Man-Made Coverings

I see them walk down the street engulfed in a black baggy fabric. I see their veiled faces at the library’s story time. At the grocery store or at the park they might wear a bright scarf draped over their heads and gathered around their necks with faces exposed. These are the Muslim women dressed in different forms of hijab (covering) in my community. These differing forms of covering are a sign of modesty and religious faith. Though we don’t follow these specific dress codes in the Christian faith perhaps we spiritually put on our own personal coverings.

It’s not that the external has no importance in the Christian faith, but it should be the internal reality of the Spirit’s work in our hearts that flows out into the externals of our faith. Not the other way around. We know band-aids don’t heal cancer, just like when we put on something externally that does not solve the internal issues of the human heart. It’s a shallow fix when we put on external morality and behavior in place of a changed heart.  Could the Christian hijab be a performance-based mentality that we impose on ourselves and others?

Read the rest at For The Church >>

Advertisements

Missional Motherhood Study: Week 2

Today we had our second mom’s meet-up to discus session 2 of Gloria Furman’s missional motherhood. In this video Gloria gave us a sweeping synopsis of the gospel story intertwined throughout the entire Bible. She presents us with the “big story” of scripture and asks us how it fits into our smaller stories of everyday mothering.

The biggest takeaway from our discussion today was the promise of hope we have in Christ. His death, burial, and resurrection gives us a present and future hope in him alone. We see hope in Adam naming Eve “the mother of all living“, the hope of rescue and redemption in the Old Testament as every story points to Jesus, and then the fulfillment of hope in the New Testament and beyond. This hope is not grounded in ourselves and our efforts or the performance of our children; it is grounded in the hope of Christ’s resurrection. Even if our day does not go as planned, we know that ultimately all things will go well (and as planned) for God’s children in the end.

Leave me a comment with your thoughts after you watch the video.

Glorifying God with Autism

By: Teresa Chen

In the summer of 2012 we welcomed our first child. We didn’t realize that he was behind most kids developmentally and struggled to meet many of his milestones. He received a diagnosis of autism at age three this past summer. Some signs seemed to point towards this direction but we were never quite sure.

“He’s quirky,” one of his therapists would say, “but I don’t think he’s autistic.” Also, because autism is a spectrum, there are many different experiences of it and children with the diagnosis don’t always look the same. I’ve wrestled with this diagnosis in the past. On one hand, he has many things about him that are “normal”. On the other hand, he’s struggled socially than most other kids. As we have walked down this path with our son, here are some things that God has shown us.

1. It’s completely ok to say it’s not ok.

Raising an autistic child is a form of real suffering, and it’s ok to say it’s hard. 1 Peter 1 says we have living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and yet are grieved by various trials. Life is not what it should be, and yet we hope in something better for all eternity.

Our son’s inflexibility and outbursts are a real part of our daily lives and are emotionally draining at times. During those times I’ve found freedom in admitting, “This is really hard!” without feeling guilty that it IS hard. As Christians, our lives are lived sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Cor 6:10). This sorrow helps us cling to Christ in our weakness, and that is a true gift.

2. A diagnosis is a tool, not an identity.

The word autism is a scary word in today’s world. It certainly was to us. Over time, we’ve realized that this diagnosis is both helpful and unhelpful. While it highlights that our child is different than others, it also has opened up doors to therapies and schools that have served our son a lot. Also, it helps those meeting our son for the first time to be more understanding and patient with him.

His diagnosis doesn’t change who he is, but is merely a tool that describes aspects of who he is. Autism doesn’t have the final say in who our son is, because Scripture paints a fuller story of his identity. In the world’s terms, a diagnosis traps him into saying, “I am autistic.” He instead can say, “I have autistic tendencies, but I am a son, an image bearer, of my Creator and King.”

3. God is not limited by autism.

As we prayed for God to provide children, God heard our cries and provided our son for us. He is the exact son that we were supposed to have. God didn’t make a mistake in giving him to us.

While it would be great if he could catch up with his peers, Scripture tells us that there is a greater “human-ness” than achieving academic or social success; being truly human is glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. Our son is included in this calling. Our biggest desire for him is that he knows God and lives for Him in the context of who God made him to be. Faithfulness to God may look different for him than us, but we are called to raise him and guide him in figuring out what that looks like.

Recently, God graciously gave me a picture of how the Gospel includes people with autism. Another family’s teenage autistic son sat two rows in front of me at church and took part in communion. He was included in the kingdom of God and was remembering what his Savior had done! I was reminded that God isn’t limited by autism in His ability to save. I can look up from weakness and dream big for my son because his God is so big.

4We must all make room in our lives for people with disabilities. 

Raising our son has challenged me to make room in my life for other people who are different or hard to love. I am thankful for those who have been compassionate and welcoming to him, and have been humbled in my pride to want to love others like I would want people to love him.

Many times I just want to be comfortable and to be around people who are like me. However, true unity in Christ includes diversity in age, race, culture, socio-economic status, and physical and mental abilities. Through Christ we are united to His church, which transcends all boundaries and unifies us. We must make room for diversity in our lives and in the church, including those who are relationally difficult, because the Gospel is for such as these.

3 Gospel Truths to Teach My Sons About the City

I live in the hometown of the Fresh Prince of Belair: West Philadelphia. But unlike Will Smith, I wasn’t born and raised here. Yet like Will Smith, the playground IS where I spend most of my days — mainly because I have two little boys. Many young married couples leave the inner city when they start a family, but we did not.

Most parents are rightly concerned with sheltering their children. (Even though we need to be wary of over-sheltering.) But growing up in the city my sons will be exposed to things on a regular basis that a child living in the suburbs might never encounter. I view this as a positive thing and a tool I can use in my mothering. I’m determined to show my sons the Gospel in our city living. Here is how:

1.) Diversity

Our row home is between a halfway house and a convent. To my left the street numbers get higher and go deeper into West Philly. When I push the double stroller with my shining white children to this side of the neighborhood, we are the white dots amidst a dark sea of black faces. If I push my double stroller to the right of our row home the street numbers get lower and the face coloring changes. On this side of my neighborhood is a large Muslim population, complete with a mosque. Walking this way it’s not uncommon to see women shrouded in black fabric — even at times only revealing their eyes. There are many Indian and Asian eateries on this side, representing those cultural populations as well. Around the corner from my house is a Spanish owned “corner store” where my 3 year old dances to salsa music.

As I walk further down this side of my neighborhood it turns into University City. This part of West Philadelphia is more affluent, since it is the home of Drexel University and the Ivy League UPenn. In this area of the intellectual elite there are rows of sororities and fraternities. University City is also home to many hippies and hipsters, many of whom frequent our local Co-op — the place where I can’t determine the gender of the individual bagging my groceries.

We live in a small area of racial, religious, cultural, sub-cultural, and economic diversity. What can I possibly teach my sons about the Gospel here? Namely, that the Gospel is not just for American middle to upper class white people. The Gospel is no longer restricted to one ethnic community (the Jews), but through Christ’s death and resurrection it’s available to a wide range of people (the Gentiles). Heaven will be a co-mingling of races and cultures. The Gospel makes no room for racism or partiality to economic status; before the cross the ground is leveled for us all. Through Christ’s atoning blood the barrier between us all is broken, because when we are at peace with God we can be at peace with others.

As I walk my sons on either side of our neighborhood I can teach them about the Gospel: how God loves to redeem a diverse group of people to himself. He desires that none should perish, not even the androgynous person bagging our groceries who can receive a new identity in Christ.

2.) Comfort

The city can make people uncomfortable. Who hasn’t experienced a struggling conscience when passing by a smelly man in dirt-smudged baggy clothes holding a cardboard sign asking for money? The subway can be a place of strong discomfort when you’re packed in tightly in the heat of summer — holding on with one arm up. We try not to look each other in the eyes too closely, because God forbid we have to say hello.

When I first moved here I was uncomfortable with parallel parking, laundry mats, and the plethora of one way streets. My first year of city living was paid for in parking tickets. I had no idea what all the parking signs meant. Where do I pay for my parking spot? How long can my car sit in this space until I see that white paper on my windshield?

Sometimes my boys and I walk by people who scream at each other or a car zooms past blaring rap music laced with obscenities. Often times we run into the crazy man from the halfway house who mumbles under his breath as he shuffles by on the sidewalk. Talk about feeling uncomfortable.

And yet the Gospel is never about personal comfort. Jesus left his heavenly comforts to make a home in uncomfortable surroundings. His entrance into this world began cramped inside a womb, and he was laid in a wooden manger among the filth and foul odors of barnyard animals. We can tell Jesus felt uncomfortable in the Garden of Gethsemane as he wrestled with the most uncomfortable decision of all: dying on a Roman crucifix. And yet Jesus put all his comfort aside to literally take up his cross and die. I can remind my children of these truths on our next subway ride, because we must also be like Jesus and sometimes sacrifice comfort for the sake of the Gospel.

3.) Safety

Many women ask me if I feel safe here. Our family asks why we don’t move to the suburbs with our boys. At our previous residency our next door neighbor had a break in — encountering the robber face to face. Our current home was previously inhabited by a sexual predator who stole the house from its rightful owners. The bank put the house up for sale when the man was arrested and charged with fifty felonies. Recently a young woman was murdered in her apartment a few blocks from us, and there was a shooting on our Pastor’s street.

My family and I are never truly safe, and yet we are ultimately safe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The stories I see on the news show me that no matter the place of residency none of us are safe from physical harm or death. But we can be confident that in Christ our souls are eternally safe. Though we turn on our security system every night, I can teach my sons about the true security found in the Gospel. If they believe by faith in Christ crucified and risen from the dead they will be saved from the reign of their sin and the flames of hell.

By raising my children in the city I can teach them that the Gospel shines brightly in diversity, it is no respecter of personal comforts, and that our ultimate safety is found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is good news to share on either side of the neighborhood.

Helpers for Unfinished Husbands

My husband recently saw the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zambia. I said my husband because I was not there to witness the beauty and glory of such a sight, although he did text me a photo. I was grateful for the kind gesture, but it did nothing to keep me from longing to be there in person.

I could see sunrays beaming through the upper half of the falls, creating a rainbow in the watery mist. Yet I couldn’t hear the thunderous crashes of the water careening into the ocean below. I couldn’t experience the feelings that well up when our senses are bombarded with wonder like a massive waterfall. I saw a fraction of the majesty on my phone. I love that he sent me the photo, but it was a poor representation of the real thing.

In much the same way, my husband is called to represent the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ in our marriage. But I have to remember he’s just a photo — a representation, an image, a sketch of the real thing. Our husbands have a great and glorious calling to be like Christ for us.

Read more at DesiringGod.org >>

3 Things I Can Learn From a 2 Year Old

I can be a child sometimes. That can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good when I have the childlike faith Jesus talks about in the gospels, but bad when I’m throwing an adult temper tantrum. Our children are a tool God uses to show us who we are and who he is. We are meant to instruct our children, but often times our children are teaching us. What on earth could I learn from a little person whose life experience equals two years? Here are just a few:

1.) I Am Finite

My son’s world is very small right now. His favorite people are mama, daddy, baby, and his grandparents. His knowledge of the world consists of home, church, the library, and the park. So far, the only pain life has inflicted on him has been scraped knees and a busted lip.

He tries to enter the adult world by eavesdropping on me and my husband’s conversations and then attempting to engage us about it. “What happened, mama?” is a recurring question throughout my day. He just wants to be involved; be in the know. Yet, he is limited in knowledge, experience, and understanding. This limitation is one reason hearing ‘no’ can be frustrating for a child.

As an adult I am finite and limited compared to God. I can’t grasp the “no’s” and the “why’s?” of life. I am still learning and growing in my understanding of God’s creation and God’s Word. My limitations should cause me to cry out, “Abba, Father! Help!” My loving father is infinite in wisdom and understanding and his power is limitless.

2.) I Try to be in Control

My son might be frustrated by the answer ‘no’, but he certainly loves the opportunity to say ‘no’ himself. When it’s time to go upstairs and get dressed, “no.” When it’s time for bed, “no.” When it’s time to eat dinner, “no.” A finite and limited little person trying to excise his will and take over the whole operation is an interesting concept.

My husband and I have better understanding at our disposal and we know what’s best for our son. We know he needs food, rest, and clothes. Our son thinks it’s a good idea to wrest control out of our fingertips, just like we try to do to God. Yet, God has an elevated view of our lives in light of all earthly and eternal history. Isn’t he qualified for the job?

We try to hold him hostage as we make our heist. We think there is freedom outside the boundary lines, but don’t realize freedom is found inside. It’s better to surrender to a traffic ticket than risk jail time, and it’s better to obey a traffic light than risk a deadly car crash. The Lord’s discipline and instruction is meant for our safety and protection; he knows without them we would be in bondage, or worse, dead. The good news is that God is always the one in control, we just deceive ourselves by thinking we control our little world.

3.) I Filter Life Through My Needs and Desires

My son is very big compared to his little world. So, his needs and desires come in high demand. He doesn’t stop and think how his actions and attitudes affect our home, he just surfs the waves of his current mood. His mind hasn’t learned to venture out into the world of others, because he is so preoccupied with his own.

This is a tough one for me, because my main occupation right now consists of round the clock service. I have to constantly place myself outside of my little world to sympathize with and meet the needs and desires of others. It’s hard to serve others in joy when I am consumed with myself. The time I get to fulfill my desires is always easier to enjoy.

I am like a child in many ways and God knows this. He knows I am finite and limited, I feebly try to control my own life, and I have a hard time thinking less about myself. Yet, knowing I am like a child is exactly what leads me to the possession of eternal life. Jesus has told us if we want to have eternal life we must have faith like a small child (Matthew 18:3.)

A child can have faith in a parent who loves them, guides them, and nurtures them. The source and object of our faith is secure and trustworthy. Once I humble myself as a small child I can rest in my savior’s lap, because he too once humbled himself in childish form.

The Seesaw of the Christian Sub-Culture

A seesaw can never be equally balanced on its own. You either go up or down in relation to the weight on the other end. The only way for a seesaw to stay balanced is for a person to hold one end and sustain the full weight. Likewise, the Christian subculture is on a constant seesaw. We go high on one end and then realize we can’t get down. Sometimes we plummet to the bottom to realize we are stuck. Now how do we get back up?

Whether it’s the dating world, roles in marriage, how-to parenting articles, views of sin and grace, or entertainment choices, it’s hard for Christians to keep things in balance. Facebook feeds put this seesaw effect on full display with an all-in or out approach to current issues facing the world and the Church.

Lots of Sin Talk

I grew up in a church where sin was talked about a lot. Repenting of sin and seeking help and change are vitally important to the Christian life. God commands us to be holy as he is holy. Paul talks about not continuing in sin just because we are saved by grace (Romans 6:1-4.) Jesus spared an adulterous woman from punishment who, by the law, deserved to be stoned. Jesus didn’t condemn her, but he did tell her to “go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11.)

The problem with making just sin the central focus of our Christianity is being stuck at the bottom of the seesaw. We end up seeing no way up. All the confrontation and change seeking can wear you down after awhile. There ends up being no hope and no seeming way of escape. This hyper focus on our sin can lead to legalism, doubt, depression, and just plain unloving thoughts and attitudes toward others.

So, how can we get some leverage here? Well, we don’t want to put too hard a weight on the other side either, then we’ll be up too high with no way down.

The Other Side of the Seesaw

I’ve seen another camp of Christians overcompensate for this strong view of sin by only talking about the love of Jesus in a way that is too permissive of real sin. This camp of followers tend to view Jesus as their boyfriend, their feel-good therapist, or an anti-depressant pill. Talking about Jesus’ love and grace without confronting sin is their happy mirage that makes them feel good about themselves. This can lend itself to licentiousness, apathy, and lethargy in our real and biblically defended battle against sin.

Finding the Balance

How can we stay in balance then? It seems like an impossible feat. It’s possible when we look to the one who holds the seesaw and makes it level for us. Jesus lives the balance; he declared perfect balance at the cross. There was perfect justice by taking our place as the sacrifice for sin needed to satisfy the holy wrath of God. God hates our sin and loves his holiness. No place tells us we are a great sinner better than the cross. This was the ultimate confrontation.

Yet, justice was balanced by perfect grace, love, and mercy. We didn’t deserve what Jesus did, which makes his costly grace that much more amazing. We were not worth the sacrifice, but God sacrificed his son because he is the worthy one. Worthy of all praise and devotion for displaying the perfect balance towards us. God showed anger and wrath against our sin, but didn’t kill us for it as needed, instead he threw the blame on himself out of love and mercy to afford us his grace.

We Need Both Sides

We can’t fully appreciate and understand God’s love apart from his wrath against sin. Likewise, we can’t fully hate and fight our sin until we see the power of God’s costly grace at work in us. Gazing at the beautifully worthy grace of Christ in the midst of our sinful unworthiness is what should spur us onto a life of godliness. He loves us in spite of our sin, because his wrath has been satisfied through Christ’s death. His kindness at the cross leads us to a life of repentance and faith.

Focus in Balance

We find ourselves out of balance when we focus on ourselves too much. We can hang low on the seesaw and get bogged down with looking at our sin, but we are still self-focused at the top when we use God’s love as a way to gratify ourselves. We make the cross about us when it is really about God. The cross is the focal point of God’s revelation of himself to us. We gain a proper understanding of ourselves when we understand who God is at the foot of the cross. Our eyes need to be focused on the one holding the seesaw for us. We need to ask him for help when we get out of balance. Because of the cross he can give us the sustaining help we need to fight sin in light of his grace and love for us. God is perfectly balanced in all of his attributes, let’s avail him of help to do the same.

Where is Your Road Going? The Gospel and Social Justice

Two hot words today: Social Justice. It’s become a big part of Church culture. I’m not here to bash this issue or say it isn’t important, isn’t validated in scripture, or that it doesn’t matter to me. But I am here to bring some clarity and focus around the issue.

As Christians, we can be pulled in so many different directions when it comes to Social Justice. Well, we could get involved with human trafficking, sidewalk counseling at an abortion clinic, helping battered women and children, sponsoring children in other countries, feeding the homeless, and the list goes on and on. I believe the Lord does lay these social burdens on his people’s hearts, and some are called by Him to strongly pursue one or more of these endeavors. I’ve even been involved with a few of these ministries myself. Yet, as we run down one of these roads we must make sure we aren’t running away from the cross, but that our road is running to it.

Social Justice is not the Gospel

It’s easy in Church culture to substitute the myriad of ministries with the Gospel. We must not let a ministry that is important to us cloud our vision of the Gospel. Church ministries are not the Gospel. Social Justice is not the Gospel. These might be avenues towards the Gospel, but they are not one and the same. The Church (the body of Christ) should be all about the Gospel. However, each local church body can explore different ministries to express this truth.

Every good story has a strong climax. This is the part where the protagonist (main character) has to make a decision that affects the rest of the story and the final outcome. The Bible is not exempt from this type of storytelling. In fact, everything in the Old Testament points to the climax in the Bible. What is it? Jesus choosing in his manhood to die a brutal death on the cross and then proving his Godhood by rising from the dead. This is the focal point of the whole Bible, so it should also be the focal point of our lives and our ministries. 

Jesus and Social Justice

In Mark 2:1-12 Jesus is speaking to a large crowd of people, a crowd so large that four men had to lower their paralytic friend through the roof of the house just so Jesus could see him. The first thing Jesus does is tell the man that his sins are forgiven. Why? Jesus knew it was more difficult to be washed clean from filthy sins than to heal bodily ailments. He also knew through the power of his death and resurrection he would be able to give that man a much greater healing; healing from sin. He offers the same to us today. Every church ministry and social justice issue should be about the great healer who gives forgiveness of sins.
Yet, Jesus didn’t deem the mans paralyzes as unimportant either. Jesus was establishing his credibility to heal based on his authority as the Son of God. He still healed the lame man. He took care of his soul and also his body. Let us do the same for others.

Getting to the Root of True Beauty

{This post contains an affiliate link.}

Facebook has now become a news stand. Every new and noteworthy article or video you should read (or not read) has probably made its way into your news feed. Some are newsworthy and some are just cute or inspiring. Here is a cute and inspiring one that has been circulating around: http://www.quickmeme.com/p/3vug8k

It is important to not be deceived by this cute little letter. There are statements in here that we as Christians can agree with, but there is nothing distinctly Christian in it; any religious or non-religious person can agree with this letter.

I wouldn’t uphold this letter to my future daughter, because though it does put down a negative cultural attitude, it also promotes a secular philosophy. The world solves the true beauty crisis by looking inward. They put their hope and promise in the truth of themselves. It’s about me. My strength, my heart, my center, my dreams. Look within yourself and believe in yourself.

The Philosophy Behind the Culture

This way of thinking is rampant in our culture. It’s a humanistic philosophy that should be rejected as much as the cultural beauty pressures women face. Humanism is basically a man-centered way of  thinking. Man is basically God and basically good, and we can find value in our human nature. This father isn’t solving the root issue, he’s just feeding the flame of self to his daughter. He doesn’t know the truth of the Gospel and the true beauty in Christ of dying to self. Self. That is the root issue. Self-obsession. Self-love. Self-hatred.

In every culture and generation there has always been varying ideas of what is and isn’t beautiful. The pressure women feel to be outwardly beautiful isn’t a new concept. (We just have it more in our face now with such an image driven culture.) The pressure has been on our external self, but the way to find freedom is not to look to our internal self. We need to get completely outside of ourselves to be free. Anything inside of us is just as ugly and flawed as anything we perceive about ourselves externally.  C.S. Lewis says this,

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”

Our Biggest Enemy and our Role-Model

Our biggest enemy as women is not the makeup and fashion industry, but it is ourselves. We love ourselves too much, we think about ourselves too much, and when we do this we enslave ourselves. The letter I would write to my future
daughter would solve the true beauty crisis by encouraging her to look to Christ. He is the picture of true beauty.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  -Philippians 2:5-11

Christ made himself ugly by entering our world. He sacrificed his heavenly radiance and clothed himself in sinful flesh. The one person who actually deserved to think well of himself and who was completely worthy, forgot himself completely. He lived this way and died this way. He became ugly to make us beautiful in Him. Once we believe this, with faith, then our worthiness and our beauty is found in Him.  We are perfectly flawless before God by the blood of Christ.

This is what I want my future daughter to believe in — not herself. The woman who dies to self daily increases in beauty daily. She is a lovely scented perfume to God and to those around her. Christ makes us beautiful inside, and that is our hope.

“C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity makes a brilliant observation about gospel-humility at the very end of his chapter on pride. If we were to meet a truly humble person, Lewis says, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody (because a person who keeps saying they are a nobody is actually a self-obsessed person). The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.

Excerpt from Tim Keller’s book, The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness: The Path to True Christian Joy

Close to the Heart of Christ

When I was younger I wanted to be a missionary. I had idealistic dreams of living somewhat rustically, learning a new language, and being in a far off land sharing and living the Gospel everyday. I went on three short-term mission trips, read many books on missions and missionaries, and went to hear missionary’s speak. Overseas missions work still has a place in my heart, but the Lord rerouted my life and kept whispering in my ear along the way.

Every time I picked up a brochure about overseas missions work I felt a gentle nudge of no from the Lord. I didn’t understand, but I listened. He kept showing me hints of His plan for me instead. The hints pointed in the direction of being in the ministry, but not in the way I imagined it. My part would be a supportive role; a hidden role at times. The Lord pointed me in the direction of marriage, but I was afraid of my gifts being squelched. I guess I liked the limelight more than I thought. Maybe I wanted a little more recognition.

No luck there. I finally met someone and the Lord smashed all my preconceived ideas of marriage and invited me to follow him, my Shepherd, into the uncharted territory of love and commitment. I put up a decent fight, but God is a much better fighter than I; he always wins. He wins, because he loves me and knows what’s best for me…I just needed to believe it.

My Unseen Ministry Opportunity

I married this ‘someone’ and realized this was my ministry: to support and help my husband in his already established ministry. His business is also a ministry by spreading the Gospel through art and music. We even went on a music tour/missions trip together last summer to Poland. This summer he will be going with a few other men to tour Europe on an outreach.

My ministry has also expanded to motherhood. I’m on the greatest mission field in my home as my husband and I start a family. I have the greatest influence on my son (and future children.) I’m not just my son’s mother. I’m his teacher, counselor, trainer, and evangelist. I have the opportunity to share Jesus with my son every day for the rest of his life. I get a unique opportunity to mold a human life. Right now it’s just nursing, diapers, and naps, but soon he will understand more and I can slowly teach and share with him. I am still living the Gospel every day.

I was naive to think my only way of living and sharing the Gospel was overseas. Every day I lay down my life for my son by changing another poopy diaper. Jesus washed his disciples feet, I wash my son’s bottom; both an act of humility and servant hood. By putting my son first I’m showing him and others that Jesus put others first by dying on the cross. He did not think of his own convenience or comfort and neither should I. Every day I deny myself these two things, I’m pointing to something much greater than I.

Mother Missionary

Make no mistake motherhood is a mission field. It is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard to think of others first and it’s hard to have almost the same routine everyday, scrub the same toilet every week (or more), wash the same dishes every day, do the same laundry every day, and the list goes on. My ministry is as hard and rigorous as training to be an overseas missionary. It’s hard, because it’s refining and character building for me. It’s hard to not always get recognition or a medal for what I do, but that’s part of my ministry as a wife and mom. I’m serving behind the scenes to make others great. This lifestyle is as close to the heart of Christ as one can get.