As mommy missionaries it is easy to compare what we used to be able to do on campus with our new limited availability. We might even be tempted to think that our work on campus was real ministry and therefore what we do at home all day is not. Sometimes we can believe we have to wait until our hands are free of little ones, until our house isn’t messy 20 seconds after it’s picked up, and until no one is asking, “what’s for dinner?” to do ministry.
Can the routine tasks of homemaking make a difference in the eternal? How do we make a day filled with temporary tasks have lasting value? Especially if our days are filled with laundry, empty bellies to be fed and cleaning that is continually undone? As long as we live on this planet, the temporary tasks will never end. But their temporary nature doesn’t mean they can’t matter eternally.
With a thousand blogs of moms living “better, more important” lives than we think we are, it’s easy to get caught up in spiritual comparison. But the truth is whether we –
- live in a hut in Africa or on a suburban cul-du-sac
- swap with our husbands 3 nights a week so we can go to campus, or stay home so he can lead that freshman study
- fill out adoption paper-work to change an orphan’s life forever, or fill out field trip permission slips for the ones we already have
none of those options are more spiritual than other. The question is which one is God asking of me.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Some days that “work” is scrubbing toilets and others it is interceding in prayer with a student. If He has called me to it, then it is a worthy investment of my time. But simply doing what He asks of us isn’t enough to make it count eternally, for that we must look at the HOW.
It’s the how that links it to the eternal – to that hope of things to come. The eternal hope we are called to, a hope that restores us to the One Who’s very nature is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:1 says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” It’s HOW we clean, fill and restore that makes it eternally influential.
Whenever we wipe that bottom, plan that organic (or Velveeta smothered) menu, prep a Bible study or meet with a student friend – when we do it in love, we reflect Him. We live out whom He has made us to be, our new eternal nature. And we are not the only ones being transformed. Our closest little disciples are soaking up every ounce of that love that the Father pours on us and we pour out onto them.
And here is the great part about our unique role as mommy missionaries; discipling another woman while we love our families multiplies our work even further! We can model for her that someday her hours will be filled with temporary tasks that can have an eternal difference when we do them in love. God is so gracious!
Sherry has been on staff since 1997. She and Jeff have been married for 14 years and have served in WI, SD and now in CO. They have 3 boys ages 5-10 and there is never a dull moment in their house. Sherry just recently launched their youngest to K and enjoys writing and encouraging mommy missionaries when she isn’t busy shuttling boys around town. To contact Sherry email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherry talked about feeling like mothering isn’t as spiritual as ministry on campus. Have you ever felt that way? What has God spoken to you about that? Or share any other thoughts below in the comments section or on Facebook.