Called Toward Home To Bake Bread
Over a decade ago when I started writing, I had plans. Big plans. Or at least I had big dreams about where God would take me on that journey. For the most part, I have enjoyed writing because it is therapeutic. Sometimes a post is where I wrestle through some of my biggest issues. I’ve enjoyed the connections I’ve made online and through my writing and speaking endeavors. Though I entered ministry thinking I would help others, I can see how God has used this opportunity to deepen his relationship with me.
A few years ago, though, I felt a stirring. While many women I followed on social media were discussing their callings toward something bigger and wider, I felt called to do the opposite. It made little sense, but I felt like I needed to lesson my circle. Not my circle of friends, but that I needed to lesson time spent on social media and writing. I needed to focus more on the people God put directly in front of me physically, especially on my own family.
In a world where so many people seem to be expanding their horizons and careers, I felt like I was driving a tractor backwards on the freeway.
I fought against it for a time, but I soon fatigued. Rather than drawing strength and encouragement from writing, it sometimes felt like a chore. (Obviously, any sort of work can feel like a chore, but this was deeper. I knew it wasn’t where I should be putting my focus.)
It was time for me to reevaluate. Because of the time I spent writing, I’d resisted volunteering for things like leading Bible studies in my local church, and I’d put off spending time with friends because I was always busy. I’d also resisted working as a speech-language pathologist for several reasons that will probably fill a separate post at some point. But long story short: it was painful to have a child with severe language issues that I couldn’t seem to help. I didn’t want to work in my professional field because I felt like a failure. But that too was about to change.
God was calling me toward home, toward a focus on the people who live within and near my home.
Fast forward a couple years. I just “happened” to mention to someone that I was considering reopening my speech-language pathology practice in my home. It turned out that she was in desperate need for help with her child. I say “happened” in quotes because I had no idea she needed help. She had no idea what I did for a living. Sometimes God just puts pieces together and all we can do is stand back and marvel at how He works things out.
My older daughter also developed some health issues. Our lives have mainly consisted of going to doctor appointments for the last year. Because of this I am now a homeschooling mom. And we are loving some aspects of this new direction. Although we have grieved a lot of things, like her no longer being able to be as active as she once was, I have cherished the extra time and connection to her in these last couple years of high school. And through this time of trials, I’ve seen my sweet young girl grow into a beautiful young woman with a deep connection to God.
I’ve also had the pleasure of leading several small groups and Bible studies in my local church, something I hadn’t been open to before because I didn’t seem to have time and that didn’t seem to fit into my overall plan. I’ve also been able to spend more time with my niece, nephews, and with my daughters’ friends.
Sometimes I still sit back and wonder about this seemingly smaller calling. I admire my friends who have careers. I admire my mom friends who seem to balance so much more than me. And I wonder at why I had to let some good things go. There are times I feel a loss. When I hear other women talking about being brave and doing big things for God, I wonder if I’ve gotten it wrong.
But then I sit back and look at what God has done. Everyone’s calling is different. I’m in a season of life where I am called to be a caretaker.
If at the end of my life, I can say that I loved the people in front of me, isn’t that enough?
I might not die with a bunch of amazing accolades attached to my name, but if I even make a difference in one teen’s life, or in one retired person’s life, if I share God’s love on a personal level with another person, then isn’t that enough?
One mom friend and I have often discussed the miracle in the Bible where Jesus feeds the five thousand. Found in all four gospels, most of us are familiar with the narrative. Jesus had been teaching on a hillside all day and the people had grown hungry. According to many scholars, the estimate of the total people in attendance is probably between fifteen and twenty thousand, when we include women and children. Jesus fed all those people from one little boy’s lunch of five small barley rolls and two little fish. A miracle, obviously.
But my point today is who most likely packed that lunch? His mom.
Little things done by moms can turn into big things.
This seemingly smaller season of my life might last until the end of my days here on earth. My other child has special needs and will always need care. Maybe my bigger plans will have to wait until eternity. But is that a bad thing? If I’m blooming where God has planted me, no matter how big or small that garden may be, isn’t that still a place of blessing? We don’t have to do something big and huge to have a big impact. Some people are called to big and huge things. But some of us are called to a smaller scope that is no less blessed. Sometimes being a mom doesn’t come with much glamour, but it sure does come with rewards. That one mom who (most likely) packed a lunch for her kiddo to go hear Jesus speak had no idea her little barley loaves would go on to be part of one of the biggest miracles in human history. And we have no idea what big things Jesus will do with our hugs and kisses and MOMents either.
So, sweet mom who is called by God to a unique life, rest and be blessed. God will give you what you need for the journey to which He’s called you.
Maybe you’re a doctor who tends to patients along with your own kiddos. Maybe you’re an international speaker who tends to thousands and thousands of women. Maybe you’ve had several different careers and seasons of life. Maybe you spend all your days with kids clinging to your knees. Maybe you are sandwiched like me between kids and parents and some special needs that all need tending to. These are all callings. God has blessings for all of us. But whatever you are called to, remember that God is using the work of your hands, no matter how big or small. And keep making those barley loaves in the shape of hugs and kisses and sandwiches and late-night chats and whatever else God brings your way. Be blessed.
Have you felt called to something bigger or smaller than you anticipated? How did you handle it?