Do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
From the time I was young I wanted to do great things for God. My imagination soared with ideas how I could help God out–write a play, lead a choir, lead thousands to know Jesus. Eventually I did lead a small choir–twice. But other than that my life got caught up in parenting—music lessons, soccer games, homework, Awanas–and all that comes with it.
We all want to be special and important and do great things for God. What we don’t always realize though is greatness is closer than we think.
I sat down with a mentor and friend of mine and she told me a true story I thought you’d find encouraging.
Jeanne Hedrick is an author, intercessor and blogger at Adventuring with God. She’s a mother of four and grandmother of fourteen.
Ten years into marriage, my husband Tony and I surrendered to Jesus. We’d turned our backs on our Christian upbringings, but a life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit in a small house church brought us back to Him. We left with new hope and peace. More than anything we wanted to figure out how to please God. We wanted our lives to count for him!
At that time we lived on a small farm. My husband was running an advertising business in a town twenty miles away. After getting saved, he became an evangelist overnight and told anyone who’d listen how his life had been transformed by Jesus. He shared the gospel every chance he got, both at work and often in people’s homes in the evening too.
Meanwhile, I was at home, looking after four children, ages 6 months to 9 years. On top of that I had animals, crops, and gardens to take care of. My days were busy and satisfying in every way except one … I wanted to be out doing “great things” for God like my husband!
It seemed unfair that he was free to follow his spiritual gifts, while I was confined by my responsibilities at home
I kept thinking, “He’s going to get ahead of me spiritually.” Would the Lord be as pleased with me as he was with Tony? These crazy thoughts rattled around in my head for weeks, robbing me of my joy. My prayers were mostly complaints and requests for God to change my circumstances.
One night I put the kids to bed and curled up with my Bible. The wind was howling outside, but I had a warm and comfortable place to talk with the Lord. The only problem was, I was focused on what I didn’t have.
I “randomly” flipped my Bible to James 4. As I read verses 1-10, the Holy Spirit showed me the awful mess festering in my heart. He showed me how envy, anger, and self-pity had taken over my attitudes. I was heartbroken. I cried, grieved, mourned, and repented, just like James prescribed in these verses. When I humbled myself he lifted me up!
God showed me it was his design for me to be home with the kids – he’d called me to be a pastor to them. I wasn’t missing out on ministry opportunities when I cared for them. I was called to teach them what I was learning from God’s Word and share the discoveries I was making in my own walk of faith. I would be able to help shape their lives for him. What better opportunity could I have?
In my attempt to make a difference in his kingdom, I’d missed the most important calling of all—the privilege of being a godly mother.
Parenting IS doing great things for God.
When you’re changing a poopy diaper,
When you’re helping your son perfect his baseball swing,
When you’re on a bike ride with your kids to the park,
When you’re disciplining your son because he teased his sister until she cried–again
You are doing something great for God.
What gives your work value is that God called you to do it. And his calling to you, as it is to every parent, is to nurture your child’s faith (Deut. 6:4-9).