Monday, May 16, 2016

Motherhood and Missions

When I woke up this morning, it looked like summer outside my window. Of course, it is Michigan, so that is hardly something to hang your hat on. Yesterday, on May 15th, my husband's birthday, it snowed. So, there's that.

Still, something about the slant of the sun through our back yard gate, sending shadows across the driveway of my Rosemary squatted down to look at an ant hill before breakfast - it spells summer. Or at least murmurs it, just loud enough for me to hear.

Yesterday was Pentecost, and our church welcomed a missionary to come speak. It may have been just what I needed to hear. I've been mired down a little in the smallness of my life lately. Feeling ineffectual. Like the purpose of my days begins and ends with the minute things of my life. Dishes. Diapers. Day in and day out. Of course, if another person said the same to me, I'd be the first to assure them of the kingdom importance of blooming right exactly where they are planted. Sometimes those truths are easier to accept for others. Why is that?

The truth is, I've paused a bit here on talking to Mothers about motherhood. It can be attributed a bit to this post, this wondering if we just might be making too much of this mother thing, this resistance against idolizing something that we shouldn't. But hearing that missionary speak yesterday reminded me - shared experience is one of the ways God uses people to touch the lives of those around them. It's how our attention is caught - wait, someone sees me? Someone gets me? Someone else is working through the same things, carrying the same burdens? There is a balance to be found, for sure, and I still need to guard against the idea that motherhood is somehow the apex of a life - but the truth is? Being a Mom is a big deal. It is incredibly consuming, and for most Moms, ignoring that huge aspect of their lives only serves to make them feel isolated. Misunderstood.

I know, because I've felt that way for a while. Isolated. Alone. Wondering if anyone out there gets where I'm coming from at all. In some ways, I can trace it back to a lull of my work here. That nagging idea that maybe what I put up on this tiny website doesn't matter to anyone but me. Wondering if it is a good use of my time, or just some sort of millenial egocentric distraction. It very well might be, and I need to constantly examine my heart and my intentions. I need to be diligent in checking myself.

Sitting in that pew yesterday, I found myself repenting of my disdain for the life God has given me. My dismissal of my post, my disregard for the small things purely because they are small, my rejection of a call on my life. I know better than that. Faithfulness in the small things is something that matters in a big way to God.

When I give Him my whole life to use, the size, scale and scope of my work ceases to matter. The only thing that gives it weight of any sort is how He chooses to use it. When I commit to that, I can stop worrying. Just do the next right thing and embrace whatever He brings along.

I speak the language of motherhood. Fluently. I know and believe that the work that mothers do each and every day matters, not because they are better than anyone else, not because they are somehow saints just by having children - but because God loves and cherishes each and every one. Through work and sacrifice, He meets and grows us. It's a beautiful thing, and a something we all need to be encouraged in. It can be a distraction, but it can also be a beautiful expression of faith, charity and love. And I know there is a purpose and a plan just for that.

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