Serving in Obscurity

“Be the You you are meant to be! Distinguish yourself at The Best University!”

The announcer kept going on and on about how wonderful their school was and if you only attended, you could be wonderful too! Then I heard a voice from the backseat. “I want to distinguish myself”. And then, “Mom, what does ‘distinguish’ mean?”

I thought for a moment before answering. “It means to be special, to be noticed, to set yourself apart from others.”

Oh, the rabbit hole this represented. As much as I want my kids to distinguish themselves, to be noticed, I know life doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes God has other plans.DSCN0652

Sometimes God has other plans for us, though.” I told him. “Sometimes God wants us to serve in obscurity and that’s okay”.

The whole time I’m telling him this, I’m speaking this truth to myself. Because you see, I struggle with not “doing” anything. I struggle with not being “distinguished”. This is something that I’ve been dealDSC_0387ing with for a really long time and will be dealing with for some time to come.

Earlier that morning I’d opened up a newsletter from a fellow blogger who wrote about going back to work after her maternity leave. She wrote about the ‘why’ of going back – most importantly that God had given her gifts and had called her to use them. When I read those words all the insecurities and doubts came flooding back.The faulty logic came back, the lies whispered by the enemy. The ‘you’re not enough’ and the ‘where are your gifts, because God obviously didn’t call you!’

So those words I spoke to my son about serving in obscurity? Those were gifts of grace. Those words weren’t, aren’t, in me, but God in His infinite kindness whispered them to my heart.

He reminded me that being a wife and mother is a high calling. Just as I am not called to write a book or lead a legion of women, no one else is called to be the mother of my children.

God has put a verse in my heart that to my detriment, I have a tendency to forget. It’s Colossians 4:17

 Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,that thou fulfil it.

Sometimes I forget to heed the ministry that He has set before me. But in His gentle way, He distinguishes me as His child, reminding me of the ministry to which He has called me. And though it may be obscure, it is all to His glory, and therefore a holy calling.marriage vows1

To the Mom whose day is water-marked with names

Dear Sister,

We’re kin, did you know that? The experiences of our lives have made us so. We may have never met, but here we are – family forged by life.

There is something that I’ve been wanting to tell you – take heart – you are not alone. Your work has worth even though the sweeping and dishes don’t seem like much. You are daily creating order out of chaos, working to make someplace beautiful for those you love.

Please don’t get discouraged when you read what others have done on Facebook or see what others have created on Pinterest.

There have been times that I’ve read the list of things accomplished and how their child slept extra long that day. And, all I’ve done are the breakfast dishes and a load of laundry.

But everyone’s life is different and trying to compare the incomparable will kill us. This is something that I wish that someone had told me. And, I say this as if the lesson has been learned but it hasn’t yet. It is still something that God has to remind me of on a regular basis.

We have to look at our ‘to-do’ lists  and realize that there are names watermarked on the page. You didn’t ‘just’ do that load of laundry. You made meals, perhaps taught school, read books, assisted with shoes, gave hugs and kisses, found the missing blanket –

you loved




Words of Grace

Today I am continuing my reading through Ephesians. Recently we studied this at church and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Can I tell you a secret? I have never studied a book as it was being preached. I’ve never been interested enough, but God is doing a work and I am excited to study His Word. I’m excited to study Jesus, because isn’t He the Word become flesh?

So, my reading brought me to chapter 4, and if you are familiar with this passage it is starting the portion of the book that is dealing with relationships. And, if you aren’t familiar with Ephesians, please go read it. Start at the beginning. There is so much amazing truth to meditate on. Trust me, it’s good to jump in mid-read, but the reading will be all the richer if you take the time.

The verse that stuck out to me today is verse 29,

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth

 but that which is good for the use of building up,

that it might minister grace to the hearer.” 

 I know this verse. I’ve had it memorized since a child. But it never ceases to cut me to the quick. Because you see, I try to do this with my husband, my friends, and even strangers. But a lot of times, I forget that my children need this from me more than most. 

How many times do I offer them a sharp word instead of one softened by love? How many times do I forget that they are just being childish and scold them instead of hug them. So, today I am praying that God will further work in my heart to build these little people up and not tear them down.

 Will you share your heart with me? How do you pour words of grace, words that build up, onto your children?

Rethinking Romance

I love Valentine’s Day. For some reason it has become one of my favorite holidays. The last couple of years I’ve tried to make it more about the kids instead of us, because as my husband said Valentine’s Day wasn’t really as important to him as to me. Now, that may sound terrible, but I did ask – he didn’t just volunteer the information.

You see, the past several years I’ve looked at this day as the day that I should be guaranteed some sort of romance. But this weekend has changed all that.

Right now I’m writing this at 9:00pm, in my pajamas, in bed with tissues and cough-drop wrappers on my nightstand. This weekend we all, 4 children and myself, save my husband, got sick, and he has been taking care of us.

This year the gifts that he has given – the box of tissues bought just for me; hot tea; Tylenol; and the words “I love you with all my heart” while all I can do is concentrate on not coughing – make the flowers and cards pale in comparison.

He has given and shown a true love this past week. A love that gives of itself before seeking its own. He’s given me a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love for Valentine’s Day, and I’ll cherish it forever.


Words of Grace or Words of Wrath – You Choose

Today I was able to get in some Bible reading before the kids got up (were released) and started in Proverbs, but ended up in James. I started to think about my words and my attitude. How even if my children see me reading God’s Word, but hear harsh words out my mouth, I’m not conveying the Gospel of Grace to them.

I went to James 1 because a particular verse that I need to remember as much as my children need to memorize, was brought back to mind. Now, I’m going to change a word, please don’t get offended. It’s to make a point.

James 1: 19 – 20

                     “…Let every mom be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (20) for the wrath of mom does not produce the righteousness of God. 

I know this isn’t exactly how it’s written. But I wanted to emphasize that this verse is for us as mothers. Sometimes I’m guilty of applying this verse when dealing with others and not my own children.

For instance, my son told me something today that made me realize that I haven’t been living this verse out, but have been doing just the opposite. I have been using a statement on a regular basis that has wounded his little heart. I said “I don’t care”.  Just Three words. Three words that have made my son think that I don’t care for HIM. I didn’t care about the mud on his shoes, or that he was sweaty, or that he was hungry. I said those things out of exasperation, out of frustration, and because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced. But in the end what I was really saying was that what was important to him wasn’t important to me.

God allowed me to see this while my oldest is six and not sixteen. by God’s grace alone, I pray that I will not use those horrible three words again.


The King’s Heart

These past few months have been rather difficult on the job front. My husband has been stretched to the max. 7 o’clock mornings and 6:30 evenings. Home just in time to eat supper and then off to tag team putting the kids down for the night. By that time he’s exhausted and I’m at a loss as to how to help him.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, he was approached by HR about another position – as an individual contributor instead of a manager. I’d been praying for a long time that God would tailor-make a position for him. One that would utilize his talents and wouldn’t wear him down. And, I know that this job is the answer. He accepted the position. But because of different factors, he is now acting in both roles and a new hire will not be available until sometime in the fall.

When I heard this, that he was now working two jobs instead of one, that his hours would now be just a little longer, that he would have more stress – I wanted to march right in to work and talk to his boss. I wanted to write a note, an e-mail, anything. But I had to stop. My husband doesn’t need to me to do anything. And if I believe that God is in control of everything, shouldn’t I just rest in that?

Proverbs says that the King’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, but in this case, it’s t he heart of his boss. What I’m trying to say is that I just have to trust that God has this covered. He has this under control even if I don’t ‘feel’ like He does. My own understanding says to run headlong at this thing and try to subdue it all myself. But trusting in Him means to not worry but to pray with Thanksgiving. Then and only then will peace and rest come.

Image Beautiful Stolen Moments

BabyThis afternoon there was dirt and grime all over the kitchen floor. Little Miss had been playing in flour pilfered from the pantry and had tracked it back into the kitchen. Mess was everywhere. So I grabbed the broom and dust pan and once again set into that never ending task of sweeping.

No sooner had I begun when I heard the familiar sound of Baby V scooting around the corner. She smiled and motioned to be picked up. I put my task aside and gladly complied.

I felt like I was stealing something. As if that moment wasn’t mine to take. I played with her for several minutes, enjoying the baby giggles and cuddles, then reluctantly put her down to finish my job.

Later the thought came back to me again that what she and I had was a stolen moment. That thought stopped me and gave me pause. Isn’t something stolen not mine to begin with? And if it wasn’t mine whose was it? I realized, in my flawed thinking, I was stealing time from my task. In essence,  I was making the sweeping up of dirt more important than lavishing love on my baby.

With God’s grace my thinking will be renewed. The tasks of Mothering elevated above the inane task of sweeping.

Has there ever been a time when you felt guilty for spending time with your children because there were more ‘pressing’ duties to attend to? How have you combated those feelings?