Wednesday, September 25

The Crazy Life of Ministry

Often-times I have wondered what my purpose is, or what God's purpose is for my life. Sometimes on the larger spectrum, and sometimes on the small insignificant day-to-day stuff. I have been doing a lot of contemplating over the past year about what ministry God might have me to fulfill, and what opportunities have I missed out on because I was blinded by what I thought my ministry might look like. I, like a lot of evangelical Christians (gasp!!) believe that we have been placed in this exact time period to bring hope and salvation to the masses (no matter how small that mass might be) and minister to those who are unsaved. 

Truth be told, I am not a good soul-winner, but I am a pretty good seed planter. Maybe it's all the years of toiling in the soil, pulling weeds, and watching miraculous creation appear (over time) in front of my eyes. This magical transformation (to which I am certain) can only come from God and a wee bit of sunlight, water, and the seed, of course. The conditions must be just right, however, for the seed to grow. As any Christian knows, salvation does not always occur the first time you talk to someone. Sometimes it takes a lot of toiling, a lot of weeding, and a lot of patience. Even after a person is saved, it takes them years and years, sometimes, to grow into even a tiny resemblance of Christ-likeness.

So as I have spent time over the past year with my Sister's in Christ (Michelle, Pam, and Heidi) in weekly study of God's word and some words from some pretty knowledgeable pastors through Bible Study, I have learned that for mothers, ministry starts at home. It is presented every person who knocks on your door, every child you babysit, every friend your child has, every neighbor on your street, and every parent of every child who enters your home. 

Now I would like to say that I have always been receptive to every neighbor, every child, and every Watchtower presenter that has made their way to my front door. Nor have I been the kindest neighbor, or most patient caregiver, or the most pleasant hostess. God has been working in me though. He chose this exact time in my life to minister to 3 young men, a young woman, 2 little kids, a mid-led neighbor, a patient and loving husband, and 3 from my very own womb. 

It's crazy here, with tons of people in and out, all the time. Running here and there, homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, and lots of laundry. It's a long day, that starts at 5 am and doesn't end until the house is fairly presentable enough for me to fall into bed at night, and hopefully not too late. 

I have to say that it is a calm time in my life however. Crazy how sometimes the busiest times can be the calmest times, if we let them. I am taking every day as it comes. My days are structured, so chaos does not creep in (for the most part), and I am leaning on God, and the bigger picture through this season of my life. 

The bigger picture is all about planting seeds in those who enter my home. A friend once gave me the best explanation of homeschooling. Think of homeschooling as a row of many different hooks. Each subject area is a hook. Each time we present something to our child regarding a certain subject, it is on it's respective hook. Some hooks fill up faster than others, and some take longer. Over all, each time something is presented, more and more knowledge on the subject is attained. 

I think of this in spiritual terms as well. With each season of my life, I hang more and more Biblical knowledge on my own set of hooks. Whether it was attained from Scripture, Bible Study, my Pastor, a radio program, etc... Each time a subject matter is presented, I hang it on that respective hook, or fertilize the seed that was planted in me so long ago. 

Now I have messed up, and grown weeds. Many weeds that at times have nearly killed my growth. Probably even the growth of some of the newly planted seeds that grow around me. I have had to repent, and let God tenderly cultivate the soil around me, pull those weeds, and take extra special care of me, until my growth was restored, and I could continue reproducing seeds. 

So my ministry is at home for now. Trying to plant some seeds, and cultivating the garden I have already planted. I am hoping more than anything that all will walk away from this and look back remembering the kindness and love of Christianity, and prompt them to seek and ask for more. 

At this time, I am homeschooling a 12 year old and a 9 year old, M is living back at home and working at Taco Bell/KFC; I am babysitting 4 days a week, a 7 year old and a 4 year old; M's -2 male friends are temporarily staying here (they work most of the time, and only sleep here for the most part); M's girlfriend lives at the dorms at LU and is here most afternoons and evenings, when M doesn't have to work. My sweet husband received the Officer of the Quarter award, at the hospital he works at for the second time, and we have too many pets to keep track off, and just enough to test my patience on a daily basis. I am just not a cat person. 

I have Bible Study in the morning, so I better get this place cleaned up so I can hit the hay. We are currently studying Better Together by Rick Warren. It's a study on Love. Showing love to the unlovable, the unreachable, the lost.  Perfect timing for this study!!

Tuesday, February 5

It's 1 a.m.

It's late. Very late, and way past my bedtime. Had such a busy day. Filed our taxes, to which we won't be receiving our refund until early March, because we qualified for an Education Credit. Go figure, but with this credit, our refund is $1200 more. We can wait a few more weeks.

So much has happened since the last time I posted, that I hardly know where to begin. My last post was in October. Most of the changes have to do with M, so I guess I will start with him. In Oct. he was dating a very sweet girl, whom we all adored. In November, they broke up. Soon after M quits college, because she won't leave him alone. M looks for a job all through December. M volunteers at New Beginnings Thrift Store during December. M gets job for roofing company in January. Weather is cold, and work is not steady, so M finds another job. This one is full-time, and for a windows and siding company. Matt is currently doing very well for this company. We are beaming with pride. He is really growing up.

H was elected as Secretary for our 4-H club, and E was elected Vice-President. They have been very busy with club activities, and projects this year. They are both very excited to bring their pets to the next meeting for their demonstrations.

Scott is just about the same. Same job, although he is now working for the hospital directly, and not an outsourced agency. He loves his work, and even though he is making $5,000 less than he did last year, he wants to continue working there. I just realized the $5,000 less part this afternoon while I was doing our taxes. I sure don't know how we missed that one. I do know that it was incredibly tight this year to say the least. I had thought his paychecks were less than before, but I didn't realize that they were that much less. Yikes!!

I am still running the household, homeschooling the kiddos, and crafting as much as possible. I enjoy my weekly Bible study group, and my card club (greeting cards, not playing cards), and my scrapbooking group, and a couple of  local Charlotte Mason groups I belong to. We are also very involved with our church, and all the fun  homeschool field trips, ladies retreats, and a lovely Sunday School class, I simply could not live without (for wives and mothers only).

A couple of weeks back, we took a trip down to Missouri, to visit the folks, my grandma, and my sister and her family. We had the best time! Mom, Jennifer, and I went to a day-long scrapbooking retreat sponsored by the medical center where my mom works. It was such fun creating pages, and looking at old photographs together. Such a blast! We will be heading down again in early April so Scott can go spoonbill fishing with Dan and Dad, and Mom, Jennifer, and I are going to another scrapbooking retreat, but this time it's being sponsored by (Jennifer's) David's school. I can't wait!

So anyhow, 2013 is looking better than 2012 did, so far. Sorry I didn't get Christmas cards out this year. School is taking up so much more time, as the boys grow older. It's really my full-time job. I didn't get all the sewing I wanted to get done before Christmas this year either, and my mending pile is quite full as well.

One week from Thursday, will be Scott's and my 16th Wedding Anniversary. He told me tonight that he made reservations somewhere for next Thursday night, but wants to surprise me. I can't deny that I do like surprises. We have some other exciting things coming up in the next month or so, but I can't really mention it, until after that happens. I will keep you updated. We are also Wisconsin/Minnesota/North Dakota bound in June. We hope to do some visiting along the way. Hoping to see old friends, even for a little while.

I think my next post will be some random photos that I have taken throughout the past year of the family. The boys are really growing. H is only 11, and he's taller than I am. E is 8, and nearly as tall as I am. I guess that is par for the course when they have a father that is 6'4".

Well, this girl is heading to bed. It's 1:30 now, and I can't type another word.

Good Night!