Friday, January 23, 2015

My Family=My Mission Field

Over the past couple of weeks I've been thinking a lot about missions trips and how neat it would be to go on one. My husband is working on coordinating a missions trip to Ghana at work and my church is doing a missions trip to Kenya. The longing to go is stronger than it’s been in years, but honestly I’m not really in a position to go. I have an almost four month old baby that I’m nursing and I have two other small children to take care of. I caught myself fantasizing about having the freedom to just go, when I was reminded that I’m already on the mission field. My children, my husband, my family-they are my mission field. It’s not as “glamorous” or awe-inspiring as feeding orphans, teaching scripture, building houses, or any other thing I’d do halfway across the world, but it’s just as important. I have three small children that as of right now do not fully understand the love of Christ. They can’t comprehend the meaning of Jesus dying on the cross to save us from our sinful ways. I doubt they can even grasp the idea that they do sin! They don’t understand that He came to show us mercy not condemnation. Right now, I am the Jesus that they see. Before they can understand Love (Jesus is Love) on a mental level, they will experience and see it through others. I’m the person they see most. I am Christ's representative. I get to show them His love. I have to ask myself, “Am I showing them love like Jesus’ love?” Many times throughout my day the answer to that is, unfortunately, “No!” But loving my children is my mission nonetheless. I need to remind myself frequently that motherhood is not about what I get from my children, it’s about what I can give. They bring me immense joy, but many days I feel like I’m getting fussiness, frustration, and fatigue in a higher dose. Sometimes it’s hard to look at my messy house, the mediocre meal I threw together five minutes before my husband was supposed to get home, or even my chubby body, and think “Yes, this is what God called me to!” I definitely don’t feel like I can say “Nail it!” Honestly, a lot of the time I feel like a pretty sucky mom and especially housekeeper. I don’t feel like I can handle motherhood without a lot of help from my husband and so I feel majorly inadequate. My house is proof that I don’t have it all together. At the end of the day all I want to do is veg out on the couch with my husband. I have a hard time forcing myself to do anything once I sit down. Motherhood is not easy and it’s not always fun, but it is my mission. I will not always be “in the trenches” like another mom so eloquently put it, but it’s where I am now. I was asked the other day if there “are some areas of your life where you don’t feel you have the tools or skills to make a difference?” At the time I couldn't think of anything specific, but I think motherhood is the biggest area of my life where I can say that is true. I don’t have everything figured out and I never will, and that can be discouraging. But there is so much hope in knowing God will never leave us to do His work alone. He is by my side every minute of every day. He is there to guide me. He is there to help me stay calm when I feel like I’m going to explode. He is there to hold me in His arms when I’m so tired, that all I can do is fall on the couch in a heap of tears. He is with me! He is with you! Wherever you are right now, He is with you. How awesome is that!?!