June 6, 2013

Serve and Be Served

In my line of work there's no punch cards or thirty minute breaks. You've probably read or heard the statement that lists all the responsibilities of a mom: chef, nurse, coach.. who's work day never ends.. blah blah... 24/7... blah, but, IT'S TRUE! How many times have I found myself unhappily sitting out on all the fun while everyone else raves about the benefits of participation? Ugh! It's just not fair!

A few years back, a well known speaker, Bazil Howard-Browne came to town and held services nightly for two weeks with the help of my church and a few other organizations in the city. Unfortunately, child care was not offered, and because my church family is my only support, I had little options as all of my trusted sitters would also be at the services. By week two of Bazil's visit, everyone was talking about how God was moving and lives were being changed.  I had only made it to one or two meetings myself, where I sat in a separate room with the kids to avoid distractions. I was feeling very disconnected and I was having a really hard time keeping my emotions under control. I mean, here I was putting my family first, spending all my time and energy taking care of them and loving God the best I could. All I wanted was to go and be a part of this great move, and get a touch from God, but no one, not even God was coming to my aid! I don't remember how it worked out, but one night, things lined up where I was actually able to go without the kids but by the time Tomas was home from work and I had everything taken care of, I was 30 minutes late. I remember looking at the clock while driving to the church, trying not to cry as I decided whether or not to just turn around and go back home. I was frustrated! Then, in that moment, God told me that while He reigns first and foremost in my life, ministry will always be secondary to my job as a mom. He also assured me that as I carry out my mommy duties, the blessing will meet me where I'm at, as long as I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I just remember suddenly being at peace and content.  Recently, when a similar situation presented itself, that moment in the car came to mind, and it helped me just the same this time around. So much, that I thought I might share it with you. As you know, I like to have scripture to back me up. Proverbs 31, which I included in my first blog post, is one of the major scriptures that keeps me on my toes, but the following is also one of my favorite scriptures.

Titus 2:3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

I love this scripture because it is so instructional and I like specific instructions. There are clear instructions for wives and mothers throughout the bible. We know based on the Word, that our first priority is to take care of our families. I'm sure the services that I missed were great, but if I would have gone at the expense of fulfilling my first mission, I would have been out of the will of God. My neighbor or friend may have gone to every meeting without jeopardizing or taking away from her first priorities, and that would have been fine for her, but I wasn't in a position to do that. I had more important tasks to complete.

Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,  since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and OVERTAKE you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God."

By fulfilling my parental responsibilities in accordance with the Word of God, I'm serving God and putting Him first. That's good to know, but what really gets me excited is that the blessings make their way to me as I carry out the work! I love church. I love gathering with like-minded people, but while assembling together should not be forsaken (Hebrews 10:25), my God is not limited to those meetings.

We're currently on day 11 of a two week visit from Rodney Howard-Browne and the Great Awakening Team. Once again, I have a desire to be a part of this move of God. I'm hearing awesome stories of what's happening on the streets of Waterloo, and it makes me so happy to know that God put me here for this time, to see these things come to pass! I haven't made it to many meetings, but I knew God will bring the blessing to me one way or another. Last night, at the start of a service I was able to attend, I told God that I expected to receive everything I needed that night, but I had to leave by 9pm and services are just only half over by that time. Well, God met my demand at 8:30! I left service early, but I did it with a smile on my face and a thankful heart because I know that as long as I continue to serve God and my family, God will serve me too! How has God proven himself to you lately?