When we bought our home 6 years ago, we had many empty rooms. I knew those empty rooms would become my mission field.
A wise friend once told me about parenting, "It's hard. If you're doing it right, it's hard." I had two children at the time, I smiled and shook my head, but deep down, I didn't like that. Hard. Such a negative word. A word I would not use to describe the most beautiful things in my life. Hard moments? Sure. But no, not hard.
Enter a third baby in four years and all that went out the window. Hard. All those empty rooms I spoke of? Those rooms sometimes feel like trenches.
I often catch myself longing for the morning I will not wake up feeling overwhelmed. I long for easy. And then, I laugh. (Well, I picture God laughing…I still may be crying the sun is already up.) Why in the world would I ever expect easy? Christ never promised easy. He promised mercies new every morning but not easy.
So, I take a breath, hug those babies close, and enter my mission field. We all have different fields. Here are a few ways I tend to mine:
- I say “No” to good things.
…In order to say “Yes” to better things. I’m specifically talking about things outside of my home, my mission field. Various ministry opportunities, extra kid activities...all good things. But for now, in this season when my children are all small, we say no to those things and yes to family dinners, yes to stability, yes to routine. Sure, those noes can be hard at times, and the noise of the world will put doubt into my mind that I'm not doing "enough.” However, I am beginning to see the fruit of this labor in the early years, our simple days at home, and I am thankful for the yeses we have chosen. There will be seasons for more, but now is not that season.
- I say I want my kids to love the Scriptures? They better see it.
Please don't read this as me saying I have long, luxurious early morning quiet time with a perfectly detailed journal filled with Scriptures I am currently memorizing. Nope. Not even close (life goals). BUT, my Bible is out, Bible stories are ready daily and Sunday school lessons are retold throughout the week. We talk about the Scriptures (big picture and specific verses that apply to our day), we think about the Scriptures and impress the truth of these Words on our children. If I get anything right, I pray my girls grow to know their mama loved Jesus with every ounce of her being. I pray they have a picture of what it means to have Christ woven throughout their daily lives.
- I don't compare my field.
There is SO. MUCH. NOISE out there. When I feel the doubts creep up, I step back and remind myself who I am and what I am doing. I am a child of God, entrusted with three beautiful gifts, and I better not mess this up. The noise will mess it up. I will answer for my faithfulness with my field and no one else’s. By the grace of God, I will mother according to the truth of Christ, not the noise of Facebook. The way I tend my field will look different than the way you tend yours. We have been gifted differently. Don't let someone else's gift rob the joy of yours. His grace is sufficient for you to tend the field He has given you.
Enter your mission field with thanksgiving, courage and confidence in who you are as a child of the King. Be encouraged. Stay the course.