Better moms make a better world. That’s the catch-phrase at this convention. Today, the speakers challenged us to make our planet a better place. I was struck once again with the reality that God uses His people to change the world.
I was also struck by the reality that I am one of those people. God wants to use me to impact lives, to make a difference. Me. A stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of six little children. Me. The mom who can barely keep up with the laundry and the dishes. Me. God wants to use me to make a difference in this world.
The next thought that struck me, like a two-by-four, is that God wants to use me NOW. For a while, I’ve talked about seasons of life, and I’ve been content to think that my season of life for the past few years has been to have babies and be at home and focus my mind and attention on my family. And while that’s true, I’ve also been feeling for quite some time that I’m supposed to do more. Today, in our final general session, I realized why I have had this unsettled feeling, why I’ve felt like each season of life must MUST include ministry to someone outside my home. This thought sliced through my brain — Jesus may return. I may not have another season of life to devote to impacting my world.
I have to figure out ways to minister while my children are small because Jesus could return for me before my children are grown.
Before I go on, I want to assure you that I do believe with all my heart that investing myself into my children is a ministry, and I do believe that spending myself to raise godly children is a way to impact the world. But I also feel the Lord drawing my heart, burdening my heart, with His compassion on those outside my home. I also feel burdened by the Great Commission. I know God desires more from me. And I know that my children will not learn to impact the world unless they see me modeling it for them.
So what can I do? I mean, some days I feel like it’s all I can do to pour cold cereal for breakfast, make peanut butter and jelly for lunch, and heat up canned soup for dinner. How am I supposed to change the world? In the past several months God has impressed upon my heart His command to reach Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. I know of a church that structures its mission program around that idea. They plan Jerusalem mission projects in their own town, Judea mission projects in their region or state, Samaria mission projects in other parts of the US, and then they do mission trips to the ends of the earth. If a church can do it, then we mothers can plan family mission projects on this model.
We can have family Jerusalem mission projects. We can have a leaf-raking party in the yard of an elderly person. We can take a meal to a new mom or a sick neighbor. We can sing at a nursing home. We can tutor children from a low-income housing development. We can give our outgrown winter coats to a family who needs them. We can sponsor a food drive in our church. We can sponsor a blood drive or volunteer with meals-on-wheels or host a Christmas in July charity party or volunteer to stock shelves at the food pantry. There are so many opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ in our own towns.
We can also have family Judea mission projects. We can look to our region or our state for a need and give our time or money. We can raise awareness within our community or church. Reading the news and networking with charity organizations are good ways to know of needs. Perhaps a church in another part of my state has burned down or been damaged by a storm. My family could collect donations and drive to hand-deliver it. Or perhaps a family a few towns over has suffered horrible tragedy. My family could pray and draw pictures and mail them. We moms and dads can pray for creativity and opportunities. God will direct us.
Next, we can have family Samaria mission projects. When we hear about a bridge collapsing in Minnesota or about a mine collapsing in Utah or about a tornado destroying homes in Kansas, we can pray together. And then we can move into action. We can contact Samaritan’s Purse and send donations of money or things. We can take a child along when we go to donate blood at our local Red Cross. We can send words of encouragement or teddy bears of comfort. Sometimes God may lead us to do something that seems big, and sometimes He may direct us to do something that seems small. Really, it doesn’t take much time to draw pictures or make an online contribution. Yet these things impact our world.
Finally, we can also have family ends-of-the-earth mission projects. I know we cannot all take our children along on mission trips to Brazil or Africa or Papua New Guinea. But we can post prayer cards of missionaries and pray for them and send them money. We can sponsor a child through Compassion International or World Vision. We can collect our loose change for International Justice Mission (which, by the way, I will be writing about soon). We can have conversations with our children about slavery in our world today and about hungry children and about grown-ups who have never read a word of the Bible because they don’t have the Bible in their own language. We can put up a world map and pray for persecuted Christians and show our children where those Christians live. We can fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. We don’t have to travel the world to impact the world.
God has lit a fire in me. I want my children to become people of influence. I want my children to make a difference. Therefore, I must show them what that looks like. I must set the example.
I also want my children to have a big view of God. We do serve a big God. He’s not an American God. He’s God of the entire world, the entire universe. And He loves every person in the world. If our heartbeat is in sync with His heartbeat, we will love the people of the world and want to serve them. We will want to reach out to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth with the love of Christ and the Good News of His invitation to dwell with Him. We will model Christ’s ultimate act of service with our small acts of service. In these small ways, we can change the world, and we can raise children who will change the world.