Friday, June 13, 2008

A Jealous God

It dawned on me yesterday that although Josh and I are not materially wealthy in any sense of the word, I was meant to be a stay-at-home mom. Here are some reasons why:

1. It is too expensive for me to work. If I were to go back to work (which, under "normal" circumstances, would be happening next Monday, June 23rd) it would mean we would need two cars. I would be driving all over God's green earth again seeing children, which would mean 2-3 times the gas that we use right now...and I only got paid $.38 per mile. We would also need to put Zeke in day care. In our area, the good day cares charge somewhere between $150 and $250 per week for infants. Basically, my whole salary would go to all of those expenses, not to mention lunches/dinners on the road, and all sorts of other incidentals like my mid-morning slurpee breaks.

2. Right now, I am an extremely jealous mom. I am entirely incapable of putting Zeke in day care. Not because I think they're dirty or I'm afraid he'll get sick, or bitten by other children or abused by his caregivers. No, I can't put my son in day care because I am extremely jealous. When I think about Zeke smiling at someone else, other than me, during the day; and laughing at some child care worker (even if it were a home day care), also not me, while she tickles him or changes his diaper, it literally burns me up inside. I get this anxious, "grrrrr" feeling in my chest like I need to protect my baby cub. As difficult as it is to be his full-time caregiver and sole source of comfort during the day, I love it and can't stand that these duties could be entrusted to someone else in my absence. I want to be the one entertaining him and on the receiving end of his smiles, coos, and snuggles (he IS my snuggle monster, after all!). I even feel strange leaving him at my parents' house (don't get me wrong, they are awesome with him and Josh and I LOVE going on dates alone!), knowing that he is going to play in his gym and I might miss a smile.

So last night I got to thinking about my jealousy problem, and I came to the following conclusion: if I am this jealous over another human caring for my child, and my child paying attention to him/her, how jealous must our God be of the things that take our time and attention away from Him? Being a parent, I have been given a tiny little glimpse into how much God loves us and cares for us. I believe that God reveals the things about him that we really need to know through our current circumstances. God needs me to know right now that he is a really jealous God--not because he is mean and angry, but because he can't stand the thought of us spending time with someone/something other than Him. Just like I can't stand thinking about Zeke loving and spending time with another caregiver because I love him and don't want to miss out, God is jealous out of love. I did not truly grasp the concept of God's love leading to jealousy until the other night. Now the question is, what am I going to do about it? Action is the hardest part. I need to focus on not giving God a reason to be jealous.