Thursday, April 2, 2009

Searching For Significance

Searching For Significance

Dear Mothers,

Many days it’s hard to feel significant when you are deep in the trenches of mothering. When I became a mom nearly 11 years ago, I stopped working. I was honestly lost without any hope of receiving accolades. I wasn’t striving to do better so I could receive a raise or a promotion. I was “just” a mom. I didn’t feel significant anymore.

I had this burning desire to be significant, so I started overcompensating by volunteering for every church activity I could think of. The Lord has given me a gift for singing. I thought maybe that was what I was supposed to be doing. I volunteered for choir, praise team and often sang solos on Sunday. I would also lead worship at women’s retreats and was involved in any special musical program that might come up for holidays and such. It seemed like I was at some kind of practice at least twice a week. When this became overwhelming (I was always trying to find someone to watch the kids for the practices) I thought maybe I would find significance in women’s ministries. I volunteered to help organize retreats and social functions. I would attend women’s Bible studies and the women’s Sunday school class. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things! My problem was, I was searching for significance through these activities. I thought I was pleasing God by striving to serve my church.

God knew me better than I knew myself. What did He do? He started stripping me of all my ministries one by one. Nothing was working out the way I wanted it to. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Didn’t He want me to serve Him? Didn’t He need me anymore?

Little did I know that He was teaching me to say the word “No”. I started to learn to pray then ask my husband’s opinion (and to actually listened to him) about whether I should take on something new or whether I should stop doing something I was already doing. The result was this; I wasn’t just “doing” ministry anymore. I was doing what God wanted me to do.

After a painful season of God taking ministry after ministry away, I was able to focus on what God wanted me to focus on the most at this season of my life and that was my growing family. I started to realize that the most important ministry I was involved in was the one under my very nose. Being available to my husband and children started becoming my first priority. I needed to have time to teach my children the things of the Lord.

After awhile I started to realize God was showing me new ways to minister to people outside of my home, from within my home. He began to put things on my heart that He wanted me to do for His Kingdom. . I started writing devotions for our women’s church newsletter. I felt the Lord prompting me to send some of these devotions to a small family magazine called, “Above Rubies”. Through that avenue, I received an email from a Kenyan pastor’s wife who wanted encouragement for her women. I then started to send my devotions by email to Kenya where they are being printed off and passed around to encourage women to be godly wives and mothers. From there, the Lord laid on my heart to start sending Bibles, devotions and Christian books to these precious Brothers and Sister’s in Christ. The pastor and his wife are now trying to start a Christian library for all the Christians in Webuye, Kenya. This is so exciting! When God provides the money our family packs a box and we send it to Africa. It has been incredible to watch my children develop a heart for missions through our ministry to these people.

The best thing about these ministries is that I don’t have to leave my home much to do them.

Now in saying this, I’m not condemning anyone who has ministries outside the home. This is MY journey and God’s plan for my life is going to look very different from yours.

I love that I have found significance again. It’s not in my job or my ministries; it is in serving God by doing exactly what He wants me to be doing. What is that? I’ll tell you, it’s serving Him by serving my family. Sharing with you the lessons that I have learned along the way has been the backbone of my “outside” ministry.

I can say “No” now, without feeling guilty! I’m starting to know my limits and what causes me stress. My husband knows me better than anyone and tells me if he thinks a ministry would bring added stress on our family. I have learned to trust in his wisdom, rather than resenting the fact that he might be telling me “No”.

Mothers, if you struggle with this, write a list of all you are doing for God and for your family. Pray over each item and ask God if this is what He wants you to be doing. Remember God does not want you to be harried and stressed out, resulting in a lack of peace in your home. If God is leading you to stop a particular activity or ministry and you think “But if I don’t do it, no one else will”, trust in the fact that He will raise that new person up or He might not want that ministry to continue (maybe only for a season). The key here is that you are obedient to God’s leading. He knows what is best for you and your family.

A word to you “older” women out there who might be longing to find a ministry; now might be your time to be the Titus 2 woman that God has called you to be. Now that your children are grown and gone you have the time and energy to pour yourself out in service to these young Christian moms as they attempt to raise their children for the Lord. Pray and ask God what He wants you to do. He will show you and fill you with immeasurable blessings during this season of your life.

Let this settle in your soul and I will pray that you will find significance in the Lord your God! You are His child and He has such a special plan for you. May God bless you as you continue on this path set before you!

From One Mom to Another,
Stacie
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4 comments:

Toni Floyd said...

Well said Stacie!

OurLilFullFam said...

Oh very well said. (and don't you just love Nancy Campbell?)

Your words are so true, and a reason why I have passed a blog award on to you. Enjoy!

Stephanie

Cat said...

Oh, my precious friend, I count myself among God's treasures that He gave me you! You minister to me too, and I get to do the same right back. Isn't life grand?

Rachel and Family said...

Love it. You are right on, which makes YOU significant!

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