Serving God in my motherhood is a journey for all of us as we discover how God would have us use our gifts, skills, and desires for His glory.
For years, I’d been waking up in the middle of the night wondering why the Lord had given me so many ideas and dreams, so much conviction for the lost and for women but so little time, resources, and energy.
I’d wake up restless, jotting down ideas to relieve my mind of all the brainstorming going on in my head. I asked God, “Why would he give me these ideas when He was very well aware of my circumstances?”
This all left me feeling frustrated, and confused.
Serving God With Your Motherhood and What to do with Your Desires
I was annoyed that my world revolved around us, our family, our friends, and our church. These are all great things but there was something missing.
At that time I was pregnant so I knew very well and God knew even better that there was no way I would have the time or energy to add anything else to my day.
When I would share these frustrations with girlfriends they came to my rescue and explained that my ministry was now my family and that’s just how it is. I didn’t agree with “that’s just how it is” but I agreed wholeheartedly with my family being my ministry and I wouldn’t exchange it for anything in the world.
But still, the Lord continued to prod, gently prodding, as He so often does.
My Eyes Were Opened
After months of agonizing over that phrase I heard countless of times, “that’s just how it is”. I finally found peace for my restless heart! The Lord opened the eyes of my heart to see all these frustrations, convictions, passion and ministry in a new way through this statement I read:
“God’s glory discovers us where we are.”
It was so simple. It was so basic. These words pierced my heart.
I was dumbfounded at the thought that God can use me right where I am at, He didn’t need to change my circumstances.
I read over Exodus and was amazed at how God used Moses right in the middle of his circumstances, and stage of life. He was equipping and shaping him as he lived out his ordinary and even menial tasks in life.
He was old. For some reason, it never hit me how old He was when God called him.
He was in a field minding his own business doing his everyday ordinary job.
He was a shepherd. Not a king. Not a prophet. Not a leader of men. Not even a good speaker.
But God took all of Moses, redeemed it, and called him by name to use Him for His glory right where he had placed him.
Yielding is Easier said Than Done
God showed me that I needed to yield. I needed to say “yes” to Him and let him figure out the rest. You see I was trying to figure it all out and then say “yes” to the well-though out-successful” plan.
Yield–that five-letter word is easy to say but sometimes painful to live out especially if you’re like me and already have an idea of what your life and ministry should look like.
What is God inviting you to do for His kingdom, for His glory?
Your Calling and Your Role
That night as I ran, God opened my eyes to see that I needed to surrender my ideas, my passion, and my desires to Him.
That my role as a mom and wife didn’t exclude me from having a “calling” or dreams outside of my home. Those who advised me had mistakenly made my role the same thing as my only calling therefore anything else that came up was taking away from my role.
As I ran down a hill with tears in my eyes God showed me how I could seize the day for His glory!
He prompted my heart with these words, “Mari, I have given you a heart to serve, a heart for the lost, a passion to help women and a mind full of ideas but you’re looking at serving me through your own lens, not mine.
That’s why you always end up frustrated and confused.
I gave you Ben and made you a wife.
I gave you Ethan and Aiden and made you a mother.
I gave you Jesus and made you my child.
I gave you a heart for the poor and for helping women and made you my hands and feet.
I continuously give you vision and dreams because that’s my heartbeat.
Rejoice, my child in how I wired you. How I made you. In who I Am.
Use these gifts to glorify me each day right where you’re at! You don’t need to start a homeless shelter to help the poor all you need is to open your eyes and your heart when you’re out shopping. You don’t need to go to Mexico to reach the lost just open your eyes when you’re out at the zoo or the park with your children. You don’t need to be involved in everything at church so your children can see Jesus.
Just treat the homeless man on the street as a person and smile as you hand him a meal. Listen closely when your children or neighbor are talking. Mari, I want you to cherish each moment in the lives of your children but I also want you to know that you can seize the day as you allow Jesus to work through you in the menial tasks”
It’s so easy to become complacent, to get used to our routine, our little life in our little world and that is exactly what I had done.
Tears rolled, snot flowed and my heart’s burden was set free when I heard these words in my heart. I realized that my children are who I need to disciple right now.
True discipleship is only effective if I am in the Word, fellowshipping with believers, serving others, reaching out to the lost. These all go hand in hand. If I isolate one of them then my children only see a part of Jesus, they don’t see all of Jesus.
Unfortunately, this work of Jesus doesn’t just happen in automatically in your family, it doesn’t just fall into place, you have to be intentional about it. You have to be intentional.
After this, I was able to see how my role as a mother and wife went hand in hand with my calling to serve God through ministering to women and those in need.
Months later from these frustrations, confusion, and God’s grace, was born: Mommy and Me Missions a group of moms looking for ways to serve in their community with their kids in hopes to inspire compassion, kindness and gratitude.
I wrote this five years ago and have constantly referred other women to this “moment,” God gave me. With the Mommy and Me Missions vision God gave me, I was able to take my pregnant self and my 3-year-old with me to serve our community. A group of moms and their toddlers would go into the community looking for opportunities to serve as a family. A few months later the work continued but now it was my 3 year old and my baby bringing sunshine to those who have gray skies in their forecast.
Our family currently serves in South America reaching out to international students, street kids and our missionary community. If it wasn’t for this “monumental moment”, I don’t know if I’d be able to say the ministry we have now, is a family ministry. Each one of my children even our 2-year-old is an active part of what we do as missionaries, it’s not just my husband or just me out there in the trenches sharing His love, but we serve as a team for His glory. No, my kids aren’t preaching the gospel or teaching God’s word but we have found ways to serve together. Below is an example of ways we serve as a family in our community. This was one of our family activities we did to spread God’s love.
(The above image is our “Love Rocks” idea that we would place at the hospital and mall for those who need some sunshine in their day.)
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