Motherhood IS ministry. There, I said it.
If you are anything like me you are often seeking the Lord and asking Him to direct your steps, guide your path, and help you to not leave anything undone. While this is a fabulous prayer (if i do say so myself) often times I feel we can be so focused on the next destination on our path that we forget to enjoy the here and now.
Stick with me a minute - I'm going somewhere.
Recently I made the decision to step away from a job that I love in order to spend time with a family that I love more. The hustle and bustle of life mixed in with doctors appointments, schooling, work at job A, work at job B, volunteering in the ministry at our church, tending to my babies, and trying to keep my marriage thriving left me fizzled and nearly maxxed out. So, I took it to the Lord in prayer, took a step back from my endless To-Do list and reevaluated some things. Why was it that I was running to and fro? And did these endless commitments leave me in a shape less-than-best for my children at night? Youbetcha. ..ouch..
Reflecting in honesty here was painful, but necessary. "They are your first and most important ministry" the Lord spoke to my heart. It was then that my eyes began to flood with tears and I realized that I only have these precious little humans under my roof for 18 years before they wander off to a University to continue their education in steps toward their destiny.
T minus 18 summers left for my son, and T minus 14 left for my daughter.... Will I have hugged them enough by then? Will I have laughed with them enough? Will they be convinced that their Father and I love them dearly? Will they be so ingrained with Gods word by then that no matter what the secular-world-system tries to teach them in college, they will stand strong in their beliefs? Will my daughter have sought refuge and received such an intense love from within our home that she refuses to lay down with the first man who "loves" her, because she knows that true love really is? Will my son value relationship and respect so much that he refuses to fall into the trap of test-driving-the-car-before-you-buy-it? Maybe I'm just preaching to myself here, maybe this isn't a popular message that makes you want to take off shouting, but I do hope that it causes to you look inward and ask yourself the same questions about your children, and the relationship that you have with them. We don't have much time, momma - we don't have much time with them before the world begins to try and insert their belief system, view points, and values. You are raising an army, you are raising arrows. Time is precious, so its time we start making decisions based on your most important ministry of all - your children.
Don't get it twisted girlfriend, I am not advocating for you to quit your job and make notes on every move your child makes throughout the day, but I am advocating for you to relish the time that you do spend with your child... make it count. How can you do that? Well - I'm glad you asked.. here are some things I have tried to be mindful of, and purposeful about while I am home with my family, and I am beginning to see it's good fruits- 1. Be present. Mentally, physically and emotionally y'all.
2. Put the phone d-o-w-n.... UNLESS you are snapping a precious picture, Facebook and IG can wait - but unfortunately your child will not wait to grow up. 3. Talk to them. Ask them about their day, how did they feel? Often times (even with my 4-year old) her answers are short and to the point regarding her day. But when I ask for details about things she did, who she played with, and how she felt, she will open up with conflicts that arose in the classroom, friends that hurt her, and how she felt in the midst of all of it. This is where I can pour into her. Reminding her who God says she is, and how much she means to our family. 4. Be intentional. To you its just "barbies" or "hot wheels" and the dishes REALLY need cleaned, but to them its quality time with you while doing their favorite thing. Compare it to your best friend taking you to a coffee date! No way you'd pass that up, right? Well - this is how excited your kids are about spending time with you... Be intentional, spend quality time in their space.
5. Pray. Okay, ready for a moment of vulnerability on my part? I love Pinterest. Like, Love it. And mostly I love scrolling through Pinterest while I rock my little man to sleep. But lately the Lord has pricked my heart when I go to open this glorious app while I rock the baby. "Put that down and pray for him" The Holy Spirit seems to mutter in my direction. So, I have been putting the phone down and praying for Him. And when I run out of things to pray for, I pray for my daughter and then my husband (since the Holy Ghost isn't bound to location like we are). Unsure what to pray? Here is a sample prayer I typed up - feel free to use it and pass it along to fellow mommas.
Doing these 5 things isn't easy - but it's worth it. I know some of our days will be worse than others - but some days will be filled with pure laughter and memories upon memories. God hand selected your babies for YOU girl. He knew you had the heart that they needed. He knew you had what it takes, and you STILL have what it takes. Every moment of every day, you are enough. You are the sun to their moon, and the stars to their sky- You are their momma. And they are your ministry. Never forget that.
Until next time, I'm your partner in battle