The Lord was so sweet to use a crazy Sunday to encourage me with Truths regarding motherhood and serving in the local church (you can read that Here). But as soon as I clicked “post”, He kept encouraging my heart in more ways regarding serving in this season of motherhood.
I’m taking classes through Southeastern’s Biblical Women’s Institute online, and in a recent lecture on missions, I was reminded that Christians have 2 options when it comes to missions- we should be either going OR sending. We should be going to the nations, or we should be sending to the nations. We moms are not excluded from these commands because our calling is not centered around being moms, it’s centered around being followers of Christ.
As moms, the going can be hard. Yes, we should be going in some way- going to our neighbors, going & making disciples in the grocery check out. But “going” in terms of joining your church on a short term trip is pretty difficult in these years of toddlers and babies.
So we start believing a lie- “We can’t serve”, which is the furthest thing from the truth. We CAN (and should) serve. I think that we believe this lie because we don’t think that the “sending” is serving. We don’t think that feeding our children McDonald’s in a Sunday school room so our husband can attend a mission trip meeting is serving, but it is. The “sending” might not be as visible as the “going”, but it is vital in the Kingdom too. I also think that this is where another problem lies- we believe that if our serving isn’t visible, then maybe it isn’t that valuable. But once again, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Moments when we have these thoughts are the moments when we must ask the Lord to give us a heart check. Because if we only serve or enjoy serving when it’s visible, then we are really not serving for the glory of God; we’re serving for the glory of ourselves.
The thing that I’m learning about serving is this- it isn’t always beautiful in the “Instagram-worthy” sense, it isn’t always convenient, and it doesn’t always look like how we envision it. A lot of times, serving looks like cleaning up sippy cup spills, letting middle school boys invade your house for the weekend, and studying the book of Esthter in the middle of rocking a fussy baby. There are times when my heart isn’t where it should be when it comes to serving. I struggle with believing the lies that I shared above- I can’t serve, or maybe my serving isn’t that important. But it’s in these times when the Lord reminds me of this verse in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (ESV). So, if Jesus, the King of kings, served in a much harder and brutal way than I will ever serve (by giving His life on the cross), then I can change that diaper. I can go the extra mile for that friend. Because Jesus served me by giving His life, I can serve others in His name, even if that means it isn’t visible, or it’s a little messy, or it inconveniences me temporarily.
So, mamas, our serving might not look how we imagine in the “going” aspect, but we can most definitely be “senders”. We can be senders by holding down the fort at home while our husbands go on a mission trip. We can be senders by hosting and/or participating in fundraisers. We can be senders by driving the mission team to/from the airport. We can be senders by sponsoring a student to camp who might not otherwise get to attend. And the list goes on… the ways that we can serve by sending are endless. But last, and most definitely not least, we can send by praying. Praying is never just praying. Praying is a vital act of service in the going AND the sending. It is our privilege as daughter to boldly approach the throne of our Father and ask Him to work in the going and the sending in Jesus’ name. And the wonderful thing about the gift of prayer, is that we can (and should) do this no matter what season of life we are in. We can pray as we change diapers, as we walk to class, on our lunch break, etc.
Dear friends, don’t discount your serving because it isn’t visible. The Lord is using you in incredible ways as you serve in your home. All of the goers and the senders are important in the Kingdom work that the Father has given us. May we be faithful in whatever season and role that the Lord has us in to fill the world with worshippers of the one true God- Jesus Christ!
And p.s.- Just because you can’t go doesn’t mean you can’t get the t-shirt! AND… a special thank you to our family who are “senders” so that I can sometimes be a “goer”!