May 15, 2012

Why Do I Go To Work?

She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands. - Proverbs 31:13

One of the hardest parts of my days is waking up while Ian is still asleep, entirely covered by our white down comforter. The birds are chirping outside, telling me to get back into bed and hold my best friend's hand. But I can't. I have to get his meds ready, get our lunches ready, leave notes for our caregivers, and leave at 7:00 a.m. to not be late.

And the kiss good-bye is the saddest. My heart is to be home, finishing the laundry, cleaning (I would probably get over that really fast), decorating, making a meal to deliver to someone, planning a menu, raising babies. I wish that I could still be in bed as Ian gets ready for work. But instead each morning so far, Lord willing, I have given him that kiss good-bye, and try to remind myself that I'm going to work for two main reasons - because I love God and I love my husband.

It would be easy as a young wife to think that it's wrong for me to work. Not because anyone has ever said it or even implied, but because when given the option, many of my girlfriends have chosen to stay home with their babies or until babies arrive. It can be a lonely feeling facing a career when few other women that I interact with each day are at work 40 hours a week, or in a corporate environment at that.

I love my job and the provision it has been. But I wouldn't choose a career, I don't think.  I did choose to marry Ian, though. And so even on the days that are the hardest to leave, there has to be joy knowing that I'm doing the work that God has called me to. Maybe someday I will stay home and raise babies, or work from home. But for now, I have to continue to fight to be thankful and remind myself that for me to walk out Proverbs 31 means high heels and a corporate title.

More to come on this topic later:)

Thank you for praying.



Emily said...

So blessed by what you have chosen to make this blog... thank you for sharing how you walk out God's path for you two. It does what the best God-stories do: teach us not to imitate you, but to look to follow Him on the paths He's set for each of us.

{nikki} said...

Praying for you both

{nikki} said...

Your rationale for working resonates with me. "Because I love God" and "Because I love my family" gives most of my days' activities meaning also. And most days, that is enough to get me out of bed even when I'd rather stay. Thank you for reminding me that even the daily minutiae can have a spiritual purpose. You are precious.
Praying for you both!

julie said...

Larissa - Your story and life have been such a blessing to me.

As a single girl, I know the "I didn't mean to have a career" feeling, or the "Many of the women I know can't relate to that aspect of my life" feeling. I pray God will strengthen you to continue flying His flag of undying love, grace and truth. You've been a wonderful example so far. Keep your chin up and your eyes on HIM :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Larissa,

I am new to your blog, having just recently come across the beautiful "Desiring God" video sharing your and Ian's story.

I just had to take a moment to thank you (and Ian!) for sharing your story, and more importantly faithfulness to the Lord (especially in the face of such suffering), with the world.

To say it has moved me would be such an understatement. At risk of sounding over-dramatic...Your (and Ian's) story and faith, woven by God himself, has begun to help change my heart.

Long story short: I've spent the last 2 years in a horrible spiritual state, continually giving in to the temptations of anger and bitterness. The reason behind which I am now so embarrassed and ashamed. I spent a lot of time declaring God uncaring and prayer a waste of time.

But...I can't see a story like yours and Ian's, so filled with His grace, mercy, and love and continue to try and convince myself of those lies.

So, I thank you both from the bottom of my heart. And, I thank God for putting such an amazing example of faith in front of me.

I have prayed for Ian (and you!) every day and will continue to do so. :)

May God bless you and keep you always.

Casey S.

Lindsey Hansom said...

Larissa and Ian, I'm sure you've heard this many, many times, but you are truly an inspiration. I'm getting married in a few weeks, and, I have to admit, it's very easy to get caught up in the 'secondary' things about getting married. But, your marriage exemplifies a true, Christ-driven relationship, and you, Larissa, are an example of a true, humble, and serving wife. I pray for you and Ian, and I am so blessed to have stumble across your video as I begin a marriage of my own. May God bless y'all each and every day. Love, Lindsey. PS. I loved your video. Do you know what song is used in the first part during the wedding footage? It's beautiful.

Lindsey Hansom said...

Larissa and Ian, I'm sure you've heard this many, many times, but you are truly an inspiration. I'm getting married in a few weeks, and, I have to admit, it's very easy to get caught up in the 'secondary' things about getting married. But, your marriage exemplifies a true, Christ-driven relationship, and you, Larissa, are an example of a true, humble, and serving wife. I pray for you and Ian, and I am so blessed to have stumble across your video as I begin a marriage of my own. May God bless y'all each and every day. Love, Lindsey. PS. I loved your video. Do you know what song is used in the first part during the wedding footage? It's beautiful.

Anonymous said...


I believe this says it best: "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, [sister], have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people." (Philemon 1:4-7).

May the Lord bless your heart with His perfect peace and fill you with strength and joy as you continue to uplift His wonderful Name through your obedience. Your submission to His plan and purposes is beautiful. =)

Joyfully HIS

Ps. 34:9
1 Cor. 15:58

Heather Clark said...

So I spent half the night reading through your blog last night... I went all the way back to the beginning, and started from there. Obviously, there is no way I could get through all of it...So, I read until I knew Ian was awake... and then I read through your loss of Steve, an incredible man of faith, and then your wedding. It was almost like watching a movie... heart breaking, yet somehow so triumphant. I went to sleep with the two of you on my mind, and I woke up with you in my heart. You have a prayer partner for life in me. Please be encouraged... God sees exactly where you are and knows your heart. You are both such incredible examples of strength and full reliance on God. Thank you for sharing your life with me. I am praying for a complete healing for Ian. Blessings!

Catt said...

Im praying that God will give you strength. Thank you for being a living example :)

Ange said...

...for we who live are always being given over to death so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh...we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God & not to us. We are afflicted but not crushed...
2 Cor 4:11&7-8
This is what your post made me think of.
Thanks for sharing!
Your walk of faith is encouraging mine on the other side of the world...though I am originally from Pennsylvania :)

Gloria said...

Hey Larissa, I read your post and it resonated with me - I've just made a decision to take up a managerial post but am not truly enthusiastic about working.

Thank you for the reminder of the Proverbs 31 woman ... feels like it was just what I needed.

I salute your determination to keep on keeping on. And although I'm in another part of the world, this is a note so you know you're not alone.


Lisa said...

As a new reader to your blog I am very encouraged with the realness that embodies each post! What a blessing to see God's grace on display as you walk through each day of the life God has ordained and equipped you for from before the foundation of the earth! I too struggle at times when caught in the comparrison trap--my life doesn't look like what I envisioned when I married 27 years ago. But God...that's all! His grace is sufficient! xoxo

Pretty lady said...

You are a true inspiration and I admire your strength, courage and willingness to fight for love.

Praying for you both.

Anonymous said...

I hope I can offer you a little encouragement from my own situation - I am a single mom of 3 who has always felt such a strong ache to be home. For almost 10 years I forced myself to work every morning, often times crying on the way there, wondering why God put such a strong urge in me to be home with my kids, when that just wasn't possible? Even after years of daycare, preschool, and after school programs it never got easier. In Sept. 2011 God released me from my job, and answered my hopeless prayers in such an unconventional way - I have been unemployed for 7 1/2 months now. It has been one of the happiest periods of my life!! I have such mixed feelings about going back to work, but I'm standing on the edge of foreclosure, and yet feeling such joy EVERY DAY for the gift of being home. What comes next, only God knows, but I am trusting it will be for the good of my whole family. Do not grow weary in obeying Him, for He is good and His plans for you are good!

Emily said...

You look beautiful, girl! I need to get some workplace fashion tips from you! The brass at work has complained about the employees' "casual" attire, but I don't really like wearing "work clothes".

I am a single career woman, but I understand where you are coming from. Maybe someday you will find a position where you will work from home ;)

I will probably always be a career woman, regardless of what my marital status may be, but I totally understand the desire to be at home.

Will you and Ian ever be able to visit Chicago in the fall?

Melinda said...

I recently read "Life Ready Woman" by Shaunti Feldhaun and it really spoke to me about being a woman in Christ and what that looks like. I know my life, and I'm guessing yours too, have taken a turn that we couldn't even have imagined a few years ago. So it has to become less about doing what other Christian women do and more about going about God's plan for us. And following God's plan can be sometimes painful and not aligned with our desires. Your insight about the ultimate desire for God and family is spot on - that is exactly why you persevere.

drena.marie.fernandez said...

I can realate. there are days when I just want to be at home...and like you one day I hope to be. But as a young bride myself, and with my husband in seminary, this season is the corporate world for me too. But I too am grateful and was thinking about that this morning. Love reading your blog:)

Amy (Amanda) said...

You are beautiful. I share the struggle of working while many of my friends stay home with their families. And I share your motivation - I work because I love God and my family. It is not easy, but is the narrow road ever? It's thorny and grown over and full of potholes, but the destination is so worth it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts - it helps me to know I'm not alone, and reminds me that God's will is sometimes not what I expect. Bless you both.

Kristy said...

Love how you inspire each of us to be a better us, to honor God no matter our situations.

I have been blessed to be at home for most of my marriage, but now as my husband has to retire from the military due to back surgery and daily pain, I have had to go to college and strive to think of how to support us.
It feels so petty, because I have been able to stay home, to complain...But I am in such a different place than other moms my age.
I pray for you Larissa, and for Ian, and for you to be able to do all God has called you to, with joy.
Thank you for allowing God to use you in such as way that makes us all want to love Him more :)

Tammy T said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Larissa. We are blessed to hear your honest thoughts and thank you for pointing us back to the Lord. Praying for you!

Beth @A Little Country House said...

Larissa, I admire your spirit so much. You are in sync with His will. I can picture you someday being at home with your children, sooner than later, because that is the God we serve. The God who spared Ian's life (that has touched so many), the God that watches you and how you love Ian. That is the God that can give you those things you desire. When they come from Him, everyone knows that God is the one who made it happen.

Amy said...

Hi Larissa,
I'm sure you've heard this a lot lately, but I found your blog after seeing your beautiful video on the Desiring God site, and started reading through it like a book. (I do think you should write a book, and I plan to buy it!) I was moved to tears a few times, and to pray for you and Ian. Your post today about working especially encouraged me! I'm still single, and also work in a corporate environment. I'm grateful for my job, enjoy my coworkers, and have seen God bless it. However, I still had hoped to be at home with children by this point in my life. My Chistian girlfriends are also in more "homey" life stages than myself, which makes it hard to relate sometimes. Thanks so much for your post, affirming that work (if in God's plan) is another way to live out Proverbs 31. I will carry that encouragement into the rest of my work week, and hope that you are encouraged also. Please know that you're not alone in that corporate world! Thanks so much for all you write. Praying for you and Ian. Love you like a sister, even though we've never met!
Amy :)

Cathy said...

Your marriage gives me so much encouragement.
I go to work to support my husband, who cannot work due to long term illness. Our mornings are remarkably similar - rising at the crack of dawn, preparing lunches and medicines, leaving for work while he is still asleep. I long for the day he recovers when I might finally swap work for a life at home and maybe children, but I know it is unlikely in this life.
Praying for you both and looking toward heaven,

Anonymous said...

Please never stop writing. Praying and thanking God for you and Ian!

Anonymous said...

As a working mom, my hearts desire has always been to be at home. By HIS grace I get to be at home for 7 months right now. This has helped me so often.
(My Utmost for His Highest)
....We are apt to imagine that if Jesus Christ contrains us and we obey him, He will lead us to great success. We must never put our dreams of sucess as our God's purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the End.

You are doing it!!! You are honoring him. I love reading your blog and love seeing you constantly pointing everything back to him. I too am greatful for a good job, I don't really want it most of the time.......I want to be at home... I do love God and I want to trust him most of all that He knows what is best for me and I will just follow him no matter where I am. (even when I don't want to be where I am) You are a great example....thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Larissa!

I really enjoyed looking at your blog. You certainly do have a wonderful husband! Just a quick question, how long did it take Ian to regain his ability to walk? May God bless both of you!

Love in Christ,


Erica said...

I can relate! Getting up in the mornings and heading off to the job I don't like, much less love and feel inspired by, is tough. Looking forward to the next phase along with you.

Like so many others have said, I want to thank you for your your pursuit of holiness. It's a true inspiration. On the days you feel alone, try to're not. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Larissa,
I just wanted to take a few moments to tell you how God has worked through your video on Desiring God in my own heart, and I've been so thrilled to share your story with many other women. I've been asked to share a "devotion" at a bridal shower, and I chose to share your video, along with scripture, and a quote from "This Momentary Marriage". May God's grace continue to be put on display in your life, in Ian's life, and in your marriage.
Many Blessings,
Mifflinburg PA

Katerine-Fernandez said...

Animo Larissa...

God will renew your strength like the eagles, while you have to wake up and go to work to achieve the provision of you and your husband, others will complain about not wanting to, or not like our jobs. Still every day ministering to those who surround you. I pray that God will guide and yene of his grace and strength today and always.

thousand blessings,

Katerine Fernandez
From Dominican Republic.

Laurie said...

Hey, Larissa,
Just saw your story for the first time on a video on fb. After reading your blog post regarding "Why I go to work" I wanted to encourage you to continue speaking the truth about this. Your situation is very unique, however it parallels many women I know now who are the sole breadwinners because their husbands are unemployed. I am one of those women. An attitude that I find common (that truthfully I fight against) is "why is God doing this to me? I KNOW it's his will that my husband have a job and that I'm home with the kids...." TRUTH needs to be spoken by people like you who are embracing God's true will for them. Thank you!

Ralph and Sara Pot said...

I am moved by your video and blog posts. Peace to you this week. May God continue to minister to you both and through you both to others.

My husband and I are raising four beautiful daughters - two with complex needs that have no known diagnosis. We have also appreciated the encouragement from God through DG Ministries, particularly Piper's sermon on the blind man being born for the glory of God.

Lamentations 3:19-23 - our sorrows will not consume us because we have HOPE that God is faithful and will supply the strength and mercy we need, one day at a time.

Sara Pot

Anonymous said...

Ian and Larissa,
I have recently learned about your story together and what an amazing miracle the Lord has done in both your lives! I am deeply touched by the testimony that the Lord has given you. Yes, there will be hard times, but the Lord is with us each step of the way! As Christians, trials are put in our way to help us draw closer to the Lord! This story reminds me of my pastor's daughter who was in a deadly car accident and survived by God's grace. She has brain damage, but has gotten so much better with therapy and the Lord's help. She is now a wife and mother of two and expecting her third! My pastor has even written a book and also has a video series on how to lead your family through a crisis. Neat testimony!
May the Lord richly bless you and may you continue to draw closer to the Lord!
Rachel R. of Sioux Falls, SD

jen said...

I've been longing to be at home too. I thought by this time in my marriage, I would be a stay-at-home-mom, but we're working through infertility right now and looking at adoption, which can be very expensive. So I'll continue to work to save up for a possible future adoption. I understand that longing! Thank you for just the encouragement I needed to hear tonight.

And I wanted to tell you how much your blog has blessed and encouraged me. I found it after I watched the video, and spent an evening reading through it from the very beginning. You two are just wonderful and I will be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reminding us all that Proverbs 31 might play out differently in all of our lives as things change throughout our journey with Father.
He has it figured out when we don't.
Press on-
Wendy in MD

Judy said...

Oh yes, life brings many unexpected sorrows- being at work when it is a deep longing that home be the primary place of creativity and work fulfillment is one of them. I know. Still, I remind myself - the provision of work with an income is one of God's mercies. Gratitude should be my response, but isn't always.

You are a remarkable, young woman - may God sustain you in the daily rising to your task and may He bless you with unexpected joys.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

If it's any consolation, there are so many of us out there who would not choose a career but are nonetheless working because it's what we need to do to care for our families. Just like you. In fact, 80% of American moms work and who knows how many more wives (more than 80%, I bet)! So even if you're like me and know a lot more ladies that stay home, the fact is that you're part of a pretty big majority - and plenty of us feel that same daily conflict.

Anonymous said...

Hi Larissa! I just want to offer a word of encouragement.

First, I know it must feel like you're in the minority and other Christian wives can't relate. However, as the last comment-giver pointed out, the reality of modern American life is that many moms/wives (and yes, many Christian moms/wives) work. I know it feels hard, but keep in mind that you are not alone! :)

Secondly, I hope you will be able to take joy in the fact that you are using your skills and contributing towards society. When God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, he gave them work; the work of tending to His creation. I have always taken this (and the Proverbs 31 woman) to mean that human beings were designed for meaningful work that contributes to the world around them. Even though you long for your particular life-work to be home based and look different, at least you know that you are still exercising a God-given responsibility.

I wonder if you could find a sort of support system of other Christian women who work? Even if there aren't many who attend your church, maybe some of your church friends have other Christian sisters in their lives who work? It might be good to get the perspectives of other working wives, maybe even a few who have chosen that lifestyle.

Liz from Australia said...

What a beautiful, Godly perspective Larissa. You are such an example for others to follow. A true servant's spirit.