Thursday, November 10, 2011

full time ministry

   Recently I was thinking  how I got into this thing called mothering. No, not literally, but rather how this whole journey with children started...
   When Mark and I first got together we were sure we were headed towards full time ministry together. After our fast engagement and short relationship we wanted to wait at least two years to have children and had even prayed that if the Lord wanted us to we would not have children so we could be better fit for the ministry!!!!(makes me laugh every time).
   So about six weeks into our marriage a young couple came to our house that we did not know that well. Next thing we knew they were opening up to us about intimate things and sharing how they felt they were to get off birth control and trust the Lord. It was one of those times that the words they said felt like they were coming out extra loud and hit me like a train wreck. I looked over at Mark and he had the same kind of look on his face. After the couple went home we talked and prayed. It seemed like the Lord was getting our attention but this was not exactly how we had thought it was all going to work. So after much tears and prayer I flushed the birth control bills and my fears and decided to trust God.
   A month later I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold I was pregnant. I had gotten pregnant just two weeks after the ceremonial flushing of the pill. And with the positive pregnancy came more of a mother's heart.  I often wonder how different our lives would look if we had not obeyed.
   And full time ministry looked a lot different than I imagined. We did spend the first three to four years of our marriage in "full time ministry" but most of my ministry looked more like "full time mothering".  I can sometimes forget to see mothering as ministry and fall into a mindset that I am just feeding, clothing, and taking care of children. But i want to have eyes to see these little lives as my ministry...as more than just something that fills my days.
   Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it will look like to add one more to our gang. For some reason a family of seven sounds like a lot more than having a family of six. I know more is going to be required of me. And I want to rise to the challenge. I want my heart to expand... to love more, to grow in patience and kindness. I know asking for these things means at times being stretched. Just like my belly is stretching and growing right now and making my pants tight. The Lord is stretching me in the area of mothering. I can either fight it or embrace it.
   I also know that the mothering I am called to is not always limited to children. As a senior in college I wrote in one of my papers that I was called to be a mother to women. I sometimes stray away from that whole idea because I can feel like I don't have a lot of offer right now. Heck, I don't always have my own life figured out how can I help others? (Lliterally after I was writing this I talked to a mom and I found myself sharing with her things I have learned over the last few weeks of being pregnant. And it was like the Lord was showing me I DO have things to offer)

   So I am writing all this to say I want to embrace the fullness of my call to mother.Somehow to write it all out this morning refreshed my memory of things on my heart. I started writing this a week ago but it felt incomplete. And this morning the Lord was reminding me of college and the things He put on my heart even back then. The funny thing was I did not want to go to college. I hated the "C" word. I just wanted to get married and have children. But God used the four years there along with Tuesday Night Bible study to plant things in my heart (plus I needed something to do while I waited for Mark)!
(a little picture from the archives and the days of full time ministry)

It feels scary to write all this. To say I want to grow as a mother when I know full well that means I will be stretched and pushed out of my comfort zone. But I am not totally fulfilled right now in just life as normal so I want the fullness of what the Lord has for me. Being stretched out of my comfort zone was after all how this whole journey got started in the first place.

4 comments:

Missy. said...

so since you are talking about being stretched, and growing in mothering, now i am thinking you might be thinking of having 10 kids. what do ya say? :) love that pic of you and moses. a total crack up with all that hair. ~mis.

Mark and Heather Buckwalter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark and Heather Buckwalter said...

um missy that is exactly why i said i was a bit scared to say i wanted to be stretched! ;) i would say we are done with five but we shall see...

My Mom said...

well said mama. you ARE a mother to many. words of wisdom, encouragement and more. continue to share,stretch and more....it looks great on you! i love you sista!
naomi