As a teenager I remember reading biographies of missionaries and dreaming of someday living in a jungle with the natives and heroically preaching the gospel and translating scripture in my grass hut. Many were the times that I prayed, “Here I am Lord, send me!” My heart though mixed with selfish ambition and pride was to be used in God’s kingdom.
In time my missionary dreams faded in light of my new passion for the local church. Fantasies of jungle evangelism gave way to me actually leading a high school girls’ Bible study and playing keyboard every Sunday morning. New dreams of being a pastor’s wife (a dream that came true!) and maybe even church planting emerged. “Here am I. Send me,” still echoed in my heart.
Then, a new season dawned in my life…motherhood. God made my entrance into motherhood such that I had to rather abruptly be removed from involvement in both youth group and and worship team to care for twins. And just to ensure that I wouldn’t go back to other ministries too soon – five months after the twins were born, I was pregnant again. Those dreams of heroic missionary work, leading Bible studies, and being right with my husband at various meetings and ministry events were interrupted by 2 am feedings, 16 diaper changes a day, and raging hormones.
Even though I absolutely enjoyed my babies, in the first three years or so, I often found myself overwhelmed and frazzled. I couldn’t seem to stay motivated to keep doing the same things over and over. I was tired of being confronted with my inadequacy to do this mom thing. But God in His mercy broke through. It wasn’t a sudden revelation, but more of a dawning on me. I was always looking for the grand, heroic gesture to glorify God. Looking back, my desire was really for my own glory (a testimony in and of itself). With much patience God revealed to me that true godliness that glorifies Him is evident in the mundane moments of life. Yes, I was willing to go to the jungles of Africa, but was I willing to go to the playroom and pick up the toys for the fifth time that day. Yes, I was willing to preach to the natives, but was I willing to view disciplining my children as opportunities to further the Gospel in their lives. Instead of translating scripture, was I willing to translate the Bible to a preschooler, like when I had to explain that the verse says, “only begotten Son” not “only forgotten Son”.
God has graciously revealed to me that He has ordained this season with all of its daily-ness. It is tailor made for His glory and my good. Indeed, it is nothing short of a miracle when God enables this selfish mother to keep up with laundry, build a Thomas track, and help the kids resolve conflict.
Something amazing has happened in this life of mine. I am finding that when I submit to this plan God designed for me to bring Him glory (which is still a daily battle), I find joy even in the most mundane task. How amazing that God would accept sweeping the floor as a spiritual act of worship (Romans 12). How amazing that when in my self-pity I think, “nobody sees or appreciates all that I am doing,” God whispers to me, “I see you.” How amazing that I can so tangibly feel the pleasure of God in me when I am simply building a lego house, teaching Math, or reading a story to my children.
If I could go back in time and whisper a word to that dreaming teenager that was me I would not say, “your dreams are too big!” I would say, “what is ahead is far beyond your wildest dreams!” My testimony is that God has patiently helped me to understand that in His kindness He has made bringing glory to Him in the daily events of life, a source of great joy…even better than dreaming.