Looking in the mirror, I carefully put on my lipstick as the final touch in preparation for the evening’s festivities. Eric was being honored at an event and I wanted to look great by his side. Layers of my dark curls were pinned part-way back, red chandelier earrings and sassy little red heals set off a flattering black dress. When I came down the stairs to leave for the night, Eric’s eyebrows shot up, “Wow! You look great!” Mission accomplished.
We had a great evening chatting with several people from Eric’s network of work relationships. The conversations were filled with the small talk that often comes with first introductions. Almost every single person said, “Nice to meet you. We love working with Eric. What do you do?”
For a stay-at-home, “What do you do?” is always a difficult question to answer. Keeping my expression confident and joyful, I’d say, “Oh, I’m home with the kids.” Which was nearly always followed by awkward silence. Of course, most people moved past me quickly, not very impressed with my resumé.
At that time, Eric worked closely with one particular design firm in his technology consulting business. I was looking forward to meeting their team so I could match faces with some of the stories he told me. This group adored Eric and seemed to light up, telling me stories about how they tease him when he came to their office. We sat around chatting for several minutes before one of the women in the group turned to ask me the usual question. With a noticeable accent, making me think English was not her first language, she asked, “What do you do for work?”
Smiling, I turned to her and replied, “I stay home with our kids.”
Immediately, her eyes lit up in understanding; she smiled from ear to ear and exclaimed, “Oh! You’re a trophy wife!”
Standing there in my red heels, dangling red earrings and a rather low neckline, admittedly, I looked the part. Stunned by her comment, I could only let out a nervous giggle. The awkward moment passed quickly enough.
Later that night Eric and I rolled with laughter after we got in the car. I decided to take her comment as a compliment to how well I had aged, but lingering behind those words was the accusation that motherhood isn’t a vocation worth aspiring to and that somehow I don’t hold a significant place in the world.
Jesus lifts me out of the obscure place the world wants to keep me in. He treasures every way I serve, every way I encourage and support my family. In His Kingdom, I am not brushed aside as an insignificant outsider. He worked hard, enduring much pain in order to see me redeemed, crowned with the honor, authority and effectiveness that comes from belonging to Him.
He sees you as well. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom like I am or are putting in the hours at a job to help support your family, He treasures you too. He sees your hard word and all the precious time you give to the ones you love. He does not brush you aside because you don’t hold an important enough title. In fact, just the opposite, Jesus chooses you. He is proud of you and all the important and often invisible work you do.