We have all heard a calling within us to be more, do more and change history with our lives. We were charged to take an action to be radical, live outside the box, and be a world changer. Will you say "YES!" to the Lord for all that He has done for you? Do you want to give your life to sharing His love? "YES, LORD!!!! Lord, whatever You say, I will do. Send me Lord, I want to change the World! I will go to Africa! I will build an orphanage! I will preach wherever, whenever and love on anyone and whomever! YES, LORD!!!!"
Our hearts were stirred for complete surrender and adventure for Him. However, soon after our radical consecration, we fall in love. Not just with Jesus this time, but some good-looking, good-smelling, God-loving potential spouse. We get married, we have babies. Our heart has longed for this since we were little. However, when the wedding clutter has all been removed, and the baby clothes now have stains, it just seems to look so much differently than we had imagined.
Among the dishes, the constant cooking, the picking-up the house, the laundry (Seriously, how is there this much laundry?), picking-up the house, the diaper changing, the disciplining, the reading the books, the playing the games, picking-up the house, the crafts, the songs, the peek-a-boos, the taxi service, picking-up the house, reading Bible stories, watching Frozen, grocery shopping, meal planning, and more laundry..... meanwhile trying to make your spouse a priority without dropping the ball in another area....
the complete surrender and sense of adventure gets .....
I have spoken to many moms who say, "I just thought it would be different. I feel like I have more in me than to just be a mom and a wife." First of all, let me say, the Lord did place special things on the inside of you so you would be fully equipped for your place in the body. Those gifts ARE special, important and they will make a difference. I am not one to say your only purpose on this earth forever is solely to parent. These thoughts and longing for more should be validated. I do, however, think there are specific things we can do to lessen the gap between where we want to be and where we are now.
1. Acknowledge the importance of an involved, happy- to-be-there type of parent.
We can either see our children as part of our calling or an interruption to our calling. They are either like a garden in which we are sowing our hearts, time and effort, or they are a weed of hassle in the garden of our suspended calling.
The disciples pushed the children away from Jesus because they didn't want to interrupt His "real" ministry. Jesus beckoned the kids to come to Him. He knew what the real ministry was. Jesus could see that an investment now, means a harvest later. Never underestimate the time you invest playing, cuddling and talking to your kids, each is a seed sown. Either we raise up a secure, well-loved, confident generation or an insecure, unsure, unstable generation. The difference is in OUR perspective of their value. For what we value, we will invest in.
Either we raise up a secure, well-loved, confident generation or an insecure, unsure, unstable generation. The difference is in OUR perspective of their value. For what we value, we will invest in. ( Click to Tweet!)
2. Align your heart in the midst of the mundane.
Picking up the toys, wiping the poop, saying "Put your foot in here, ugh... no right here... RYDER... right here... RYDER LOOK AT THE HOLE... PUT YOUUUUUUR FOOOOOOT IN THE HOLE!!!" It all gets pretty old after a while. For whatever reason my kids like to take 50 plus things a day, put them in a different room, and leave them there, I will never know, but they do this, everyday...each and every day. If you aren't careful, you will feel like nothing more than an underpaid and underappreciated maid as well as a short order cook. However, there is a switch that can be flipped in a matter of seconds that will shed light on each and every task. The switch: Remind yourself, this is for Jesus. This is for someone Who appreciates any act of serving that comes from my heart. Not only does He appreciate it, He rewards it! If your heart is aligned to serving Him by doing each task with all you have, and giving your best, it becomes an adventure, it becomes radical. It becomes life and purpose giving. You will find yourself NEEDING Him, leaning into Him, crying out to Him for an abundant supply of His ability. See, anyone can be a mom or dad. It takes someone pulling on His grace to be a selfless, sensitive and purpose-driven mom or dad. Parenting correctly seems to be a daily faith exercise, because "God if you don't help me, I just may dropkick this kid if they wake up before 6am one more time."
3. Add seed to your dreams.
Being a good parent doesn't mean you let your other dreams sleepforever. Deposit time into your dreams by reading books that awaken your insides, journaling ideas, and taking small steps in the direction you see yourself some day. I have a feeling this whole parenting thing is preparing a lot of us for what the future years hold. Embrace the life lessons this adventure brings. Purposefully and inwardly develop yourself with the tools parenting provides. Keep adding seed. Keep cultivating the gifts He has placed within you. 1 Tim 4:4 Do not neglect the gift within you.
When we do these things, that gap of where we are, to where we want to be will lessen. Remember, this is a season and such a quick one at that. Before you know it, these little ones will be out on their own and you will be craving their messiness as well as their need to eat 4-5 times a day, EVERYDAY. (Seriously, who knew kids could eat so much?) Live radically, my friend, because sometimes it takes more faith to live right there in the boring, everyday, slowly changing mess and yet, still give all you have.
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”- Mother Theresa
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