One of the hardest things to adjust to as a stay at home mom has been accepting a smaller sphere of influence and interaction. There’s a lot of guilt that threatens to overwhelm me as I sit in Sunday School and we discuss evangelism or discipleship opportunities. I’ve had a lot of great biblical teaching given to me in the course of my faith. Hours and hours of personal discipleship for me and from me to others. Mission trips with the gospel of Christ preached day in and day out. I chose my nursing career with the goal in mind of possibly being called to use it overseas one day. I have wept over the plentiful harvest and the few laborers (Luke 10:2). I have desired and part-taken of being used to sow and to reap in it.
Yet now, looking at my daily life, you’d never know. I’m knee-deep in home-schooling, play-date planning, meal planning, bargain shopping, and chores. My spheres of influence to encourage in Christ are limited to those in my church or in my CC community. My fields ripe for harvest are basically those who come to either place to visit or the various doctor appointments, grocery runs etc in the course of my day, with 3 children in tow. Some days, I look at where I am and I think…I’m not doing anything for God’s glory here. Guilt sets in. I hear stories of how God is working in the work place of others or in their neighborhood get-togethers or in their short-term missions trips. And I mourn. I mourn the loss of that freedom. I think I should go back to work. I think I should pawn off my children to someone and demand from my spouse that he works harder so I can go overseas on a trip. I think I’m not laboring here!
And then I remind myself of this:
Plant with the harvest in mind…
Hard as it is to keep in my mind, I’m in different role. I’m mom. I’m teacher. I am now a 24 hour a day sower. Which is the hardest part of what I do in light of eternity. Like the missionary who goes overseas and spends 20 years laboring in the harvest and perhaps never seeing the fruit of his labor…so I labor inside the four walls of my home. I may not have time for weekly discipleship or an out of the house job that may be my mission field but I have husbandry of the mission field of tomorrow. In my children. They are my field to sow into. Every day pointing them to the love of God, the sacrifice of Christ and the grace so freely bestowed to “those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).
One day, I hope to again partake in a larger mission field on a more consistent basis. To be involved in being discipled and making disciples (the adult variety). But for now, I can only snatch outside moments when they fit the field I’m already in. Oddly, no one expects the missionary to Spain to be guilty over their inability to also be the missionary to China. Yet, as moms, and particularly stay at home moms, we struggle with this. We don’t equate the work and sometimes others don’t equate the work. But God does. This is the mission field He’s called us to and while we may not see fruit in 5 years or 10 years, we are laboring in the harvest just as others are doing.
There’s school books all over the table. The last week’s worth of grading (I use that term very loosely) is still pending. I can’t tell you what my daughter will be writing on by Monday since I still haven’t figured it out. I don’t have a meal plan for the weekend. I feel the confines of the walls around me (literally and figuratively).
I’m counting down to CC break week! One of the beautiful things about having a group to hold you scholastically accountable is, well, your held accountable. But I get a bit stir crazy as consistent results are expected and finally break out in a crazy I’m-not-doing-anymore-it’s-pajamas-and-play-only kind of week. In severe cases, it’s been a month. Don’t judge. The snap is inevitable.
One of the great things about schooling with CC is they understand that. Every 6 weeks, we all get a week off (at least). They understand that the papers can only pile so high, that the ideas for presentations can only flow so long and that I can only hear the timeline song in its entirety so much before the snapping comes. And I only have 1 more week to go!
So the grading and planning will continue for one more week. Cabin fever is settling in quick and I’m pushing to make it. God gives grace and strength…but I’m definitely looking forward to a break!
I’d consider this CC day well seized!!
Two weeks ago I posted about our son’s probable ADD and our decision to try some alternative methods to help him. It was a hard decision and one that surprisingly a lot of people in my sphere have made, all unknown to me. It’s been very encouraging to hear stories of others, to ask questions and see what is working for their children as we all work to make the best of a fallen world. Instead of judgement, I found a lot of sympathetic ears and hearts. Truly, I’m blessed by it.
Most of the herbal/vitamin supplements geared towards helping in this have a cautionary rule of waiting a two-week period before making any final judgements on how well it is working. The basis of this is due to it taking the body that long to accumulate an increasing amount of these supplements to help offset any physiological imbalance. I found my experience in this to be fairly accurate although I could see incremental improvements through-out this time frame. I have been amazed and awed at some of the changes in my son as he’s been taking “Focus for Children” and a good Omega-3, supplements I found at our local health food store. Today was probably the biggest achievement he has made. Handwriting for him has always been one of the hardest tasks for him to stick with, thirty minutes to copy at 6-7 word sentence was his typical pace. Frequently, it’s taken more than an hour. Imagine then my surprise when sitting in church this morning he voluntarily, willingly and without any encouragement from me, sat and wrote in his notebook all the numbers between 1-100 and the full alphabet, taking care to do his best on each one. I’ve had his sunday school teachers comment on his new desire to write everything he’s supposed to, instead of letting another student do it for him. We’ve sat and breezed through reading lessons with minimal distraction and greater confidence than I’ve ever seen in him.
I’m not claiming a miracle drug. I’m not saying there still won’t be difficult days or problems or that this may one day no longer work for us. But as someone who was skeptical in the first place but desperate to help my son, I needed someone to say hey, I tried this and it worked for us. Maybe, if you’re in the same boat I was, having a place to start will help you too. We’re all created uniquely and not everything will work for everyone, but I’m really encouraged by our progress. And I praise God for every smile on my son’s face when he’s accomplished his goal.