It was only a few months ago that a young mother came to my home, despondent and exhausted. I remember holding her hand as she unloaded years’ worth of guilt poured upon her, guilt brought on by the unkind words of well-meaning friends who told her that she was not doing enough for the kingdom of God and that her day-to-day service to her children was somehow spiritually less significant than those whose entire lives were committed to a life on mission.
With tears in her eyes, this woman — who is even younger than myself – asked me a heart-wrenching question that, sadly, I had heard from other mothers before her: “Has motherhood disqualified me from missions?”
The daily, the routine, the mundaneness of motherhood breeds questions like this one, breathing insignificance and unworthiness into our lives, and making us question our God-given calling to our children, our family, and our home.
This question raises its ugly head every time we, as mothers, become overwhelmed with the unendingness of daily household chores. It sinks into our thoughts every time we feel weary from continual diaper changes or school pick-ups and drop-offs or doctor visits for our children. It rages war against our identity every time we see a friend travel overseas to a remote jungle or desert, lifted high on the wings of praise and prayers, while our furthest distance of the day is to the baby’s crib and back. In those twenty feet, we remain unshowered, unkempt, and often times unnoticed.
This is the lie we believe — the lie that you must go abroad to do missions, as if the missional component of our lives is conducted outside of our normative spaces.
Jesus’ famous command in Matthew 28:19-20 begins with the phrase, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations . . . ” Does this mean that we can only use our body, gifts, prayers, and influence for the kingdom of God if we leave our home, not if we stay in it?
Sister, your life as a mother is of infinite worth, and God desires to use your motherhood for His kingdom and for His glory.
Let us, first, never forget that our children are our greatest mission field. As Gloria Furman says, “Mothers share the gospel with more souls than we can count and faithfully raise up the next generation, the applause of heaven echoes in eternity.” We need never compare ourselves to the door-to-door evangelist or the missionary in Africa, for we, too, have been given the opportunity to share the gospel every day with the tiny hands and feet and growing hearts that surround us, and that is awesome.
Second, we can live a life of missional motherhood by providing holistic care for mothers around the world. That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about an opportunity for missional motherhood that you can take part in right now.
This month at (in)courage we’ve been talking about our partnership with Mercy House Global, a non-profit (founded by one of our very own, Kristen Welch!) that “exists to engage, empower and disciple women around the globe in Jesus’ name.” The vision of Mercy House Global hit home for me because the women they care for are mothers like me. I was particularly struck by this powerful video in which Mercy House cares for mothers on the street, mothers who have either sold their children for food or have had their babies stolen from them. Mercy House gives them food. They give them jobs. And they talk about Jesus. Incredible!
I know that I can’t go to Kenya and volunteer at Mercy House Global’s maternity home in my current stage of motherhood. I don’t have the finances. I don’t know anyone who could watch my kids for two weeks, and since I’m still nursing, my baby can’t really leave my side anyway.
But I can engage in a global motherhood on mission by giving my resources – as one mother to another – to help Mercy House care for women and their children.
Right now, (in)courage is teaming up with Mercy House Global for a very specific project that we would love for you to be a part of. The project is called #1000mercies. Have you been following along?
You see, there is a group of women in Kenya that Mercy House is helping rescue out of poverty by providing skilled training and sustainable work. These women, the Street Hope Artisans, have hand-stitched 1,000 ornaments; we have the opportunity to support Mercy House and receive a beautiful Christmas ornament as a way to link arms with these mothers and provide a brighter, more dignified future for them.
Our goal is to get 1,000 women from the (in)courage community to partner together and get 1,000 Mercy House ornaments onto 1,000 trees this Christmas.
Sister, I know life can be hard for us as mothers. But God has also given us so many mercies. Though we may suffer from sleepless nights or struggles with mundaneness, women in Kenya are fighting for their very lives and the lives of their children. Will you join me in the pursuit of missional motherhood so that we can shower Christ’s unending mercies upon these dear daughters of God around the world?
Your life as a mother is of infinite worth, and God desires to use your motherhood for His kingdom and for His glory. - @dr_reyes2 on #1000mercies: Click To Tweet