Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Laundry baskets and ministry

True confessions..... I sometimes think that I miss the old days.  I sometimes miss the days when Eric and I were free to pick up and go somewhere on a weekend.  I sometimes miss the days when the house was quiet.  At times it was too quiet, but I didn't think that often - I love a quiet house.  And a neat house.  I oftentimes miss how tidy our house was.  You know, before kids.

But, the thing that makes my heart hurt at times is when I miss doing ministry.  One of the most memorable and difficult trips we went on was to Tur*key.  We went with a team and ministered to special needs kids in an orphanage.  It was hard.  It was sickening at times.  I don't think that I will ever forget the smell when I walked in the first day.  I don't think I will ever forget holding the most precious, tiny, fragile little boy in my arms.  I held him for several hours and prayed for him, sang to him and just tried to give him the love of a momma that he would never get to experience.  Even now, my heart breaks for that little boy.  I was not a mother then.  It was 2002 and Eric and I had been married for less than 2 years.

I remember how exhausting that trip was.  Emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting.  I remember feeling used by God on that trip.  I remember feeling that I wanted to do more.  More ministry.  More trips.  More love.

I have struggled to feel used by God in the last 5 years.  It is so hard to minister to others when you have 3 little ones at home that need you.  I have been told many times that my ministry is in my home right now.  For this season of life, my kids and my home and my husband are my ministry.  I always agreed when I heard it said, but rolled my eyes on the inside.

On a blog I read regularly, the girl that writes it said it so elegantly today.  I finally got it today.  I needed this reminder, but I also think that it sunk in for the first time.
.............In fact, if you want to know the truth, I actually haven’t left ministry at all.
And neither have you.
That baby that will be waking up in a few short hours, hungry while there’s still hours left until daylight?  Your ministry.  That husband who will put on a perfectly ironed shirt tomorrow morning because you did hours of laundry this afternoon?  Your ministry.  That coworker who has it out for you and doesn’t mind if you know it?  Your ministry.  That teenage daughter who slammed her bedroom door shut earlier tonight when you told her she’s grounded for two weeks?  Your ministry.
Don’t you ever let someone tell you that ministry only happens on stages or in altars or in front of crowds.  Should it happen there, will it happen there?  Well, of course it should and will.  That’s a part of ministry, large audiences and big crowds.
But I’ve found that the funny thing about ministry is that it seems to happen just about anywhere and everywhere it can find a place to land, even if the only current availability happens to be in your laundry basket.



It was a wake-up call to me - a mommy of 3 boys age almost 5 years, 2.5 years and 2 months; a wife; a friend; a sister; a daughter.  I needed to be reminded that I am in ministry every day.  My attitude towards my boys and about my boys lately has been that each day is just a day to get through.  I am so sorry that has been true and am convicted to be better for them.  I need to minister to them.  I need to see them as the blessings that God has given me and the area of ministry he has me in for this season of my life.

I think that I get it.  For now at least.  I will have days that I forget that this is my ministry.  I will probably have to revist my own post again and again.  But for today, it is like water to my dry soul and provides that patience I need to deal with whiny, crying children with dirty hands and snotty noses and piles of laundry and a dirty, noisy house.  I wouldn't have it any other way.......

6 comments:

Tinawheeler1 said...

You're absolutely right and what a ministry it is. However, there's nothing wrong a few short term missionsary trips over the years as well. I'm sure you have plenty of people who would help with your kids. Then, you have the best of both worlds and you're always best for your kids when you're happy and fulfilled.

Tinawheeler1 said...

You're absolutely right and what a ministry it is. However, there's nothing wrong a few short term missionsary trips over the years as well. I'm sure you have plenty of people who would help with your kids. Then, you have the best of both worlds and you're always best for your kids when you're happy and fulfilled.

Sharon J said...

You said all that I have felt all these years. Come June, my ministry will start. I don't know what it will be yet, but I will find one. Just wait and see.

Kendra said...

I have a suggestion what your ministry can be!!! :)

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

I'm glad you liked it. Your children sound darling!

Anonymous said...

I found my ministry 10 years ago in a classroom of third graders. The great part is every 9 months I get a new set to minister too. A lot of people like to "knock" the field of education, but unless you've tried it there is no ministry better!! Just think of the number of kids that are being ministered to each year because of one teacher.

On another note though. The M's have an AWESOME Auntie T who happens to have all her summers free from school (mostly) and would be so willing to invite the boys to her house for a few days, or a few week so that their parents could go on a mission trip. Who knows what Uncle K and Cousin M would teach them!!

OR Auntie T and Uncle K could travel with you and E and experience other countries, lifestyles and religions. What a bonding experience that would be!

Love you!