I'm not complaining. I am blessed. I have a hardworking husband who is a wonderful provider for his family and enables and encourages me to be able to stay-at-home with our children. To us, that is well-worth having a living room furnished with hand-me-downs. Plus, we are also fortunate to family members and friends who love to give clothes and toys to our children. But let's be honest. In the world's eyes, The Professor and I aren't "worth" very much. We're not top on the invitation lists for fund-raising soirées. I'm pretty sure we're not on any country club recruiting lists, and I don't even aspire to live in one of the prestigious Charleston mansions pictured below (But aren't they lovely!).
I'm not a stuff person, but there are certainly times when I wonder about my self worth. We live in a money-driven society. Celebrity carpenter and host of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington, ranked at the bottom of Forbes Magazine's "100 richest celebrities." Mr. Pennington rakes in about $6million. Not bad for being at the bottom. That's nothing compared to the 40 million dollars the Olsen twins share annually, which is chump change when compared to Oprah Winfrey's $1.5 Ba-Ba-billion net-worth. So in an age where the very talented, but still only 13-year-old Dakota Fanning is earning about $4 million a movie, how much is this stay-at-home mom worth?
It depends on who you ask. And probably on what day you ask it. If you asked Pumpkindoodle and The Professor how much they thought I was worth on a night I declared "It's cereal for dinner day" you'd probably get two very different estimates. Just for fun, let's ask the proclaimed experts. In a recent issue of a parenting magazine it was reported that if a family hired people to do all the chores that are typically handled by a mother, that family would shell out about $138,000 a year. Well, what do ya know, I'm worth six-figures.
In all honesty, that figure did make me feel good when I first read it. Since I don't bring home a salary, sometimes I struggle with feelings of self doubt and inadequacy. But truth-be-told, I'd still have those struggles even if I brought home an "Oprah-sized" paycheck.
Whenever I begin to think that my worth is attached to material value, I struggle. Why? Because it is impossible to measure up. There is always more to obtain. I'm not stating that it is bad to have material wealth. Not at all. But it is unhealthy to equate personal value with the size of ones possessions.
So, is there an answer to the "how much am I worth question?" You bet. And it is a pretty simple answer too. I'm priceless. And so are you. Our worth is far greater than a mountain of gold, because we were created by the masterful hand of God for His will and purposes. Not only did He make me, but he knows how many hairs I have on my head and how many I pull out on a daily basis. And I am worth the same amount all the time. My value does not decline if I burn dinner, forget a meeting or raise my voice in anger. I am loved and I am valued for who I am because I am a child of God. A child for whom He sacrificed His only son. And nothing and no one can ever take that away from me.
After I became a mother, my favorite Bible verse became Psalm 139:13-16. I always think of it as applying to my children. However, it applies to me as well. And to you. So I hope these words touch your heart.
"For You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
Want it even simpler? In the words "Bob" the world's most-loved tomato, "God made you special, and He loves you very much!"