The other day I was in an audition situation and towards the end of what was a great experience, was asked “What do you do?” In my slight nervousness I blurted out something about being a Pastor’s wife and a stay at home mum. As the panels eyes started to glaze over, I began to feel so unsure of my identity and who I am that I started talking randomly about how i look after my husband and my children and that I sing occasionally and that was kind of it. I didn’t mention a thing about running my own business or the creative projects I work on, the children’s ministry I help run or anything like that. In fact I just down played everything about who I am and left the building feeling a little like I hadn't lived up to someone’s expectations and that I as primarily a stay at home mum, that I am somehow lesser.


Today as I vacuumed for what seems like the 10th time this week, I was thinking to myself “How did I get into this situation, where I just feel my life is one mundane clean up of the house and constant pick up after everyone else?” and I have to be honest here, I started to feel a little complain-ish and cranky that once again I was picking up clothes left on the floor and vacuuming breakfast cereal casually dropped by the kids and was not spending my time doing what “I want to do”. 


I was in this mood for a few minutes and then as my little girl Annaliese came up to me and took hold of the vacuum cleaner to help me,  it hit me…it was like God just stopped me in my tracks and said hang on just one second! You did choose this! It makes you happy looking after your family and raising your children and although you are not living in a season where you go out to work and you don't have a “career”, the work you are doing is valuable and will have lasting affects on the life of others and your girls. You are being silly buying into all of this because after all how do you even know what anyone else thinks about what you do and really why do you even care?


I realised then that my value is not in what I do but it’s in who I am. Even the small things that God uses me for like little conversations with people I see sitting by themselves who just need a little love and encouragement, in writing out thank you notes filled with love to my beautiful customers, nursing my little baby on my knee and having all the special moments with her that I would of otherwised missed if I worked in a regular 9-5 job and a wave of gratitude hit me. 


So I have decided that I am just going to be thankful and see how blessed I am and know that the life I have although slightly unconventional suits me as a creative person and that that’s ok. We don’t have to subscribe to someone else’s idea of what being valuable is. it’s not about what job title you hold, how many certificates you have or the answer to the question “So what do you do?” It’s about who you are and how YOU choose to express that. A title such as housewife, teacher, office worker whatever does not define us, we are so much more than this.


I encourage you today to live in the fullness of life and not be defined by any limitations or expectations of other people and if today you are a mum at home like me trying to do the best you can, be happy in what you are doing knowing that you are awesome!


May God bless you in everything you do. With love Janine xxxxx

March 07, 2018 — Janine Gierus