Author: Lori Apon
The room was swirling with activity and folks chatting. One conversation took place within earshot causing me to zero in. To the best of my ability I wanted to hear what was being said about my personal affairs. After my husband passed, people had the tendency to talk as if I were invisible—well maybe I was.
This particular discussion centered around the need for me to go to work. With eight small children part of that dialogue included putting my kids on the big yellow bus and sending them off to public-school! I may have been in the grief fog, but this snapped me back pretty quickly. I had been home educating my children and the thought of changing their routine by inserting them into the public-school system was alarming to me. Not that there is anything wrong with this option, but for me, this was not my preference. And also the thought of going work! Oh my, I hadn’t worked outside the home in 13 years…where would I work? What would I do? And most of all how?! The room started to swirl at the mere mention of this suggestion.
Then the conversation changed gears, to an even more overwhelming implication of losing your family’s source of income through death. I heard my distant relative say, “She will be just fine on Social Security income.” The IRS would pay me? Clearly they were now speaking on a topic way out of my understanding. Walking children through loss of dad was one thing but supporting a family of nine with no income, quite another! All I wanted to do was go to sleep and wake up to learn this was all a dream…a horrible dream. Instead, I continued to trust and pray through the promise of Psalm 68:5.
By faith I would look to God to sustain and provide for my family. I didn’t know how He would do this, but I knew He was able!
Over time I would come to learn that yes, I would get Social Security for my family, a great and much needed blessing. This provision along with an insurance plan allowed for me to stay in the home with my children and continue to do a hybrid home-school program. God faithfully answered my prayer to remain with my little ones during the transitional years of grief and growing up.
As each child aged out of social security and the funds meant to support me beyond the child-raising years evaporated, going back to work became non-negotiable. However, my desire and leading to stay in the home raising my children continued. I secured my trust in God and not the stock market and He remained my source and supply.
Knowing I needed income, I approached the school my children attended with an inventive alternative that could benefit everyone. The administration approved my idea and created a new position intersecting their need for a Special Events Coordinator with my skills from my earlier career doing exactly that. Just like that, after two decades, I was back at work. This was an only God moment allowing me to use the talents He had given me while continuing to home-educate my children at their hybrid school and pay for tuition. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
When God wills–He finds a way.
Ten years later it was time for a change while my nest continued to empty. Even though teens are self-sufficient in many ways, for me, the passion continued to stay close by, providing important security and a watchful eye. One morning, while pondering the need for income, the opportunity came to care for a baby in my home on a regular basis and for pay. Hmmm, I am good at babies! Little did I know that accepting this job of caring for a newborn would lead to the five-year provision of working from home as a licensed child-care provider. Not only that, but my love for children and teaching I had carried all through college came alive as I provided preschool education for several children each day.
God is always at work knitting together our experiences, passions, and needs. He is a creative God.
Speaking of creativity. During the event planning years at the school, my assistant suggested cookie favors for a teacher appreciation event. Oh yes, let’s decorate cookies! Little did she know that I had attempted to master the art of cookie design for years. You see as a small child my neighbor always invited me into her home to help decorate cookies. There was nothing special about her cookies slathered with icing, but the memory impacted me so that I wanted to do the same—make seasonal cookies. And now the moment had come for this important tutorial as we prepared treats to bless the educators. As only God could work, interest in cookie decorating continued to the point where I perfected the craft and started getting orders…for pay! So during this last season of needing to provide income by working from home, God orchestrated the perfect match for revenue—childcare by day and cookies by night. This unlikely duo provided financially in a way I never would have thought possible.
When a fully empty nest was finally in sight, I knew I wanted to give the next season of my life to caring for widows. This time, I wasn’t thinking about making money, even though that was still a need, I just knew I was called to serve widows. Today Perspective Ministries exists combining personal passion with necessary provision and I’m still working from home!
There are many types of jobs you can do from home that might be worth consideration, especially knowing you will receive benefits that are so important to you in this season, like: You can care for your children while at work eliminating childcare expenses.
- You don’t have to invest money in a working wardrobe or eating out.
- You will save on the time away from home plus the gas for the commute.
- You can keep the home-fire burning by putting in a load of laundry or starting dinner.
- You may have greater flexibility than with a 9-5 job.
Widowed mother, your job is not easy. A lot of responsibility has been placed on you. Seek the Lord when making decisions regarding work. God is your ultimate provider and will direct you in the way to go. Many choose to work outside the home and balance this well. However, it is also possible to set up shop inside the home if this is your desire. The main temptation to avoid is to flee the home in search of significance outside of motherhood.
When children lose dad, it is important they don’t lose mom as well. The most important responsibility of all as a widowed mother is raising children.
It is true that the days are long, and the years are short. Your investment in your children during this season will reap great reward!