Today’s Chapter

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!

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

6 thoughts on “Today’s Chapter”

  1. Lisa, I love this reminder. I was reading an old book this week(I love old books), What is a Christian by Leonard Griffith (1962) and he stated this timeless truth also. I wrote it down on the index card I used as a bookmark to remind myself:"…we must not assume that the ordinary duties of life at home, at work and in our daily relationships have no eternal significance. In our Lord's parable, the man with two talents received exactly the same approbation in exactly the same words as the five-talent man, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.'…We are doing what God requires of us, and as we do our best, so we have his approval."And I've gotta say, with summer only a few days in, I can SERIOUSLY relate with your statement, "With all members of my household thus employed, I am free to think and ponder and read and drink coffee in glad solitude." My men are fishing and my daughter is sleeping in. The cats are on the back porch and I'm inside (in the air conditioning). Solitude. Hope you have a great summer!

  2. I find this encouraging and challenging at the same time. When I'm honest, I don't think I can say I always live out even the simple things for the glory of Christ to the full. It's the 'to the full' part where I stumble so often. How grateful I am for saving grace and gospel mercy, so undeserved, and how I want to live for His glory to the full. I've been thinking and praying a lot recently along these lines. And I find it really encouraging that my chapter doesn't necessarily read like someone else's, and I need to quit comparing myself to others and focus on living for the glory of Christ in what He has for me to do today. Thanks for the encouragement today, Lisa. Hope you have a great summer!

  3. Thanks for sharing the link and your thoughts Lisa! Most of us life "small" lives, but thinking about how we can honor God in all we do brings the proper perspective.

  4. Echoing Katrina's comment. I've printed the article so I can stick it in my Bible and study it more thoroughly. This needs to be my prayer list!As a working mom (and I am thankful for that now, more than ever), I am often tempted to think how much better life would be if I stayed home. I want to care more for my family and our home. I guess we all suffer from "the green grass syndrome" at times.Good thoughts here, friend.

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