This past year has been a whirlwind of learning and growing… and fading and barely hanging on…
There are always those times you know? But one thing that has been fairly consistent has been this desire or need that I ought to be DOING something. Being a stay at home mom, which I love and am blessed to be able to do, is sometimes a struggle. Especially when it comes down to the fact that this was never exactly how I imagined things going in my life. I would envision the classrooms I would have and the students I would impact. I would dream of opening a teen pregnancy house, helping young girls figure out how to take care of themselves and their children, giving them sanctuary and leading them to Jesus… I would dream of starting literacy programs and helping parents learn how to read to and teach their children to read. So many dreams! None of which really included staying home with crying babies and cranky toddlers or being lonely and feeling as if I am DOING nothing. The struggle was and is very real. I know the Lord has called me to motherhood, and He gave my heart peace when my husband and I were thinking of getting married because that was going to be a sacrifice I was going to have to make. But I still sometimes get this overwhelming feeling that I ought to be DOING something!
Thankfully the Lord has helped me see, and is continuing to work on my heart to further understand this, that being a mother, first of all is an amazing mission field. I get the privilege of raising my children in the ways of the Lord, as He commands us to do in His Word.
Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Deuteronomy 6:7 says that we should always be teaching our children God’s Word, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
By doing these things I am being obedient, they are my first mission field. And who knows the people they could someday reach because of my diligence as their mother to teach them God’s Word and live my life as an example for them to follow and above all praying for them to know and love and serve God with their lives.
But those thoughts remain, I should be DOING something. I need to find a way to serve! My heart desires to serve the Lord, why can’t I do it? Nine times out of ten, my children seem to hinder me from serving the way I feel I ought to, in the ways God had put on my heart for so many years as a college student. So what now?
Well the Lord certainly is good! In the message we had at church on Sunday, it gave me just the answer I needed. I had never thought of this passage from this light before and it just really impacted my heart. Although Luke 10:38-42 is a fairly familiar passage, when Jesus visits the home of Mary and Martha, it’s amazing when God can help you see it through new eyes! In the passage Martha, doing her duty as a good Jewish woman, is serving and expecting her sister to do the same. Mary, however is instead sitting at the feet of Jesus, taking in His words, something that usually only men would be allowed to do. Martha, in her haste to make sure her home is clean and food is ready (who can relate to that?), is getting frustrated that her sister isn’t pitching in to help and complains to Jesus. But He gently rebukes her and says that Mary has “chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” She was doing the one thing in that moment that she would always benefit from and could never be taken away from her. Martha’s home would get dirty again, her dishes would have to be done yet again, and the food would be eaten and she would have another meal to prepare. But Mary, she would always be able to think back to what she learned from Jesus’s words and glean from them in different ways, just as this passage has come to me again and taught me something new.
My pastor emphasized that sometimes being a disciple is learning how to do the work and being prepared to do the work, not just doing all of the time. While there is a place for both, sometimes we just need to sit at the feet of God and learn from Him. And so I thought, even though I want to serve, maybe right now I need to be focusing on learning before I focus on serving. Maybe I need to sit in His Word and come before Him in prayer before I jump into the next act of service. Not that its bad to want to serve, but sometimes that’s just not where we’re called to be in the moment.
I recently started reading this book, “Hope Unfolding,” by Becky Thompson, http://beckythompson.com/the-
So then think of this analogy that was given during the sermon on Sunday, if your favorite celebrity asked you to come and get to know them, how stoked would you be? Why then, do we not tend to have that same desire to really know Christ? We sometimes have more of a desire to serve Him than to actually be in relationship with Him. Praying, being in His Word, which we sometimes find boring, or we can’t seem to make time for, or we can’t focus for very long to do, those things are things that will never be taken away from us! Those things we can always do no matter what!
When I can’t serve in some way because my daughter needs to be my first priority, I can pray for the ministry or I can be in God’s Word and learn of His heart for us and those we serve. When I can’t do the things I know God has put on my heart, but now isn’t the time for me to be engaged in them, I can pray and ask God to equip me and be in His Word to prepare for when that day comes. When I feel like all I am doing is changing diapers and cleaning up messes and dealing with toddler attitude and I’m tired, I can rest in His Word and bring my cares to my God. Those things can never be taken away from me.
As I am finishing up a study in Revelation, it is so neat to see how God can orchestrate the things I learn to go with one another so well! In Revelation 22, God says, “Come… and let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” What a beautiful invitation! I want to always be thirsty for my Jesus and at some point, I will be able to drink of that living water and my thirst will be quenched! I know my thirsts aren’t always for relationship for my Jesus, but I want my thirsts to change. I want to take the time I still have on this earth to be more like it will be in heaven. Being able to sit at the feet of my Jesus and fall in love with Him more and more, what better way could I spend my days? Jesus said, “one thing is necessary, Mary has chosen the good portion…” May I choose the good portion, building my relationship with my Jesus daily, because that can never be taken away from me. And someday, someday I will be able to see my Jesus face to face and be fully satisfied in Him! Until then, may my life be as close to how heaven will be as possible! Full of life, aiming to glorify my God, so I can be a reflection of heaven to those around me, even by just being faithful to His Word. Oh what a day that will be when I sit at the feet of my Jesus, just like I will have always done every day of my life!
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