For Such a Time as This

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It’s not a perfect day for blogging over here.  Jeff and I are running on little sleep from the last two nights.  The (almost) two year old is tantruming right now because she wants her homemade popsicle,  but she doesn’t.  None of us can figure out what she wants, least of all her.

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One of my eleven year olds is tantruming right now because he wants to be a part of us, but he doesn’t. He can’t figure out what he really wants either.

My firstborn is rip-sticking in the house, and two of the younger kids are rollerblading- one of them just tried to rip-stick with rollerblades on – and all of it is basically rendering me unable to think because I don’t do well with chaos. (Says the mom of seven kids.)

I just had to re-start supper because the Instant Pot wasn’t coming up to pressure correctly. My afternoon coffee is lukewarm now (see all of the above).  Oh, and we have to go pick up our 45 lb dog from the vet this afternoon.  He was attacked by a neighbor’s dog a few nights ago, so there we were at 4am, Jeffrey and Me, hosing off his mud, batting away mosquitos, and assessing his wounds.  And now he has to be inside the house, convalescing for two weeks while he heals.  Sigh.

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Oh. And we have a guest coming for dinner tonight.  I hope he doesn’t mind the mess. Or the dog.

As I said.  Not exactly conducive to blogging.  But I’ve had a few things on my mind I needed to process here.

Sunday morning, halfway to church, Jeff got a text from our pastor asking if I was going to be there for service.  We had a new family visiting.  They were Chinese, and he didn’t think the wife spoke English.

Wanna know where I was?

Home with half the kids, who still had hacking coughs and sniffles.

I gotta be honest, I was bummed.  I had a few raw moments with the Lord about it as I was standing over the sink washing something. Here I had been for countless months, praying for God to bring some Chinese friends into my life and the Sunday that this family shows up, I’m not even going to be there.

For years this is something the Lord has been refining in my heart.  I struggled for a long time with feeling like I had lost my purpose, or I didn’t know who I was anymore.  I used to do things I felt mattered.  Things that involved nations and gospel and souls and ministry.

Standing over the sink, the Lord quickly reminded me of the lesson He has been teaching me for a long time.  I am right where He wants me, doing just what He wants me to do.

I am here with my family and my growing kids  – not biding my time until I can do the important things.  These are the important things.  I am here for such a time as this – the time when my children’s souls are most pliable and open to the gospel.  The time when their hearts are still close to ours and their character is still being shaped.

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A friend and I were just talking about this the other day.  I hear this so often from young moms and I have said the same things: I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t even know what I like to do anymore. I’m so busy just being Mom, I feel like I’ve lost myself.

And truly, we have.

But I’ve come to believe that is really the way it’s supposed to be.

When we get a few years into motherhood, we begin to feel “the old me” slipping through our grasp.  Our days look different.  Our bodies look different.  Our minds feel sluggish. We are losing ourselves.

This is like a cocoon phase.  Yes, we are losing who we used to be. But I really believe the “answer” isn’t to bide our time until the kids are older so we can get back to our old selves.  And the goal isn’t to get enough “me” time to reclaim ourselves.

Moms, I think God is putting us through a metamorphosis.  I believe it’s by His design that we die to ourselves, that we be refined through motherhood, and begin to be transformed into a new person, with a new purpose.

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We’re reading through the Bible this year with the kids, and a few nights ago we finished up the book of Esther. It was refreshing – and sobering –  to be reminded that she was willing to lose herself in order to be the instrument God wanted her to be at that time.

Sunday mid-morning, Jeff and half the kids went on to the service. I finished washing whatever it was at the sink and decided I wasn’t supposed to meet that family at church – at least not that day.

That day – and today – with all the chaos and the tantrums – I am a different me.  I have a different purpose. And I have no job skills to bring to the table except being completely dependent on His strength in my weakness, trusting that He’ll give me whatever I need to be right here where He has me, for such a time as this.

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