Now that this season of motherhood has settled in, I find that The Lord is refining me a little more every day. Each time I think that nothing is more humbling than changing poopy diapers and cleaning spit up stains out of baby bibs, The Lord opens my eyes to a whole new perspective on His heart for mommies and this calling to serve. I’ve been packing up the clothes Jacob has outgrown over the past (almost) seven months, and I am surprised at how fast he has grown and how good God is. Seeing those tiny little onesies made my heart thankful for this gift of motherhood, excited for the days to come, and reminded me of a sweet truth The Lord spoke into my soul recently.
A few Sunday mornings ago, an international missionary came to speak in our Bible study class. She told us about her trips to various countries, the incredible works her team is taking part of in Africa, and the hundreds of people she has seen accept Christ. Listening to her speak, I felt a passion stirring in my soul. I thought about how incredible it must be to see such glorious acts of God in such desolate places, to be the hands and feet of Jesus every day. As I went about my week, I pondered her words, and I found myself praying to The Lord, telling Him that I wanted to do something like that – something big for Him. I felt a little discouraged though, knowing that it’s just not feasible for me to be in a different country at this stage in my life. And I adore this stage of my life. My joy has never been so complete. Yet on the days that I’m tired and just worn out, the enemy is quick to usher in thoughts that make me feel that I’m not doing enough. I wanted to do something big, something that would make an eternal impact and something that would open the eyes of many to the goodness of our God. But as I sat on the couch and tried to sip on my coffee while Jacob played, The Lord mercifully spoke into my soul, your something big is happening right here within the four walls of this home. Those words, breathed into my spirit by a loving Father who cares deeply for me, resonated with me all day. I couldn’t shake the thought that my “something big” was staring me right in the eyes, shaking a colorful little rattle and smiling up at me in a way that humbles me greatly. This season, this thing called motherhood, is my something big.
Every time Jacob catches my attention, I’m reminded of the depth of this responsibility. The way he looks to me for everything, from feeding him when he’s hungry to picking up the toy he dropped to changing him when he’s wet. In those seemingly basic and sometimes mundane tasks, I am becoming increasingly humbled by the fact that I have been entrusted with this job, this 24 hour a day responsibility of raising up a mighty warrior for The Lord. The little mouth I’m spooning pureed peas into is the very mouth that I pray will boldy and unashamedly proclaim the Word of God. The two tiny little feet that I put socks on each morning could be the very two feet that bring Jesus to the poor, the hurting, and the unreached. These two pudgy hands that I’m constantly wiping may be hands that deliver aid to the needy and help the crippled to stand. The weight of these things suddenly transform my day to day from mundane to missional, from drooled-on carpet to holy ground. I have always loved every part of raising this precious boy (even the hard and exhausting parts), but these truths from The Lord have turned this season into a calling. And instead of spending my time asking The Lord for a great opportunity, a “something big,” I’m praising Him for the one He has already given me. This opportunity from Him, molded and fashioned in my womb, fearfully and wonderfully made, is sitting in his bouncy seat looking back at me, waiting for me to teach him everything about this world and the One who made it. I don’t want to ever forget the weight of this responsibility, this life calling I’ve been entrusted with solely out of the perfect grace of a loving and faithful and merciful God.
So, while I’m not overseas on foreign mission fields, I’m in the trenches daily as The Lord teaches me to pour out myself more and more in the raising of my family. I may not be sharing the Gospel in the slums of India, but I do have the opportunity to evangelize 24 hours a day, seven days a week within these four walls. I truly believe that Deuteronomy 6:6-10 is a mission statement for godly mothers. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your hosues and on your gates.” In the richenss of those words from The Lord, I’ve been sweetly reminded of the magnitude of being a mommy. The God of all creation has entrusted me with the task of raising my son to know Him, to love Him, and to worship Him. Remember this. Out of all the people in the world, He is using you as a vessel to be the visible, tangible hands and feet of Jesus to your children. There is nothing more eternally significant than pouring your whole being into raising children who will run hard after God, who will bow at the feet of Jesus. Don’t measure the impact of your witness by where you are, but by who you are. You are God’s workmanship, created to do this, raised up for this very perfect purpose, for His glory. As moms, we are raising up the next generation, baby boys and baby girls who will grow into men and women who, with the help of godly mothering, will shine like stars in a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:15). And I have come to realize that right now, this is what I was made for. Within these four walls, I have the evangelical opportunity of a lifetime.
“I will never cease to pray for my children…as long as I have breath, I will consider it to be my most important responsibility and greatest privilege.” – Dorothy Kelley Patterson