to sin, until they are made right.  Jesus explained to Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3b, emphasis mine).  How can we choose his kingdom if we cannot even see it?  He explains, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where is comes from or where it goes.  So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (3:8).  Then it should be no surprise when the words of our Lord in John reveal “You did not choose me but I chose you…” (15:16a).

Freedom isn’t much of a liberty if we are slaves to our sinful desires.  And our deceitful hearts aren’t much of an offering to a holy God.  A sign trying to call unbelievers to faith would do better by inviting them in to hear the preached word.  This is the means that God has given us by which he creates a new heart of faith within us (Rom. 10:14-17).

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

Modern Reformation magazine/ July/August 2011

So I received my last free copy of Modern Reformation since they published my essay last fall.  Sigh.  It was like getting a major reward in the mailbox every other month.  Ralphie’s dad thought his leg lamp was special…

Anyway, I was joyfully surprised to find in my major award an excerpt from the late Dorothy Sayers’ (1893-1957) essay, “Creed or Chaos?,” from her book, Letters to a Diminished Church (2004).  The very first paragraph is the whole reason I’m a housewife theologian:

It is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology.  It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously.  It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe.  It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism.  And it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it.  The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.

If we profess to be Christian, then we need to actually know the One whose name we’ve taken.  As Schaeffer said, He is there and He is not silent.   That’s why the whole “deeds without creeds” mentality makes no sense.  Your deeds are based on your creeds.  You act based on who you are, and what you believe.  Christianity is not synonymous with morality.  We are all under the Great Commandment to love God with all of our minds, hearts, and souls; and our neighbor as ourselves.  However, Christianity gives us the only man who ever fulfilled this commandment, so that we will not be condemned.  He also happens to be the Son of God, and in him we are given new life, not just a morally improved one.  Being made into the likeness of Christ, we are now finally free to truly love our neighbor because much grace has been given to us.   

Christians are given the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20).  Jesus tells us something very important about himself in the first sentence: he has been given all authority on earth and in heaven.  That's pretty creedal.  And if we are to disciple and teach, that's creedal as well.  We are told to baptize (with trinitarian doctrine) and He even gives us some important docrine of assurance in his last statement: "and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (v.20b).  So, I would say theology is pretty important.

Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

I’ve noticed a theme on the radio lately.  There seems to be an obsession with perfection.  And it seems that even superstars are feeling like they can’t live up to this pressure.  Many of our celebrities are showing their own vulnerabilities in this struggle to be perfect.  They are ending up in rehab, reality shows, divorces, scandals, and in a venue that many of us connect through, they are expressing it in their music.  I will discuss just two songs.  One is targeted to a more mature audience, although I imagine it is actually sung loudly by our youth, and one is probably targeted more for the younger crowd. 

First we have Pink.  Her song, Perfect contains lyrics such as:

  • You’re so mean
  • When you talk about yourself, you were wrong
  • Change the voices in your head
  • Make them like you instead…
  • (and the chorus):
  • Oh, pretty pretty please
  • Don’t you ever ever feel
  • Like you’re less than, less than perfect
  • (another chunk):
  • Done looking for the critics, cause they’re everywhere
  • They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair…

This ditty has a great tune to it.  You’ll find yourself belting it out in the car for sure.  But what’s the message?  Is perfection an image?  Is it what you think about yourself?  In her more explicit version, Pink is pretty much saying “F” perfection.  But she’s also saying; don’t think you’re less than perfect.  Can we really all be perfect? 

Next we have Selena Gomez’s, Who Says.  Her father was quoted saying this song goes out to all the haters.  Here are some of her lyrics:

  • You made me insecure
  • Told me I wasn’t good enough…
  • (and )
  • I’m no beauty queen
  • I’m just beautiful me… 
  • Who says you’re not perfect
  • Who says you’re not worth it
  • Who says you’re the only one that’s hurting
  • Trust me
  • That’s the price of beauty
  • Who says you’re not pretty
  • Who says you’re not beautiful…
  • (the bridge)
  • Who says you’re not star potential
  • Who says you’re not presidential
  • Who says you can’t be in movies…

 Here we have perfection held up as a beautiful movie star.  Both songs seem to paint our singers as victims of the haters.  And the haters are anyone standing in the way of your dreams.  These songs strike a chord with us though because they try to encourage their listeners in an area we all struggle: self-esteem.  But is perfection just a state of mind? 

…Fast forward to my pastor’s sermon this week.  It was on the parable in Luke 18:9-14.  You know this one.  The Pharisee goes to the temple to pray, thanking God that he is not like other men.  You know, he’s glad that he’s not a big fat loser like the tax collector beside of him.  His self-confidence was great.  He thought he was perfect in every way.  Conversely, the tax collector can’t even lift his eyes to heaven as he prays for God’s mercy.  He had no confidence in his own righteousness.  Jesus announces that the tax collector went home justified, rather than the Pharisee.

We like to hear this story because we look at all our own haters as the Pharisees.  But I think we so often miss the message.  The above songs promote our worth against “the haters.”  But God gives us our worth in Christ, the great lover.  This God tells us that our own righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), but on account of Christ’s work he will give us a white garment and take us as his bride.  The main message in my pastor's sermon was that how we see ourselves before God reflects how we see ourselves compared to others.  If we see ourselves as righteous enough before God, we will sing with contempt along with Pink and Selena .  Their message is self-congratulatory.  It reflects a flawed understanding of who God is and what he expects.  Yet, these same celebrities contradict themselves with their own exploited cultural perfection as sex symbols in their performances, commercials, videos and photo sessions.

Moving on in Jerry’s sermon; if you realize you’re not righteous (a.k.a. perfect), your prayers will reflect a need for mercy.  God responds by declaring us “just” through the work of his very son, Jesus Christ.  We move from the court room of judgment to the most loving relationship with our Redeemer.  He truly frees us from the bondage of sin.  We are truly accepted.  God doesn’t exploit us for his own entertainment.  He doesn’t care about our jeans or our hair.  He sees us for who we really are and provides our righteous perfection.  Now we too can look at our neighbor with the eyes of grace.  We can finally rest from chasing false perfection.  He makes us beautiful.  The basis of our hope is not empty self-talk, but rather what Michael Horton calls Divine Peosis.

Posted on Saturday, July 16, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

Girls Gone Wise, Mary Kassian ( Moody, 2010)

This summer I am doing a mother-daughter book club using this book.  We are about to meet for our second study.  One chapter is on the differing roles of men and women.  This is an interesting subject to discuss with 11 and 12-year-olds.  Kassian spends some time unpacking Genesis 2:18:

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

She explains that being created for man doesn’t mean that man can just use women to please himself, but rather that Eve “was created because of him.  His existence led to hers.  It didn’t happen the other way around (129).” This insinuates differences in our roles. Kassian continues,

Being created for someone indicates that God created the female to be a highly relational creature.  In contrast to the male, her identity isn’t based on work nearly as much as on how well she connects in her relationships.  Woman is the relater-responder who is inclined toward connecting with others (130).

What do you think about this explanation of the passage?  How do you consider this amalgamates with what Paul says about wives reflecting the church, and our husband’s mirroring the love of Christ in Eph. 5:22-33?

Posted on Friday, July 15, 2011 by Aimee Byrd on Housewife Theologian

[caption id="attachment_399" align="aligncenter" width="268" caption="Super mom. Super wife. Super woman. Super tired."][/caption]

Women are living in a very strange era.  We’ve rebelled against entrapping traditional stereotypes, and now we are in the aftermath of liberal feminism.  Yet here we are with more choices than ever and even more consternation about our role in society.   Most of us do not want to be identified with Mrs. Cleaver or Hilary Clinton.  Frankly, we want the positive home life and relationships of the Cleavers, but we also recognize our ambition to serve our communities alongside our neighbors.  Striving to find our niche and fulfill our role in both our families and communities, we are growing weary.  This weariness was on my mind as I listened to Tim Keller’s sermon on work and rest.

I believe the latest estimate of a housewife’s worth is about 135 K a year.  Yes, I know, there are so many things wrong with this statement.  But, on the other hand, I think a major struggle for stay-at-home moms is the lack of a pay check.  Hear me out before you judge my greediness or call me a feminist.

I am currently a stay-at-home mom (please don’t make me say homemaker).  I have also worked outside the home earlier in my marriage.  Everyone knows how hard housewives work, and where I am in my own busyness; I admire you mom’s who pull off outside work as well.  You know that when you get off work you are still on the clock at home.  I try to tell the kids that mommy has punched out her time card for the day, but they continue to need me anyway.  We go from short order cook to chauffeur, nurse, fashion consultant, hostess, educator, entertainer, economist, laundry service, housecleaner, conflict manager…moms wear many hats. 

Sometimes we may feel a little jipped that no one noticed our one day feat of cleaning the kitchen seven times, devotions with the kids, entertaining guest, working out, removing gum from hair, washing three loads of laundry, feeding all the neighbors kids, and making dinner with fresh picked ingredients from the garden.  Other jobs offer compensation for time served in the form of a paycheck.  It’s very gratifying.  They also get to be acknowledged for their work in some form of evaluation several times a year.  My only written proof of something I’ve contributed to our family is the amount you saved today typed on my Martin’s receipt.  And I wave it in the air with pride. 

So what do I do?  More.  I do more because I might not be doing enough.  My husband seems to think I’m great, but I have this compelling force inside of me that wants to be better at what I do.  Whether housewives have outside work or not, we all feel compelled to be Superwoman.  I think this is why women on Facebook like to tell us what they’re making for dinner, or that they ran three miles today.  Someone will have to take notice that they made homemade peach cobbler or cleaned the grout in their tile all afternoon.  What a great little resume that can be built on a Facebook profile.  We need to stand out, to get that societal promotion that we rock at this whole pro bono housewife gig.  People may take notice of our stellar contributions.

Keller’s sermon highlights how driven our society is to succeed.  We constantly work for the accomplishment and praise we are seeking.  Many times it is a promotion or some other recognition that will push us ahead.  Hopefully, it will fill us with the meaning and value that we are aiming to receive from our hard labors.  But it doesn’t.  Only Christ can do that.  He is our full satisfaction.  He alone is sufficient.

This lesson may be easier for the housewife.  We can never fully rest from the chores that need to be done, or the kids that need our attention.  We constantly feel like big, fat failures in our attempts to be the perfect wife and mother.  This is particularly when I need to be reminded that God (the only one I need to impress) looks at me, and on the account of Christ, he is utterly satisfied.  I can rest in the work of Christ.  There is no Superwoman ideal that I need to attain.  Now I am liberated to serve him in gratitude, knowing that He is my reward.  Not earning a paycheck and not having specific days off (sigh) may compel me all the more to really evaluate what I think I’m earning for myself.  Then I can realize that I don’t keep the world running, and I can rest in the One who does.