I am out on the porch. No painters this morning, it being Saturday and all, so I am able to enjoy a peaceful few minutes outside. Peaceful and hot. Good grief, it’s been hot. Two of my guys are still in the bed, recovering from the spending-the-night-fun of the previous night. The other three of my men are out on a bicycle ride; the puppy is in the backyard no doubt getting into some sort of trouble. With all members of my household thus employed, I am free to think and ponder and read and drink coffee in glad solitude.
This week’s thoughts led me to search for an article by John Piper in which he presents a list of fifteen challenges to women. Sometimes I am unsure of what I’m supposed to be about and my mission as a wife, mom, and woman seems cloudy and unsettled. Most, nearly all, of my days I am happy and content with my simple life, here, at home, serving my husband, loving my children, volunteering at the pregnancy center, teaching Bible study, happily fulfilling those responsibilities that are my particular privilege.
Sometimes, though, a trace of panic will wash over me as I suddenly realize that I’m not anything and by this I mean in terms of accomplishment and success and clearly defined roles esteemed and counted worthy by the standards of our culture. I’m just a mom, I will lament to myself. No job skills, no job experience, no accomplishment to boast in other than the occasionally clean toilet. What if I was supposed to be somebody? To do something, something important, something valuable, something else, something more?
Yes, of course, it’s ridiculous. I feel ridiculous typing it out and, if I am honest, I am tempted to delete it all. Yet my point in all this heartfelt confession is to encourage you as I encourage myself with Piper’s charge to be devoted to the glory of God in all things (#1 on his list), to be a woman of the Book (#4) and to be committed to ministry (#7). I am particularly challenged and encouraged by his admonition to consider how to use my time, home and creativity to advance the Kingdom of Christ, to make choices not based on secular trends but on what will strengthen the cause of Christ (#11).
I think, though, I was most encouraged by the truth that our lives are comprised of stages and that no stage has all the joys. Yes and amen. Piper writes,
Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God’s will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else’s chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.
What does today’s chapter hold? Some laundry, some cleaning, some reading, some cooking of supper. Hopefully too some hugs, some laughter, some conversation, some time spent with my husband and boys, some gratitude for saving grace and gospel mercy and the undeserved and overwhelming blessings of family and home and life and breath. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.” Whether I am being or doing, living large or living small, Christ my all in all. How I want to live this day’s chapter for the glory of Christ to the full!