The Lord has been working on my heart lately. I needed an attitude adjustment.
I’m sure most parents of young children have been there at some point. You are constantly needed at all hours of the day and night. Things are messy. There’s monotony with doing the same thing all day long. You love your children with every fiber of your being, but you feel … I don’t know… unsatisfied? unstimulated? like you could be doing so much more? I can’t quite place a word on the feeling that was nagging at my soul, but it was there. And I hated it. I tried to will it away, but like most unwelcome visitors, it stayed.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t unhappy. I just had a longing for something more – a creeping discontentment. I had thoughts like “I’m a pastor’s wife, I should be doing more than just being a mom”. I will say that during this time I had also become inconsistent in my quiet times with God, and boy does that make a big difference. I am still learning these lessons.
I recently wrote about our busy summer of youth ministry. This period of discontentment reached a peak one day at summer camp as my husband and the other youth leaders were out with all the teenagers, riding zip lines and pouring into their lives, and I was alone in the cabin as my three babies took a nap. I actually started feeling guilty that my husband had used money from the youth budget so that we could go on this trip. We were having fun, but my heart longed for ministry.
I was mulling these feelings over on the ride home with God. I was driving a van (which my husband reminds me was much needed, so I did have a needed role at camp), and a sweet middle school girl in the back of the car nonchalantly said “You are such a good mom and a good wife, I hope someday I can have a marriage and family like yours.”
They were watching.
All this time I thought I was just along for the ride, but they were watching. And they saw Christ in my everyday. They saw Christ in how I treated my kids. They saw Christ in how I loved my husband.
And tears welled up in my eyes because I finally understood what God has been trying to tell me.
This job of being a wife and raising children is not easy, but it is MY ministry. My family, my home, my marriage, these are all a part of my ministry that God has given me. Sure I’m not on the front lines, right now, but Christ is still able to shine in those little mundane areas of my life.
Thank you Jesus.
What a renewed hope that realization brought me. I am making a difference right here at home! I want to create an atmosphere in my home that is so tangibly full of love and joy and the peace of God that the neighbors will be knocking down our doors asking what is different.
I’ve been thinking and praying on this since that day we were driving home from camp, and I see my ministry for what it is now. It’s an important, God-given job. The 7 breakfasts, and 7 lunches, and 7 dinners and endless nursing sessions that will happen this week – that’s me showing my family love. The laundry and the dirty diapers – pure love baby. I can see it for what it is, and I can do it with joy.
How about you? Is this a lesson the Lord has taught you as well or something you still struggle with?