Do you long for God to use your life in exciting ways but feel totally stuck in your role as a mom? No time, no energy, and no consistency made it seem impossible for me to feel like I was doing much more than surviving the day; let alone doing something big for God. It didn't feel like my gifts or talents fit into the schedules of any of the ministries at church anymore. It has taken me a looong time to understand my calling as a mom. There were several failed attempts along the way:
I remember sitting at a conference when a 20-something got up to talk about her AMAZING call to Africa, where she literally held women’s hands to lead them out of slavery. I sat there and thought, “I missed out.” I was married, had a mortgage, and was nursing a newborn. I felt so useless. I had no freedom to go on an extreme adventure for God. Maybe I could give some money to this girl who could do exotic and life-changing ministry while I was at home changing diapers. I thought, maybe that is my boring calling- to be a steward of God’s money to fund people with good callings.
I remember driving my car with a gallon size Ziploc bag open under my mouth. I had one of those “super fun” pregnancies where I literally did not know the moment I would start vomiting uncontrollably, only that it would certainly come. I prayed that the baby inside of me would be “worth it”. That God would use them mightily. I thought, maybe this is my horrible calling- to sacrifice everything to raise up a godly child who will impact future generations.
I remember studying the life of David, who was a shepherd and a servant for 32 years before he took his rightful place as anointed king. I thought, maybe this is my calling- to sit on the sidelines for a season of servanthood so that some day in the distant future I will be humble enough to accept my REAL calling that will be beautiful, exciting, and involve leadership.
Our calling is never someone else’s calling. It’s not even our children’s calling. We are definitely not called to sit around and do nothing until some giant opportunity we aren’t even preparing our hearts for magically presents itself. We are called as moms to the same ministry as every other daughter of God. To make disciples (Matthew 28:19) and to bear fruit (John 15:1-2).
Stop for a minute. If you feel like you can’t live a joy-filled, powerful life for God as a mighty and impactful force in his kingdom while you are nursing a baby every 3 hours, chasing a toddler, or driving carpool- then pray with me.
“God. I want to follow you. I feel stuck. Show me the calling you have for me that is supposed to be uniquely mine. That will fill me with purpose and joy and change lives for your glory. Amen”.
Now read with me.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol. If I have the gift of prophesy an can fathom all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move the mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Or to paraphrase: If I can teach like Beth Moore, but don’t have love- it’s meaningless. If I live like Francis Chan or Bob Goff, and give everything to the poor, but don’t do it in love- it’s meaningless. If I go to Africa to save orphans like Katie Davis, but don’t have love- it means nothing.
It is not about how big or different or radical we can make our adventure for God. It’s not what we do or how many people we get to show up somewhere or listen to us that makes our work for God powerful, important, or meaningful- it’s LOVE.
Why? 1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Because God is love. His Spirit of love is what makes us different from the world around us. His Spirit is the breath, and life, and power of any meaningful, powerful, interesting calling we could ever hope to answer.
We have all been gifted in different ways. All of our life experiences and talents and personalities coupled with supernatural abilities that God’s Spirit gives us lead us to do and to love to do different things.
Romans 12:3-8 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
We each have different gifts, and some are even more gifted than others. You may not ever have someone else’s gift, calling or ministry…but you do have yours. There is no room for jealousy here. When you turn your nose up at your gift or your calling, you are insulting the giver of both. Always use your gift at every opportunity in love (1 Peter 4:10) and realize you may not be ready for more at this moment in time- “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”
Did you know that your gift was given to you by Jesus Christ? He is so wise, and he gave it to you thoughtfully. He gave it to you specifically for a VERY important reason:
“to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”- Ephesians 4:12
Our gifts were meant to cause UNITY and maturity, never jealousy or discontentment. We are all supposed to work together as a single team, like one body, to reach the fullness of being like Christ. Judging from the church today, I’d say we are not all using our gifts in love. Let’s change that, starting with us.
Join in the Mommas Revolution. Don’t look at the four walls around you as a prison, make your home a temple for the presence of God and his Holy Spirit. Love your husband and kids in a sacrificial way that displays the glory of God’s character to everyone who knows you (1John 4:12). Be thankful for your calling and the space God has carved out for you to use your gift. It is the perfect size for you, your faith and your gift at this moment (Psalm 16:6).
What would happen if instead of wishing you were in charge, you used your momma eyes to look around and see who needed a little encouragement? If instead of standing on stage looking into a backlit crowd of shadowy silhouettes you let yourself sit in the back and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and took notice of who was insecure, hurting, doubting, or learning and took a chance to love them? If instead of having your headshot on a popular blog or book cover, you just let that pretty little face of yours be approachable to all the other moms on the playground, with no makeup, picking up screaming kids from the nursery or sneaking a third cup of coffee?
Love would happen. Grace would happen. You have your gift. You have the Holy Spirit to teach you how and show you when to use it. THAT is your calling. To use your gift RIGHT NOW, in love, to make disciples and bear fruit.