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!!