What’s a good career path for a girl who just wants to change the world? Stay at home mom, right? Wait…
I’m a person who feels strongly what Courtney Reissig calls the “pull of the spectacular.” I want my short life to count. I want to do eternal things with the days I’ve been given. I wanna imitate the disciples, 12 ordinary guys who turned the world upside down. And the world needs changing. It’s so broken! There is so much injustice, so much poverty; it breaks my heart. In college, I studied great writers, great thinkers, great teachers and revolutionaries. I studied the lives of missionaries and politicians, and I wanted to be one of them.
I’m all about doing big things. If I help to plan an event, I want 1,000 people to show up. If I write a book, I want 1,000,000 to buy it. I want to do big things for God, but that’s not the commission He has given me. Evidently, He wants me to do small things with great love. He wants to take center stage, not to shine a spotlight on me.
So I’m a stay at home mom. I don’t even have a dozen children to boast of, just three. I spend my days assigning books to read, catching up on a sinkful of dirty dishes, and cooking. I don’t even cook amazing gourmet meals — we eat a lot of cereal. My house is always in need of a good scrub, and I’m perpetually behind on school with the kids. So what does it mean to be faithful in exile as a mom? It’s what my husband calls “the peculiar glory of humble circumstances.”
First, I think being faithful means having faith. Having faith, as we teach our little ones, that “God is great,” and “God is good.” He is mighty, He is thoughtful, and He is sovereign over all of the little details of my life. He doesn’t need me to accomplish great things; He’s got “great” covered. Just as I can trust Him for my salvation, I can trust Him to make all things beautiful in His time—including all the little details of my life. And little things can be eternally significant, like little mustard seeds that grow up into towering trees.
I think being faithful means loving God—ridiculously. It means worshipping Him with a glad, full heart, day in and day out, even when my days kinda start to look the same from one to the next. My primary contribution to the world is to adore and enjoy Jesus with my husband, with my children, with all of y’all. It’s not about me at all.
I think being faithful means loving my neighbor extravagantly. In this case, my most obvious neighbors are Michael, Josh, Abbey, and Patrick. When I wash a pan that somebody made a grilled cheese in, I am loving my neighbor. When I do the bills, I am loving my neighbor. It’s not glamorous, but it is God-honoring. And frankly I don’t even do it for my family, I do it for Jesus. Whenever we give a cup of cold water in His name, He receives it as a gift to Himself.
And finally, I think being faithful in exile means remembering that what matters eternally far outweighs what matters for a fleeting moment. Love is significant, because it plants seeds that bloom in eternity. Our lives are really, really short, but every moment that we dedicate to the Lord will have long-lasting impact.
We are in exile here, in a broken and fallen world. There are “thorns and thistles” — obstacles and tediousness and heartache galore. As a stay at home mom, I experience this exile as a long wait, a wait for Home. And whenever I can serve with humility and love, I am reminded of Jesus’ exile here on earth. He did not seek fame and fortune; He came to love extravagantly, to serve ceaselessly, and to lay down His life for you and me. Any frustration I feel at being mired in little chores is swallowed up by awe when I consider the God who came to our little earth out of a great, great love.
This post was written for a quick testimony at church. We’ve been walking through the book of Daniel (check it out!) and considering what it means to be faithful in exile. Each week someone from the congregation has shared what faithfulness looks like in their unique context. This was me taking a stab at it.