Thursday, October 19, 2006
What is a “Missional Mom”?
In the middle of the night, the missionary closed her eyes in silent prayer. “Oh Jesus, I need your help.” Since responding to the call to missions, her nights had become times of struggle, tears and exhaustion. The natives were most needy at night. It was also at night, that the missionary was most tired.
All day long, she fed the hungry, clothed the naked and bound up both broken bodies, and the broken hearted. Over time, she had gained the natives’ trust, and they requested her judgment, in their social squabbles. In meeting the needs of those she ministered to, she cleaned, she cooked and she served. She also spent time in working to support her ministry financially. It was exhausting, and exhilarating at the same time. Boring and adventurous.
“Oh Jesus, I need your help”
The same prayer was on her lips the day she discovered God’s call on her life, to join the mission field. There had been a rare, visible sign, that day. One that had made clear to her, what He was planning for her.
A visible “blue double line”, sign. Blue double lines, in the tiny window of her home pregnancy test. “Oh Jesus, I need your help” She prayed then, too.
I know this, because the missionary, is me. Those blue double lines, were one of the most concrete messages God, has ever given me. It was my “Clear Blue Easy” calling into the mission field of mothering. Since that day, it has been an adventure that has been just as dangerous, thrilling and sometimes as mind numbingly boring, as any other mission field.
I am a wife of 18 years. I am a Mom to 3 boys, 17, 14 and (surprise) 4. I am a neighbor, and a friend.
I am a missionary. I’ve clothed little naked children, I’ve fed hungry stomaches. (Sometimes, I wonder if teenagers have some kind of strange mission field parasite, that causes this never ending hunger!) I’ve been the judge over countless “native counsels” where wisdom was required. “Who’s turn is it on the computer?” is a common one, at this point.
I’ve had to learn their changing cultures, from Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora the Explorer, to online gaming and internet safety. I’ve grown in my skill of understanding their languages and meeting their needs. Mostly, I've learned it the hard way.
FYI: “What up, Dawg?” sounds ridiculous when it comes from a mom of teens mouth.
I’ve been supportive of my husband, through struggles and job changes, sickness and health. I’ve tried to make sure there is (at least occasionally) time for sex, in a marriage crammed with responsibilities. All along I’ve prayed the same prayer as the day I was called. “Oh Jesus, help me.”
There are languages and cultures I’ve had to learn to understand and respect, like the world of Dora the Explorer, and online gaming, The culture of a business man, and the language of a marketing executive. I have learned the socio-cultural ritual of deer hunting. I have learned to live with and love my native neighbors, whether they are Muslim, Hindi or cranky yard gestapo members. There is no doubt, that I am a missionary. Right here in my home.
If you’re reading this, I say with confidence, so are you. Regardless of how you came into mothering, whether conventionally, through marriage and pregnancy, finding your “Clear Blue Easy” double “calling” line, like I did, or through single parenting or step parenting or adoption, you are called.
Monday, October 09, 2006
I have a confession. I have been holding out on you. There is something you don't know about me. I am working on a project. A BIG project... (to me) I have started writing my first book......(well, if it's not published, I may be writing fuel for a bonfire;)
Please pray with me, as I write:
"Dear Lord- I pray for your creativity, for your love and passion to be poured out, I pray that Mom's would find encouragement, tools and inspiration to to be a missionary- in their homes, and in the world around them. I love you Lord- and look forward to this adventure! amen"
The Title? Duh. "Missional Mom".
I've decided to give you a tiny (and in still very rough draft form....) taste......
A view from the mission field
The drum beat pounds through my chest. Boom. Boom. Boom. I can’t understand the words- that accompany, but I can feel the emotion. The words sound foreign. I can see the native’s clothing, it is odd. The colors are familiar, the fabrics are familiar, but the manner of dress is so different, from mine. I’m not even sure how the clothing is staying on their bodies. I wonder if it’s some strange power, that the natives alone, possess.
In addition to the drums, I hear a strange, light tapping sound. I turn and see another native. By stature and demeanor, I can see that he is the elder. He is busily performing his daily chores. Tip tap. Tip tap. The sound comes from his fingers, they are engaged in a strange activity, part crazy finger dance, part musical tapping. Suddenly, another sound, a buzzing sound, assaults my ears. It sounds like a bee the size of a small plane. It seems to come from a small object in a place of honor next to the elder. The elder picks up the buzzing object, without fear. He speaks. While I can hear his words, I struggle to understand.
I notice a blue glow coming from the opposite direction. Intrigued, I turn to find it’s source. I see another, a smaller native. He is awash in the blue glow, it surrounds him in both colored light and high pitched sounds. The small one is enraptured by the glow and sounds.
Through an opening in the wall of the Natives dwelling- I can see other natives. They are walking, working and going about their daily business. I hear laughter, the sounds of their tools as they work. They are familiar and foreign, at the same time.
Welcome to my mission field.
The drums? That is the music of my 2 teenaged sons, 14 and 17. Their strange clothing? Oversized sized t-shirts and baggy jeans. They are natives.
The tip, tapping and buzzing elder? That is my husband, working on his laptop, at the kitchen table. His cell phone buzzes in “vibrate mode” he answers it and talks shop. It’s almost another language, to me. He is a native.
The small native awash in a strange glow? That is my youngest, at 4 he is enraptured by Dora and Diego, He watches his Boz DVD’s with the music colors and stories that he loves. My little native.
The opening in the dwelling? That’s my front door. Through it, I see my neighbors, their cars moving in and out of driveways. I see a beautiful, sari-wrapped- Hindu woman, pushing her stroller. My Muslim neighbor is out cutting his lawn. Kids of all ages and ethnicities play basketball and soccer in the yards. Natives of all sorts.
All around me are people who need God- either to meet Him for the first time, or, to get to know Him in a deeper way. In the middle of our little suburban cul-de-sac, sits my home. In which, sits me. A Mom. A Missional Mom. A Mom called to reach out and share what she has, in hospitality, comfort and experience, right where she’s at.
A mom who’s also, afraid she’ll mess up. A mom who’s afraid she may not be able to connect with people who are different from her. Who’s afraid to offend, and turn someone off to the Gospel, because she’s a dork, or is pushy or in ignorance, may offend.
A mom whose heart breaks for the lives of those around her.
-excerpted from-" Missional Mom"-