I have been chewing on something for a while and want to share this because I know I'm not the only mother who struggles to feel like what I'm doing is worthwhile. That sounds harsh. When I stop and think about it I KNOW that teaching and raising up my boys, supporting my husband in his work and ministry, and taking care of everyone by washing their dirty clothes, cooking nutritious meals and snuggling whenever possible IS 100% meaningful, valuable and important. But on the day to day, especially when I've been doing it day after day, somehow LIES, yes lies, creep into my brain and heart making me feel like I'm missing something. Like I could be doing more - making more of an impact.
Those lies have been messing with me the past couple of weeks. You see, after an extended home assignment in the States (in which I felt no guilt at all for resting and not working), we have returned to the mission field but this time to a new country. We landed in Uganda to a wonderful town called Gulu and we've been loving it here but since it's not our final destination, I haven't been able to totally settle. I've made a few friends but haven't put the whole effort I would if we were going to live here permanently. We've joined a church, but I could be so much more involved if I didn't have that nagging thought that "we're not going to be here much longer."
We were supposed to move to our "final destination", our new home, in a place called Adjumani, last week. But just a few days before we were planning to move, we got a phone call that our house wouldn't be ready yet and then a 10 day trip to South Sudan for Eli came up and suddenly, we were delaying our move another 2 1/2 weeks. I kept telling myself it wasn't a big deal. So we have 2 1/2 more weeks in Gulu, great. And yet...with a lot of our stuff already packed, Isaac home on break, and taking our Christmas break from home schooling, I have felt like I'm just floating.
I'm in a holding pattern. Waiting. Again.
And yet, it's really not a bad thing. Since we're just kind of chilling until Eli gets back from South Sudan I can do things like take a mat out to the yard and sit with Carson while we watch the big boys play with the dogs. We can head to the pool for the afternoon. We schedule play dates. And yet in the midst of those sweet things - I feel guilt. I feel like I'm not doing anything.
|Chilling after a bike ride|
And when we decided to adopt, I very intentionally chose to continue (and start over really) this mothering ministry IN THE HOME. I don't want to miss Carson's first attempt at crawling or his first words. I want to be the one to put him down for his naps and go to him when he wakes up.
SO WHY IS CONTENTMENT SUCH A STRUGGLE?
|Just look at this sweetness!|
I was feeling all those things just yesterday afternoon but the Lord, in His great love, coaxed my mother in law to call to check in on me. Getting a phone call from my mother in law is always very special because she lives in Malawi right now and it's a miracle that we get a good connection. I shared how I was feeling and she spoke TRUTH over me through the phone lines stretched from one part of the African continent to the other. She encouraged me to REJECT those lies and then affirmed how truly meaningful and precious my "work" is.
My way of rejecting those lies is to share this with you all who read this. Please join me in rejecting the lies that Satan tries to get us to believe. And let us not grow weary in doing good, but let's KEEP IT UP and all the more, because we know just how significant it is. We ARE making a difference in the world.
|Joshua reading his Christmas story|
This Advent season the boys and I are doing a special Christmas activity every day that is written on a slip of paper in our Advent calendar. Yesterday we wrote our own Christmas books and illustrated them and then read them to each other. It was so much fun to spend 45 minutes coloring and writing and then of course we giggled and applauded each reading (the drawings were really hilarious since none of us are exactly artists.)
As I was kneading my dough yesterday afternoon and still processing my phone conversation with my mother in law, I told myself out loud that even that simple task was an important way I'm loving my family. I know I'm going to have to keep preaching truth to myself this week...and next week...but I can't stop. Because this is a battle and I don't want anyone to steal my joy of soaking in every day with my 4 precious boys.