Five months after stepping down from my part time job as the Children's Ministries Director at our church I entered a new realization about my role as a full time stay at home mom. From day one I was thankful for this opportunity. I didn't question that it was a change called for by God. I saw the benefits in my relationship with my son. I was slowly settling into the role of homemaker. But what was new five months into this journey was my realization of contentment. I knew without a doubt that home is where I am supposed to be. I don't think I've felt such a sense of contentment in my life--ever.
But despite this place of peace, I found myself falling short in my role as mother, wife and keeper of the home. A whiny day from my two-year-old was met with intolerance and irritation and my hard working husband came home to a wife who showed no signs of contentment. I spent my evenings recovering on the couch--after all, my day had worn me out and I deserved a break. Despite having few commitments outside of our house, dishes had piled up and laundry needed to be washed or folded. The bathrooms were far from lovely and my list of what should be done ran much longer than the list of what was actually being done.
And that is when a Bible study I was doing through my church brought me a scripture and a new perspective on my life. "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life," 2 Corinthians 3:4-6.
While working in full time and then part time in the church, the fact that my ministry could only succeed according to the Lord's strength and not my own was on the forefront of my mind. I knew that when I tried to act according to my own abilities and giftings things might look good (or possibly awful) on the outside, but within myself and the core of the ministry things would fall apart. I knew it was not by my strength but His that things would succeed--and then it would be in spiritual terms and measures designed by God. And when I stepped down from that role, I knew that finding a new ministry would be key. After all, I needed to continue serving.
Sadly, thinking of my home and caring for my family never entered my mind as that ministry. I knew it was the role God called me to, but looking at it in spiritual terms didn't happen. Sure, I'd heard women talk about how the ministry God had called them to in this season was their family. I may have even applauded some while scoffing at others thinking it was an excuse not to get involved in their church. But recognizing that my family is my ministry first and foremost, no matter where I get involved next just hadn't happened.
And then working through the study leading up to this passage I started to take on a new perspective. Which lead to 2 Corinthians 3:4-6 showing me that everything I do within my home (dishes, diaper changes, cuddles, laundry, cooking...) is my ministry and God will be the one who equips me for it. Serving my family is not something I can do on my own, with my strength or abilities. HE will make me adequate. Or, using the words from other translations: sufficient (ESV), competent (NIV), and qualified (NLT).
He will show me what my son needs. He will give me patience. He will give me motivation to get off the couch. He will give me the desire to do dishes. He will give me joy on the hardest day so I can greet my husband well. That is, as long as I don't get in the way. It doesn't mean He'll make me supermom. He'll make me the person I need to be to accomplish the ministry He called me to. And then everything that happens within that accomplishment will be a testament to the work He is doing in and through me.
So join me on my journey to becoming adequate--and being satisfied within that role. To not just be content knowing I am where I'm supposed to be, but to love every aspect of where that is.