“If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” (1 Timothy 3:5)
Monday did not go as planned. You know the kind of day. My agenda and God’s agenda played bumper cars, and God won. He always does.
I had a to-do list. Laundry, a play date, tacos for dinner. But around 11 o’clock, out of nowhere, my four-year-old sprouted a fever. By 3 o’clock, our house became Vomit Central Station. Toss the to-do list. Who wants tacos now, anyway? God had other plans.
See, Monday wasn’t just another sick day. It was also the day I launched this blog. The day I’d anticipated, planned, prayed for. It was the day I announced to a small slice of the world, “I’m yours, God! Use me!” And he did. He used my swift skill for catching upchuck in a bucket.
Coincidence? No such thing. I’ve never heard the audible voice of God, but last Monday, he spoke to me loud and clear.
You want to serve me? Great! Serve your family. You want to encourage other people to love me? Super! Love your family. Today that means you will drop your iPad and hold your daughter’s hair while she cries. You will forget about tracking followers and murmur in her ear, “Everything’s alright, sweetheart. Mommy’s here.” Yes, Becky, you are a writer. I made you that way. But first you are a mom. Be a mom.
Last month, I attended a Christian writer’s conference called She Speaks. Worship leader Michael O’Brien shared something simple yet so profound that it stuck to my heart like gum in a ponytail. “Music is my gift,” he said. “But my family is my calling.”
Wow. Could this be true? A gifting and a calling are not synonymous. We’re all gifted with something. Art, athletics, teaching, business sense, yodeling, you name it—it doesn’t really even matter what the gift is. God gave it and wants us to use it. But the point is that it’s not the most important thing.
I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the gifts—uncovering them, honing them, offering them up. I’ve cried out to God, asking, “What am I supposed to do with my life? What did you create me to do, Lord?”
Then in those ordinary, breathtaking moments—when a redhead falls asleep in my arms, or I’m trotting two steps behind training wheels, or the whole family dances in the living room to a Veggie Tales CD, laughing to tears at the baby’s goofy moves—that’s when I hear the Lord’s reply.
Open your eyes, child. You’re already doing it.
Honestly, I wish I were gifted at being a mom. Wouldn’t that be convenient? On a good day I give myself about a B+. Nobody is going to grant me a Pulitzer for potty training, carpooling, or wrestling a curious toddler away from her big sister’s barf pail.
In the mundane, exhausting hours of responsibility, it’s tempting to think I should be doing something else, something more. Something I’m good at. Motherhood is not glamorous. It is not lucrative. It is not always stimulating. But it is the highest calling we will ever know.
God has given us the tremendous opportunity of raising the next generation of loving, honorable, faith-centered people. And I want to answer from the rooftops – “I’ll do it, God! I’m yours! Use me!”
I’m happy to report the yuck has subsided, and my elder daughter is back to normal. Which means last night she begged for Capri Sun and pickles for dinner. And, being the B+ mother that I am, I told her she could have them—for dessert. Just as soon as she finished her taco.