I’ll be honest, some mornings I wonder if all our efforts in ministry are even worth it. I can easily get distracted with selfish thoughts – Bedtime routines are so hard alone, why is John gone so many evenings a week? I poured my heart and soul into crafting a quality retreat to build up and bless the women at our campus, why did so few attend? I did everything I could to set up the toddler to nap while I planned to meet with a student in my home, so why did he tantrum almost the whole time she was over?
Besides the obvious sin and impossibly high expectations these thoughts reveal, they also reveal my misplaced hope and obscured vision.
Too often I realize too late that I have set my hope on things of this world and not on Christ. I expect my husband, John, to meet needs only Christ can. I desire students to see the cost of my efforts and acknowledge them, but Christ came to serve and not to be served and calls me to do the same. Besides, Christ sees me! I place unrealistic expectations on a toddler to behave a certain way or feel I have earned his obedience so that I can have this time to do with what I want. But Christ laid down his life for me.
When I’m lost and my vision is obscured, especially in this area, I turn to two places. Most often I first turn to John. (Yes, I know, the “correct” answer should be that I turn to God first.) Here’s the thing, God has gifted my husband in both having a laser focus on a vision and the ability to communicate that vision to bring others with him (a powerful combination of Futuristic, WOO, and Communication on the StrengthsFinder). So he might tell me, “Yeah, this is really hard, and it would be a lot easier if we had a normal job. But the harvest is plentiful and the laborers are few, and we get to raise up laborers to go into God’s harvest. We get to see nonbelievers find hope and extend it to others. We get to train men and women to be godly parents and have an impact that extends far beyond ourselves. And as we make sacrifices to do that, our kids are watching, and they get to learn what it looks like to serve God and put others above ourselves.“
And that sends me to the second place, God’s Word – back to passages He has threaded through my life, especially since meeting The Navigators in college. Passages like Matthew 9:37, Matthew 28:18-20 and Ephesians 6:4. The Lord reminds me of the souls in our care and the souls we have yet to meet and share Him with. He reminds me that this is His plan, He is in control, and He cares for me. He sees me and has uniquely gifted me for these roles.
In this season I am a Disciplemaker Mom. My primary influence is among my kids as I love, nurture, discipline and serve them. Together with my husband we are planting seeds of God’s love, holiness, faithfulness and might in their lives. My capacity is much reduced in this season since baby #2, so I’m learning to listen to God as I focus the rest of my energy. This semester that looks like discipling and shepherding our two SiT women and opening our home to staff and student leader meetings. I am trusting God to use my limited capacity in just as powerful a way as he used my life in past seasons.
I am a Disciplemaker Mom and dependent on the Lord for the fruit in and through my life. And so I’m praying:
Lord, may foundations be built in my children’s hearts. May staff and students feel welcome in our home – may it be a safe place for them, a place of peace and comfort. May I grow in loving the Lord and living out of the grace of the gospel in ways that those in our home are pointed to Christ. May generations of disciplemakers be raised up through my life – both my children and the men and women who spend time in our home.