Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"In Other Words"
When I was a young mother with only a few children I remember wondering to myself how some of my peers seemed to be able to have it all and look so together all the time. I was a leader in our MOPS group at church as well as a co-leader of a large Bible Study that required much time and homework. I always felt like I was letting someone down, friends, family, kids, etc. as their just weren't enough hours in the day to be that person in my mind I felt God wanted me to be.

One afternoon a very wise older woman who was a leader in our church came to me and asked how I was doing? I poured my heart out to her and she listened very intently. When I was done she said these words to me that I will never forget. Julie, your number one priority right now should be your husband and your children. They are your mission field. If you fail in the raising of your family because you are to busy to notice or to focused on others how will that please God? This very Godly woman had made this mistake, and though she had served God with all of her heart, she felt that she should have been more focused on home when her children were younger and less on serving in a larger capacity....their would be plenty of time for that.

The following verse made me remember this discussion that took place over ten years ago:

"It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world. Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world."
~ Tim Dearborn ~

While I definitely believe that God wants us to be a light unto the world he also wants our light to shine for our own families. I understood that I was giving so much to others I had very little left to give those most important to me. I believe this is a mistake many mothers with young children make. Our society does not honor mothering so we feel we must make a difference somewhere else.

I stopped being a leader in many of these groups, though I still attended, and let those women whose children were older take over the main responsibilities. I promised myself that when all of the children were in school I would go back to serving which I really did love. Little did I know that I would be the mother of preschoolers for the next decade.

Now, if your are a bible study leader with young children please understand I am not criticizing you in any way. I admire you for your willingness to serve. However, if you have been reading this blog for very long you know that I have a problem with over volunteering. I have a problem realizing that my mission field is asleep right now in their bunk beds. Those who reside in my home are very special to God and he wants to make sure I don't forget them. I am trying very hard to remember that.

Laurel Wreath is hosting "In other Words" this weak. Head on over to her place to find others who have written about this same subject on there blogs.



  posted at 5:19 AM  

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Denise said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your heart on this weeks quote, blessings to you.

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Loni said...

Oh, so well written. Yes, we as moms sure do have a mission field starting right in our homes . . . and as we raise these little ones to be "missionaries" what an impact this can have for generations to come. Thank you for the reminder.

At 3:10 AM, Blogger MiPa said...

Thank you for sharing. Beautiful thoughts.

At 4:18 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

Over-volunteering is definitely a problem for some women. Makes me think of "Many hands make light work."

Thanks for sharing.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I have been there. I too had to step back, I struggled with "How am I to serve you and raise a family at the same time." Then it hit me my family is my service for right now.

I thank God for wise women He places in our path.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

How true!

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Bonnie W said...

From a pastor's wife with an overactive Martha gland, I understand! The advice you were given is GOOD advice. I didn't listen and burned out early, forcing me to take a step back and reevaluate things.


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Amydeanne said...

Wonderful post!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

Thanks for stopping by my place and commenting! And, can I get an "AMEN" for your IOW post!? I had a similar experience when my "church grandma" told me nearly word-for-word the same thing. She added..."This is only one season. For better or worse, this season too shall pass. You will miss it when it is gone so cherish it now. Another season will follow. And, He will give you other chances to serve then."

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Your post made me think of a wonderful book I read a few years ago by Sally Clarkson, "The Mission of Motherhood." It really helped me see my family as my mission field. Our families are absolutely our first mission field, and should be the greatest recipients of the gifts God has given us. Amen and amen!

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Jill said...

Julie, This is a wonderful message. I known around our church as having the "gift of organization and administration" because that means I can usually volunteer to do something from home after the kids have gone to bed. I think sometimes people commit to things and overextend in hopes of proving something to someone and really the only person we have to please is the Lord.


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I am a spontaneous, out going, daughter of the King, who is married to a wonderful guy who is a quiet, shy, non-spontaneous, scientist who also loves the Lord. Truly a match made in heaven! We fight and argue, love and laugh, every single day. I am passionate about orphan care and love to tell our story to anyone who will listen. This blog is dedicated to that journey.

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