I have been seeking and searching, pruning and purging. Trying to skinny down the “must do’s” so I can fully focused on the one thing that is most important, today and every day. Serving where the Lore has placed me.
My vision has been some what scattered. My community, my church, neighbours, family, friends. I feel like my heart is breaking in every direction and I can’t possibly be in service to all at once. I feel inspired, overwhelmed, torn and then defeated. And each time I pray the Lord say “Look In”
“Look in to your home, Jenny. That is the greatest task I will ever give you, and you are being romanced by the dream of ministry…. Is not your family ministry anouf?”
We all know it is but the needs of the many seem to outweigh the needs of the few in my mind. So I commit to this, and volunteer for that. I will just serve at this function and bring a meal every time there is call to help. I think if they are all good things then I must be doing well to never say no. I love to be creative and serve. But at what cost?
This is not my encouragement to step back and do nothing. It is my commitment to step up and do the right thing.
1 pray pray pray and listen listen listen. Not if I should serve… I don’t need to ask God if He wants me to teach Sunday school or bring food to those in need. Its a no brainer, YES! But that doesn’t mean I must do it all, every time. I must Pray and ask “will this yes make my number one task you are calling me to (my kids and husband) be neglected or dishonoured?” My priorities must be prayed over. There will be time I can serve and still be fully present to my family, so go serve. But there are times I go way over my capabilities and my kids get my leftovers and the trucker is neglected. So those are the time I must say no.
2 be okay with God filling the gap. Because He can! He has not called me to success and productivity, He has called me to rest in Him. He has not asked me to feed the 5,000, He only asked for my 5 loves and 2 fish, and He provides the rest. I can server faithfully and wholeheartedly when I remember that the success or failure of any ministry is not dependant on me getting it all done or figured out. The gospel will move forward with or without me. I am only invited to ride along, with my meagre offering, to join in the adventure when my kids allow and my husband is on board.
3 stop stressing about it. God has made His will clear. Go and make disciples of all nations. A wise friend recently told me, as we were talking about programs to get our kids involved in. Sports, music, sunday school, day camp, VBS, homeschool Co-op, swimming lessons, the list goes on and we as moms antagonize, about what to do, what not to do. She reminded me that all theses things are good things. They all get a easy Yes! But you can’t say yes to them all at once. Likewise I can’t serve on the Church committee, plan events, volunteer at the ski club, lead a bible study, teach Sunday school, run wilderness play group and still expect to have relationships that foster flourishing and love with my family, let alone have any friends.
4 be nice… What is the easiest way to fulfill the great commission? Love your neighbour as yourself. What if we were just all in the zone of caring for our families and being nice to our neighbours, to our friends. What if my Faith was make by kindness and generosity and not with productivity?
Now Im not picking those of you out there managing the non-profit or running the car-pool. I don’t aim to live isolated and saying no to every service opportunity that comes my way. But I do intent for my yes to be my yes and my no my no.
If my family ends up with the leftovers then I am out of my depth and that is the space where Jesus has prevision for my limitations. If I can include my kids (not just drag them along) if it doen’t suck every hour out of my evening when, I could be culitavating my friendship and love with my husband. Then count me in! But when it stretching me so thin you can see right through me, its time to step back.
As I have been more consistent about praying over my limitation before I commit. I see I have begun to commit to much less. But my family and I flourish much more. My kids get my best offering and my husband doen’t watch me struggle to juggle and balance. We have more energy as a family to just be nice and kind and generous. The Gospel is still fufilled but Im not pretending Im responsible for the feast. I just offer my loves and fishes and God dose the rest.
The Lord has called me to look in. To look into my own home and see my children as worthy converts, to be witness to the love of Christ in mommy. To look into my friend group and community and see where I really could serve from my heart and from my home.
Each day I walk out to the pasture to feed the calves and I look into our yard and I thank God He has asked me to “Look in” and has given me a congregation of family and friends to minister to, with my Husband and my kids.
Don’t feel Im telling you to quit what the Lord has in your heart just because it takes you away form your kitchen sink and own back your. We are all called differently and in accordance to our gifting and abilities. Serve with all your heart where ever you are. But if your heart is being tugged, just as mine was, to “Look In”. Don’t be afraid to make a change and pray pray pray for His leading. You will always be in ministry as long as you are nice and marked with the Love of Christ flowing out on those in your path.