“When you see your home as a missional outpost, your role as a mother becomes clearer: to prepare and release the people inside for a lifetime of participating in God’s mission to the world.”
-Helen Lee, The Missional Mom
It’s a grand idea, this belief that what I’m doing in the drudge of life with a baby and a toddler is part of a much bigger narrative, one I’m playing a role in and they’re playing a role in as well. It’s a story of the restoration of a broken world. And right now, in this season, my role is clearly defined. It consists of wiping bottoms, wiping spit-up, washing clothes, bouncing baby, rocking baby, tickling toddler, disciplining toddler, reading story after story after story, playing pretend, making sandwiches, making dinner, cleaning dishes, eating lunch standing up at 3 in the afternoon (after everyone is finally sleeping), and singing songs. And, sometimes, in the midst of those moments, seeing the people around us: the woman outside of Walgreens Wednesday who asked me for any food I could give her. (August helped me pick out a granola bar.)
This season is sweet and lovely. But it’s also completely consuming in a way motherhood never was before. I owe about a thousand phone calls/emails/facebook messages. Those were all things I once took care of during August’s naptime. Naptime is no longer a time I can accomplish tasks. It’s a time when I eat, nurse and rock a baby. As much as I’m trying to cling to the sweetness of these first months of Brooks’ life, I feel exhausted and I ache for some moment of respite in my day.
I also long for work outside of this work: ministry, creativity, adult conversations that aren’t interrupted every two minutes! I’ve asked here a million times if I’m doing enough in the world: Am I really giving my life away? Am I serving the broken or am I too consumed with my own little Hohorst world to see the reality around me? How do I stretch out of the moment and see the needs that exist? What can I really do? I feel like this time of motherhood is all consuming. (And I think it is.)
And then I read Helen Lee’s words and my clinched up soul relaxes. What if I am serving the Kingdom by shaping these small souls into men who know how to love, how to serve with tenderness and authenticity, how to strive for justice for everyone, how to live out their own callings in God’s mission to the world?
Of course, I’m not insisting that all I’m called to or gifted for is being a mother to my sons. But I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be reminded that all of this life is bigger than this season of my boys’ lives, than my own particular season of motherhood.
I’m a part of the same tapestry you’re in, friend. And we’re all weaving this story.
Some days I notice.
PS I’m reading The Missional Mom with my Mom’s Group at church and am super excited about it. I promise to share more with you about what I’m learning. To find out more about Helen Lee and the book, click here.