I’ve been a stay-at-home mom with a part-time job for almost 12 years now. It has felt a little odd, balancing between two worlds, but I’m not alone anymore. Most working moms in the world have now been forced into trying out a version of my awkwardly imbalanced life!
It goes something like this: Get all the small people dressed. Feed them breakfast. Answer e-mails. Change a diaper. Make a phone call. Wash off the table. Vacuum. Fold the laundry. Send texts. Pick up toys while on the phone. Break up fights. Hide in bedroom to do one productive thing before it’s time to make dinner. Do the dishes. Get all the small people dressed for bed.
Is it just me, or does it ever seem like the only “excitement” in life is when the cereal gets spilled on the floor or someone trips down a couple stairs?! Woohoo.
I have always wanted my life to be full of purpose and intentionality, but so much that I do throughout the day feels like rote, boring routines.
I daydream about doing Big Things – bigger things than I feel like I am doing right now. Usually the Big Things involve moving somewhere or doing something different or helping other people than the ones in my house.
After all, there are so many major crises in our world today. Human trafficking, hunger, war, poverty, injustice, loneliness…
But for those of us who are home – whether by choice or by state order – caring for small children, holding down a job, or juggling both – not many of us have an abundance of extra time or money to give towards helping to solve all the problems. What can I, as a homeschooling, part-time working mother, do to help with the overwhelming and overpowering problems in the world?
Enter Mother Teresa.
It is easy to love those who live far away. It is not always easy to love those who live right next to us… someone in our own home who does not feel loved. I want you to go and find the poor in your homes. Above all, your love has to start there. I want you to be the good news to those around you.Mother Teresa
God’s love starts in our own homes as we selflessly care for, correct, and train those who are smaller and weaker than us, as we patiently invest in our marriages, and as we quietly listen for His love for us. We start by loving the “poor” at home.
Her words echo what a visiting missionary to the Middle East told me when I asked how I could help with the refugee crisis. I wanted him to encourage me to do something Bold and Oh-So-Meaningful and Important – but he simply told me to care for the refugees who had moved into my city.
God’s sacrificial love is not waiting for this season of life to be over. It’s not on hold until I discover the magical key to balancing work, family, housecleaning, and volunteering. It’s not in reserve until the kids are grown and we have the time/money to buy a ticket to a remote jungle and translate the Bible into another language.
It is for now, and it is for here. It is for the everyday and the mundane. It is for toddlers – yes, Jesus loves you because He made you – not because you are perfectly well-behaved. It is for middle school girls – yes, forgiveness is possible. It is for struggling marriages – yes, love can mend the most broken of hearts. It is for families dealing with addictions and secrets and anger and fear – yes, God’s love can fill up the chasms between us and restore us to wholeness. It is for feuding neighbors – yes, reconciliation can be made.
And as we are “being the good news” to the people in our own homes, we may discover that God’s Love is powerful enough to ripple out of our homes and touch the world. We might see it bubble out into the ways we treat our neighbors, our interactions on social media, how we spend our money, where we invest our precious time, and what we do with our talents.
So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
My prayer for you today, even as you are stuck at home balancing varying responsibilities, is that the Lord will build His kingdom wherever you are. In your minivan, your kitchen, your heart, and your family. And I pray that you will know that the “little things” you are doing are the Big Thing. That those daily, routine, “boring” acts of love you carry out – no matter how small or unimportant or unnoticed they may feel – make a lasting difference in the world.
We’re going to change the world – one day at a time!