My pastor recently preached a timely and challenging sermon on parenting. He asked us to think on what we are teaching our children to love, what we are teaching them to value. What am I discipling in them? What am I communicating to them?
I thought about it all week. This was so timely for me as I was just recently venting to a friend of mine that I felt a little stuck regarding my contributions to being the hands and feet of Christ. Yes, yes, I know…. raising my 3 year old and my newborn is a worthy calling. Yet, being in this house, in this kitchen, day in and day out as I prepare meals and wipe little mouths and wash the laundry that just never seems to stop – I sometimes long to serve in a grander way. On a larger scale, perhaps. Outside of the walls of this house.
What is my daughter learning from me? To take care of her household, to love her family well and serve them, to fill this home with joy and laughter, yes. But is she seeing me care for those outside of this home? Is she seeing me love my neighbor? Does she even know that there are people less fortunate than her and that there are things we can do to love them and encourage them and help them? I kept coming back to the same place, the same answer: I can’t do much in this season of life that I’m in. My baby needs to eat every 3 hours on the dot. I can’t hop on a plane and go save the world right now. My ministry is my babies. So I keep waiting, thinking of years from now when I will be able to do more, to serve more, to love more….. And then I came across this old favorite: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3: 16-18
I knew that waiting couldn’t be the answer. I knew there had to be something I can do while still being a mama to littles. And just like that, just as I was praying for something else, I learned of Shama Women. It kind of just appeared in my inbox, believe it or not.
I am blown away with this beautiful ministry. Women, just like me… mamas and sisters and friends in South Asia are trying to provide for their children or give themselves a future. Christian women who need encouragement as they try to live their faith in a part of the world where Christianity is far from the majority culture. They need Jesus, just like me.
I imagine them in their kitchens, cooking a morning meal, yawning from lack of sleep because their 6 month old is teething. I imagine them snuggling their babies and kissing foreheads. I imagine them talking with their girlfriends, asking for advice about behavior issues with strong willed toddlers. I imagine them finally taking the first step to learn a new skill so they can work. I imagine them opening their Bible and looking for a fresh Word on a day that they feel so forgotten. They are seeking Jesus. They are my sisters in Christ, and they need encouragement, just like me.
I may not be able to go over to see them face to face right now. But I can write.
God has given me a love of telling stories, and I certainly tell a lot of my own. I think it’s time I start telling theirs.
Jennifer Isaminger is a wordy girl who writes about family, food, pop culture and random observations on life in general. Find her at somanywordsblog.com.