So I went with expectations that God would answer my questions and He did. He blessed my socks off and I'm still trying to take it all in. Do you find His goodness to be overwhelming at times? This was one of those times. Let's see if I can have a flow to my thoughts as I try and put this all on paper.
First I want to tell you that Sally is a very entertaining speaker and really enjoys making you laugh. She told some great stories that really captured my attention and made me realize that she could very much relate to this thing called "motherhood". Having multiple children or even one can really make life one big curve ball! There were many times that she thought she should be out involved in ministry instead of raising 4 little kids not because she didn't love them but sometimes it just feels so unrewarding. I mean how can dealing with diarrhea, or bloody noses, and crying infants be serving God?
I could relate to this. It's not that I toy with wanting a career so I can feel important but in the Christian circle we think being in some sort of ministry is what helps us know we are changing lives for God. We see these little people that God has given us as secondary to changing an adult's life. I wonder if Satan tries to distract us from making any impact by never allowing us to feel purposeful. Whether our "calling" is at home with our children or in full-time ministry outside the home or both together, if we always wonder if we are doing enough, we will never succeed at either. Why? Because our own laws will keep us bound up.
God wants to direct us. I was reminded at the conference that God has called each and every one of us to live by faith. That looks very different in each of our lives. Don't you look around at other moms and watch what they are doing and wonder if you are doing the right thing? We are all so different and spend our time differently. Some are running around trying to let each child explore his world through activities; giving them experiences so they'll know what they want to do it life. I'll admit, sometimes I wish we had money to be able to do that and worry that our children are bored. Other moms I know are volunteering at Gospel for Asia while their children are in public or private school. I'll admit that sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't be adding volunteer work to my days. Some moms have fun blogging and actually have a following! They are inspiring other women to enjoy the small things in life like photography, decorating, or instilling spiritual truths to others through their time blogging. This sounds fun, don't you think? But as I watch these beautiful people God has put in my life, I realize that God is leading each of us differently. God wants us to trust and live by faith in the specific things he has asked us to do with our lives. If I run around trying to be like my friends, then I'll miss God's special calling on my life. Right now, with baby #6 on the way, He has clearly asked me to be a mom. That is my main ministry and I need to follow God for inspiration.
The point Sally was trying to instill in our brains is that motherhood is just as important as anything else we do in life, if not more! We get to raise "world changers". We get to launch our children as lights out into this dark world in dire need of a Savior! We get to be there for our children and invest in their hearts and minds. We have the privilege to answer their many questions and share life together.
How do we do this? We can't unless we walk by faith. We can't give anything unless we are growing ourselves. One quote from her its that if we are not growing, growing, growing, we are dying. There is no middle ground. You can't tell the Lord that you are going to take the year off and just coast for awhile. Being intentional in our parenting is key. We have to be looking for God to guide us and teach us the best ways to win the hearts of our children.
I love formulas, don't you? Unfortunately there is no formula to produce a Godly child. This is the one
thing that touched my heart the most this weekend. The fact that God does not want me to try harder, to be kinder or more gentle. He wants me to surrender, to release control, to rest in Him.
Isaiah 30 :15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said, "In repentence and rest you will be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength."
So back to my question that I asked the Lord before the conference. Am I redeeming the time? I believe I am as I intentionally live for Him in front of my family. No coasting here at this house. I'm growing as I rest in Him daily and walk by faith!