By Linnette Bachman
In my pre-kid staff years, I took a lot of pride in my capacity. I was right out of college, ready to spread my wings and prove myself. I’ve posted before about my determination to be a super staff woman one day who would still go to campus and be an active, full-fledged staff member after I became a mom. Perhaps there was a sliver of noble ambition in this– I loved our mission of making disciples and didn’t want that to be side-lined or minimized. But there was no doubt a larger dark-side at work in my heart, a part of me who was prideful, self-reliant, and basing my value in all I was able to do on campus.
Childbearing and childrearing has been a primary tool for the Lord’s pruning in my life for the past 13 years. I have never been so humbled, tired, or dependent on the Lord. The capacity for which I was so proud has been redirected towards countless diapers, meals, and tears. There have been semesters I’ve had to dig deep to connect to campus or even had nothing left to give. There have been seasons (usually when I’m not nursing and everyone is sleeping through the night) when I’ve been able to engage within my gifting, and that has been life-giving. My heart for making disciples through the campus has grown stronger than ever, but my picture of being a “super staff mom” was shattered long ago.
I have taken heart in the story of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus’ head in Mark 14. Though the guests criticized and complained about what she had done, Jesus defends her saying, “Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them. But you won’t always have me here with you. She has done all she could by pouring perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.”(vs 6-9, emphasis added)
Jesus doesn’t list out what she could have done better, he simply sees her doing what she can.
These days as we are entering the teenage years, juggling homeschool with middle schoolers and learning readers, and still trudging through the discipline years of our lively three year old, I feel like I am giving all I can on the parental front. I can pour myself out all day long, literally having nothing left at the end of the day, and still come short in meeting all. the. needs. I am so inadequate to be everything for these little people God has put in my care. Yet I want to look back on these years knowing I have done all I could to faithfully lead them to Jesus and to rely on His adequacy to fill all the places I was unable to touch.
I still love getting my feet on campus. Walking Greek Row, the freshmen commons, and the student center touches my heart and refreshes me for the vision and work that Dave gives so much of his life to. I still love meeting with women. But I am not a super staff mom in the way I envisioned all those years ago. I am simply doing what I can, trusting our great God to meet all the needs of campus too.
I love 2 Corinthians 8:12 which says, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” The question is not whether my capacity is acceptable; but rather, am I willing to give the capacity I do have?
Sweet mamas, let us surrender to the Lord in contentment the life He’s given us and offer the capacity we have to Him. Let us rest in doing what we can!
Linnette and her husband Dave began their marriage and Nav staff career in 2005 (EDGE and SIT at Colorado State) and currently lead the NavCity and collegiate work in Nashville. They have 5 children: Kate (11), Kylie (10), McKenzie (8), Daniel (7), and Andrew (3). Linnette and Dave are passionate about the shared mission of raising up disciple-makers and raising up their kids.