My sister recently suggested Satan is working extra hard to discourage me because I am the queen of my household. Not the ‘dripping diamonds, bring me a cake’ sort of ruler, but the ‘my actions shape everyone else’ kind.
I’m a believer of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, perhaps not literally, but in theory. C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters– chronicling the advice of a senior devil to a junior one– lies well-worn at my bedside. I do believe we are each tempted in unique ways. I consider myself relatively unimportant: I don’t make any money or have important connections, most days I talk to very few people outside my home. In church I’m leading activities for seven Cub Scouts and I’m pretty shy about even updating my Facebook page. Ask the world, and my influence score is shockingly low.
But for my children and the people around me, I DO matter. And I can’t be toppled by those minions whispering, “you make a mess of everything!” “what is wrong with you?” “why do you even try?” In fact I’d very much like to be one of those women who when I get up in the morning the devil says, “Oh no! She’s awake again.”
My little chess mavens taught me the best way to defeat the queen is to distract her; create all kinds of chaos around her, then take her down. Our world could scarcely contain more distractions for women– beauty secrets, social networks, PTA, Pinterest– we are expected to hide our wrinkles, watch our weight, serve the community, maintain a career (at least a little something on the side), all while nurturing children, making dinner and cultivating a happy marriage.
We are all, each of us (mothers or wives or not) more powerful than we believe. I love the concept in Acts describing the Christian missionaries preaching to the ‘chief women’ of the community (17:4). These missionaries understood women as the spiritual barometer of their cities and towns. Yes, men may hold most of the leadership positions in ancient and modern churches but it’s women who sway families, groups of youth, communities.
For me, staying on my game means making choices, eliminating too much busyness and shutting out the voices of discouragement. I’m determined to ignore those minions whispering cruelties in my ear– “you can’t” “you’re worthless” “you’re too sensitive.”– I’m brushing them off, stomping on their little tails and sweeping them out my back door. I need to live boldly, happily and guide my children along with me. No influence?! Look at these people I’m sending out into the world– honest, smart, good and kind.
No one can take me down; I’m the queen.