Here at Tomato Pie, we’re celebrating the release of my biblical historical fiction ebook “Working Mother.” Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, when we celebrate all the different directions from which Christians approach Jesus and gather together in His name. What better day to interview one of my favorite Christian speakers and working mothers, Lisa DeLay?
Tell us a little bit about your family.
The DeLays (of Cressona) are typically an odd but tight bunch. Our family is marked by creative pursuits, family suppers together each night, the priority of a Christian walk of faith, mini vacations, cycling on rails-to-trails, a bit of sibling bickering, a love of quirky movies, and cleaning up after our dog, Luna.
Imagine you’re at a dinner party. Someone asks the question, “So, what do you do?” What’s your answer?
First, I might quip, “The best I can.” This is likely to followed by an awkward silence and the suspicion that I’m a hapless jerk. From there, I may proceed with a list (graphic designer, writer, artist, digital marketer, manager at a vineyard, volunteer at a federal prison, plus I’m a wife and mom to a special needs child and a gifted child) that either bores the listener or causes them to assume that I over-schedule my life–which is actually inaccurate…but whatever. Incidentally, I was asked this question at my son’s school one time. I was exhausted from my day, so I replied, “Oh, not much”–to which the man said (instructively) to his son, “Mrs DeLay is a ‘housewife’, Michael. That means she takes care of her home and that’s okay, too.” I didn’t bother trying to clear that up.
[Erin here. Besides being a, and note the that’s-okay-too-quotation-marks, “housewife,” Lisa has authored and co-authored several books, including my favorite, Dog in the Gap, which I highly recommend.]
How do you think God uses your job to help shape you into all He made you to be?
Whatever it is that I’m working on I think that God gives me chances to share the gifts me gave me with others. In doing that I am found and I sense that I belong to a plan and a hope bigger than myself. Ideally, the struggles, whether at home or at work, can create Christ-likeness if I bear in mind a bigger picture.
What benefits (besides the economical) have you seen to your family that are a direct result of your work away from home?
My children have to develop greater maturity, take on more responsibly, and contribute in useful ways to the family in meaningful ways–from doing chores and caring for the dog, to behaving themselves or getting snacks on their own when I’m not home from work yet. My husband shares in more household tasks too. If it weren’t by necessity, this may not happen as much.
How do you balance any guilty feelings you might have in the tension between your workplace and your homespace?
If those feelings ever arise I remind myself that I spent 7 years away from work outside the home to stay with them full-time and they are at an age to be challenged by the kind of independence my part-time work outside the home offers them.
What is one thing that you would ask the people in your life to do to support you more?
My friends and my spouse do a lot to support me (practically and emotionally). To my children I’d say, “Ditch the complaining…you have it pretty darn good.”
Thank you, Lisa!
Are you a working mother? So was (and is) the Blessed Mother! If you enjoyed this interview and would like to celebrate working motherhood some more, please consider getting a copy of my $.99 historical fiction ebook, “Working Mother.”