Finding my place
April 23, 2012 § 4 Comments
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Last autumn our church’s week of prayer seemed to focus on us being called to “find our place” – to find where we fitted, within the Church body more specifically, but to prayerfully figure out what our calling was for this season. For some people that would mean getting out of a place they weren’t meant to be in, and for others it would mean getting involved with something different.
I struggled with this a lot. Not with the concept, but with figuring out where I fitted. The last month or two though it has finally got through to me that actually, I’m right where I’m meant to be!
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
My mission field is my children! That is my ministry, and it is a full-time ministry too. And as soon as I realised and accepted that, the calling to being a full-time, work-at-home mum suddenly became far more… well, acceptable! I don’t mind sitting in crèche on a Sunday morning with Messy Baby while Messy Dad gets to listen to the preach. Messy Baby needs me with him, he wants to play, I get to chat to other mums in a similar position; and Messy Dad is getting better at relaying the salient points of the morning message! And, I don’t mind not getting out to a midweek small group meeting, I’d rather one half of us was able to commit fully and I’d rather it be Messy Dad. I get to “do Church” during the week in other ways.
I don’t want to resent the time I’m spending with my children. I am fortunate, blessed, that I have been released into this calling by my husband: he has blessed the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mum instead of returning to paid employment, and although it means we struggle a lot financially we both believe that the investment we are making into our children is worth far more than our financial struggles.
A friend sent me the link to this blog post the other day and it came at just the right time. I want to spend as much time as I can investing in my children: bringing them up to be God-followers, rather than simply obedient. If my children can see the reason for my faith, and choose the same; if they can love themselves and love others the same; if they can think for themselves, understand and accept consequences, and not be afraid of making difficult decisions or going against the flow – I will be one massively blessed mama in the years to come.
Even if Messy Boy insists on being a biker, homeschooling himself through college, and going on mission to Nicaragua.
For now though, I count myself among the mums of those fountain-dancing children who are already learning to and being released into charting their own course. Messy Boy certainly is. And as much as it exasperates me, it also challenges me and is massively rewarding in equal measure. I mess up lots. But he is quick to forgive, and is teaching me to be quick and unconditional in my forgiveness too. Jesus said that we should forgive “seventy times seven” – really, meaning that no matter how many times you are hurt you should still forgive. Messy Boy knows this instinctively. He’s a good teacher – and I’m a slow learner!