It is hard for me to admit this at the risk of sounding like a moron and a jerk but I will take a chance. The word "missional" totally used to scare me. I used to associate words like evangelism, foreign country, seeker with the word missional... I had pictures in my head of a mission in the middle of a village somewhere - I would not want to go. I played the role of Elizabeth Elliot in the "Bridge of Blood" play for a few years in high school and when I think of "missional" that is what I think of- the Auca Indians, being somewhere far away, sacrificing a "normal" life to take Christ to the unreached. The name of the book "The Missional Mom" came across my email and facebook and had been mentioned to by by several people- and I wanted nothing to do with it. "Missional Mom" to me sounded like something... well... not me. But, I finally gave in, ordered the book and have now become borderline obsessed with it. How ridiculous and stupid was I? I would now suggest to every mom I know, READ IT. For me it has just confirmed and reaffirmed what God has been trying to pound in my head these last few weeks of my life. (For a good article on the word Missional look at this
I have never had such extreme prodding, pinching, pulling, and pushing from the Lord as I have the last month of my life. I have never been filled with as much anger, hurt, hate, and pain- pretty much any negative emotion you can feel I have had this last month.. It is funny how these two things coincided as well as me reading this dang book. God and Hurt and being a missional mom- interesting? As our pastor Dodd pointed out this morning in church- I have been staring my giant (Goliath) right in the face and have so been focused on him (or the problems/challenges in my life) I have totally missed the "bigger giant." The Lord. I have felt the Lord calling me to something bigger- not at all necessarily something fantastic for me to accomplish like writing a book, winning a race, creating something superb... But something bigger like get my butt in gear, focus on my family and how I am daily bringing the Lord into their lives so that they can bring His love to others as well...
If this post is jumbled and doesn't make sense that because that is how my mind has been working these last few weeks. So many wonderful things have come across my plate stemming from something painful. In the book Helen Lee talks about our Primary and Secondary Calling. Our primary is that we are "called to be with God. "The Primary calling for Christians is to be with God, in whatever circumstances He has placed us, As we reside in those circumstances with Him it becomes clearer how we are to serve God in those circumstances. Doing things for God becomes an outflow of our connectedness with Him." The secondary calling flows out of the first and that is to love others. "loving others is not something we do out of obligation but as a natural response to the love that God has shown for us....Loving our neighbor is the natural outpouring that results from being with God as we pursue Him as our central calling."
Had I been truly "with" God instead of just doing things for Him and to honor him I believe the outflow of my heart would have been a lot different. Instead of looking at my own heart and seeing the dullness of it, I have looked at others and compared and judged. Instead of loving others because I am "With" God and that is just what I naturally want to do, I have loved others because I want to be a better person, be THE better, bigger person. I have felt so different in doing things this last week even because it has flowed out of feeling connected with the Lord, I feel like He is walking with me- really not just walking with me, walking under me holding me up keeping my pieces together and have had such joy flow out of it. Joy with my family, friends, work... When I am physically tired and feel a surge of selfishness coming on thoughts from this book and of the Lord honestly have brought me through. Helen Lee says "Missional moms have taught me that we are responsible for everyday faithfulness, and when we act in faith God turns our ordinary offerings of obedience into the extraordinary." I so so believe that with everything in me- I so want to be more responsible for my everyday faithfulness! This book is full of moms who have truly done some extraordinary things and some of them have formed from very ordinary things.... I am praying God reveals to me something to do for Him that will impact His kingdom... That may just be being a mom to my soon to be four babies!
All this to say- don't let a word or something small scare you out of something spectacular the Lord wants to reveal to you as I have- His timing is impeccable. You may think you are doing "well" spiritually and the Lord can show you something, you may think you are not going to make it and the Lord will show you something, you may be somewhere in between and the Lord will challenge you to not be gray. I am excited about growth again- as I was in March the last time I blogged!
My prayer for you today is that you become missional in all you do- in home, at work, anywhere - that you remain open to what the Lord can do with you and through you...
PS I have ordered 3 or 4 books that were mentioned in "The Missional Mom" I will let you know how they are!