There’s a sign on our church patio that faces us as we walk toward the parking lot post-service. It reads: “You are now entering the mission field.” I want it on a doormat so that when I come home I know. As a mom, I’m a missionary at home: I’m set to spread the love of Jesus in every wiped nose and every peeled orange. I’m purposed to hold my tongue in anger and to speak words of life and love into tiny hearts each day. I’m burdened to be the hands and feet of Him who lived so perfectly on earth—no matter how that weight feels. It’s what I’m striving for daily.
The feel of my home is something I’m in constant contact with God about; I ask Him to pour out His Spirit, covering our house like a blanket of snow (which we never see the likes of in sunny So Cal). I visualize it so I remember He is thick in our air. The constantness in parenting has been the trickiest part for me to get into (like 3:00 a.m. … why?!), but the most rewarding is the blossoming friendship amongst my three girls. We aim high as we sing the song of sisterhood over our kids. We fight each battle knowing it’s as important as it is unique—pressing into them the camaraderie that Jesus had with each of His apostles. There is stretching and growing and denial and hurt, just like the 12 had. And there is joy and beauty and depth and hope, just like they had too. But there’s another dynamic at play here, too: These little ladies … they aren’t all mine.
Just over a year ago, my husband and I experienced the truth of Luke 12:48 (much given; much expected). Our arms and hearts were full with two precious daughters—a life we had prayed and hoped and dreamed of, after our 13 years of marriage together. But when our youngest daughter turned one in the summer of 2016, God moved boldly in His plan to share our home with another.
This child was someone on our radar through family and had been on our hearts for awhile—someone quite literally for whom I could say, “For THIS child I have prayed.” It’s not that we had the desire to grow our family—we felt entirely content in our circumstances. But God sought our hearts in a new and deeper way—a way of stepping out of comfortable and into radical for His glory.
We’ve had a front-row seat to lives changed (including our own).
The short story is this: In October, a woman we hardly knew dropped off her toddler for us to care for while she fell back into a life pattern of abuse. This sweet girl was the same age as my youngest—11 days older, to be exact. I essentially gained a twin daughter and it was everything you would expect it to be: chaos, excitement, love, confusion, hurt, and adjustment. At the time we knew very little about the story of our sweet girl or the mom who dropped her off. But over the year to come we would learn and grow in ways so unexpected and unanticipated that it can only be described as a holy act from a very holy God.
We opened our home to this precious little girl and we saw God’s faithful goodness. We offered visitation to her mother and we saw His hands of love reaching as He seeks and saves in ways only He can. We poured out love from our living room and expected Him to show up—and He continued to. There are plenty of twists and turns, but the constants in it all are the equal parts of love and responsibility. I find it pretty amazing that God requests our help as He changes lives; it’s an honor to be invited in.
I’ve known the Lord my whole life and still felt shamefully unprepared and completely unqualified for the task at hand. I remember feeling all of those years of lazy Christianity pooling at my feet, and all of it led up to the lie that I was not the girl for this job—something I’ve had extensive conversations with the Lord about. We grow as Christians when we move when He is prompting. He also promises to equip us fully whenever and whatever He requires and requests. For us, in our trusting yes, the peace that we have felt in the process has been unparalleled. We’ve sought His counsel. We’ve received His protection. He’s revealed His character. We’ve had a front-row seat to lives changed (including our own). I am living proof that we don’t need to know how the story ends to know that it’s a worthy read. God has taken me from a place of fear and failure to a place of courage and confidence—and enough of Him to brave the building blocks and bedtime routines in the mission field of motherhood.