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.