She Hath Done What She Could in the Home

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Grant that I may not criticize........

When I was growing up, we had a plaque that hung on the wall next to our telephone.  Now, this was back in the day when there were no cell phones and no cordless phones. When you got on the phone, you just sat, attached to the handset and cord, and talked!  Throughout my teenage years, I spent a lot of time on the phone and so I read that plaque over and over to myself.  It said: 

Indian Prayer
Grant that I may not criticize my neighbor, 
Until I have walked a mile in his moccasins

For the past week, I worked 40 hours.  The job I have requires me to work only one day per week.  This is ideal, as I homeschool my children, and on the day I work, they take a nature class.  Well, in order to keep my one day per week job, I occasionally (4 times per year) fill in for other administrative assistant's vacations.  This week I was filling in for the receptionist.  

I think I can safely say I have (in a very limited way) walked in the shoes of my friends and neighbors who are working mothers and I have no criticism to offer.  I only have support.

I must say, every time I do this, I find a new respect for the American Working Mother. It is NOT easy to work 40 hours a week (plus commute time) come home and fix a healthy dinner, talk to the kids, clean the kitchen, do some laundry, spend time with your husband, take care of the dog, and then prepare to do it all over again the next day.  I seriously think working women are Super Women!!  

I read many blogs where posts are written that all women should be staying at home. There is no way to know the particular situation of all working women, so we can't make such a blanket statement.  

The following are a few personal examples I know of working mothers:

Some of our friends lived in a very bad part of the city.  They lived in a drug infested neighborhood.  In order to move out of that situation, the mother had to take a job.  She found good care for her daughter with spiritual people and worked a job.  In a few years time, they were able to move from that location to a much safer home.  This woman's daughter is now 19 years old.  She sits by her mother at every church service arm in arm while many other teens don't even want to sit with their parents.  It is obvious they have a strong and loving relationship.  She was both a working woman and keeper of the home.  

Another one of my friends rises each morning at 3:30 am to be at work by 4:30 am, so she can be off work by 2:30 pm to pick up her children from school.  This requires that she adhere to a very strict time schedule, but she is doing this so she can be with her children when they are home from school.  Her husband works an alternate shift to be with the children in the morning.  They also moved to get out of a bad living situation, drug and gang filled streets. They have come to a safer place to provide a better life for their children.  I define this as a working woman and worthy woman. 

The Bible does not say that women can't work outside the home, it simply says that the woman is to be the keeper of the home.  Many women are multi-talented enough to work and keep their home in order.  The Proverbs 31 woman did this very thing.  She had other work outside of her homekeeping and her family rose up and called her blessed. 

We need to guard our attitudes and refrain from passing judgement on others who choose to work.  Everyone has a unique situation for their family.  

When I start to talk about what people "should" be doing, I try to remember the words of that plaque that hung in my childhood home and pray that God will help me to guard my tongue and only speak those words that would uplift and admonish my sisters in Christ. 


  1. I would LOVE to know the wording on that plaque! WE are a green smoothie family too and do a lot of raw foods (yahoo group HealthSeekersForum). Anyways, you asked on Crystal's blog about prices, and this was the only way I had of contacting you (no email). (please use my username lvg4him when signing up) is free and can help you find GREAT deals in your area (maybe even another family to go in with on buying meat as it is cheaper with a family). We always get our eggs on sale for $1.50 a dozen. Chicken (the only meat we really eat) we get for $1.99lb ($1.49 if we are lucky). I know a family who just went in on a grass fed cow (info at the organic grocery deals) and was able to get it for $3 something a pound. If you can find a family that has chickens you might be able to do better than the $1.50 I get. I do know that CA has a LOT of discount stores because I am always hearing about good deals in CA> You need to get plugged in (Organic Grocery Deals link above is free and great) and find out where the deals are.

  2. Thank you for your encouragement and challenge to be cautious in what we think of others.
    Mary Beth
    ps- thanks for visiting my blahg 80)

  3. Amen! I am a stay at home mom but all my friends except maybe 2 are working moms. I take my hat off to them it is hard either way you choose to go, but I would never critize anyone's decision or need to work outside of the home. I have also been on both sides and like the side I am on right now. That could change too though you never know.