“Does anything I do matter? I mean, all I do is prepare meals, do dishes, fold laundry and change diapers. Then, I repeat the same thing the next day. I wanted to be a missionary when I was single. Today, I don’t feel like I advance the Kingdom of God at all. Maybe some day, when the kids are grown I will have time . . .” Anonymous Mom confessions
Have you ever felt this way? I know I have, especially when the kids were little and I worked.
But I want to encourage you today to think of yourself, like God does in Matthew 14.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 14:14-16
Your kids ARE your mission. They are our first God-given priority. YOU are the light of Christ they experience each day. YOU are building into them character and whispering the secrets of the kingdom in their lives. You are shaping them and creating the next world-changer through every diaper you change and every meal you make. You are teaching them what it looks like to serve others and how to respond to difficult situations with grace and wisdom. YOU are doing all this! But the days are slow and the work is monotonous. Yes, it is true!
Beyond our husbands and our kids, I see God giving me opportunities within the framework of my daily life. I have just had to adjust my thinking. In my sphere of influence, there are people who need Jesus. I have other moms in my life, parents with each sports team my kids are in and neighbors who God has given around me. I also have people who come into my life for a specific time – a divine moment, I call it. All of these gifts can give me a God-given opportunity to “be a light in this world”.
Here are three different ways God has shown me how to “give light” around my daily activities that require no travel or degree to do, even as a mom. Just a little bit of preparation and well thought-out plans to make an ordinary moment into a divine appointment.
Wherever I am, people are willing to talk about their lives. So I take Jesus’ lead and ask questions. Of course, my job is to actively listen to a new friend I have met at the park or a parent at one of my kids’ soccer games. I have learned everyone has a story. While engaging in this person’s life there are 3 things I can do to “shine light” into the conversation.
Most of the time, an opening in conversation will happen and gives me an opportunity to do one of three things.
Share my testimony
Through lots of practice, I have gotten my testimony down to three minutes. I have the short version or the long version ready to go to share about Jesus when the opportunity arises. I ask God to show me the best place and almost always the conversation leads easily to share.
Share what God has been Teaching me
Other times I am prompted to share what the Lord is teaching me through my quiet times in the morning—whether it is a verse or an example from life. I am always looking for a way to carefully insert it into a casual conversation. Again seeking the Lord for the right timing.
Pray for those who are hurting
Lastly, when speaking with another mom, oftentimes hurts or trials will be the topic we end up on because there is so much hurt and pain in this world. I find it easy to tell people I will pray for them, but God is stretching me out of my comfort zone to just stop and pray right then and there with them. Most always the person, Christian or not, will accept prayer.
Singing “This Little Light of Mine” with my kids can really be acted out in our lives with just simple acts. The hardest part for me has been just keeping focused. I tend to be lazy and forget that every interaction with another person can be a divine appointment. I get caught up in the story or my own excitement to share things going on in my life, but just a simple bit of pre-planning and focus can bring “light” to every conversation.
I know many of you share and bring light to the world around you. What are other ways we could be a light to the world around us?
When Jeanna is not writing, speaking, event planning, or homeschooling, she can be found scrapbooking her life, redecorating her home, loving on her husband, planning fun events for her kids or eating healthy to stay cancer-free!