More to motherhood: Your surprising ministry

“Little is much, when God is in it”

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So go the words to the hymn written by Kittie L. Suffield, 1924. “Does the place you’re called to labor, Seem so small and little known?” continues the song. I certainly was imagining a bigger field of service and ministry when my husband Edward and I started out together 34 years ago. I did not feel the rural community we live in was not very welcoming. The small Bible-teaching church we attend is 20 miles away.

Perhaps you, like me, long for a brighter spotlight in a ministry. You may work in the nursery of your church year after year. Or maybe after directing a Christmas program with angels, shepherds and sheep all pushing and shoving down the church aisle, you have decided, “No more.”

PURPOSE

Maybe the home schooling shine has worn off (and that didn’t take long for me!) and you aren’t sure why you are still teaching a gym class (or art class or Spanish class or even, gasp, math!) when your children aren’t thankful and heaping on the praise. What if you could get the encouragement you crave?

Let me give you some words of encouragement, dear Christian woman. Your work is not in vain. God’s plan is long term. Your work with your husband, family, community, and church will not be seen (completely) in your lifetime, but it will not go unnoticed either. And every now and then, God grants us a view of what He has been doing, while we are faithfully toiling away.

Opportunities for Ministry

I didn’t want to home school my children initially: I had an education degree and had some small inkling of the enormity of the job. In the area where we live, there were not other options. I am glad I did home school my children. It was more of a ministry than I at first realized. Is ministry a service you perform for your family? Sure it is!

Leading the Gym program

I ended up the local leader in a state-wide home school support group for many years, leading a gym program, and allowing my children to play together with 45 of their friends once a week. I have learned how to play soccer, basketball, juggle, bowl and for a while there, I could do a push up. Was this ministry? It sure was!

Here I am, teaching basketball to the home school group. It was a ministry that I didn't expect.

 

I was doing all that activity so that my children would have a good school experience. It wasn’t until after years of soccer coaching and jump roping that I realized what a ministry it was to other moms and their kids. We were all benefiting

Encouraging Others

I have encouraged lots of moms over the years to pay attention to their children’s hearts, to keep going when they were weary, to be patient when they felt they had no more patience, to “not be weary in well doing.” (Galatians 6:9) And recently I received a card from a former gym student, “I appreciated your instruction, but also your friendship.” Now that is encouragement!

Did my children thank me?

My children have at times expressed their appreciation for my efforts, “I think I’m actually pretty well prepared for this class at college.” (Of course they were! What did they think I was working toward all those years?)

Even the ladies at the library know they can give my name out when a person inquires about home schooling. How did they know that? They saw our family at the library week after week. I bet your family is that same way- going about your life wondering if anyone is noticing. They do. Your testimony matters.

The Empty Nest and a Ministry at Work

After home schooling my four children, I was dreading an “empty nest.” After 22 years at home, I was thinking that the transition time into a new phase of life and a quiet house might not be pretty. The Lord graciously provided a part time job with very flexible hours during my youngest daughter’s senior year of high school.

What a change for me to be out in the work world again- I have a new appreciation for my husband’s faithfulness in his occupation. As a Christian I openly talked of my church, the Bible, and my relationship to the Lord.

Just as in my “mom” days, I used “teachable moments” to share my faith with my co-workers.Click To Tweet

Though I know longer work outside the home, I appreciate the opportunities I had to minister at my job.

Working in Church

In church, at different times I have taught Sunday school but mostly I have worked in the nursery. I love children, but I particularly feel for the mom who needs a break from child care so that she can be refreshed under good Biblical teaching.

There's ministry opportunities all around. I enjoy being in the nursery of our church to give the moms a break.

A Ministry of Play

So year after year, I have played with blocks and fixed lunch with plastic food with the 2 year olds. I sing a lot with them, getting in Bible truths as I am able. But the real joy is knowing that the moms got some Bible truth and encouragement, so that they will be able to “keep on keeping on” for another week.

If you want to hear how I began in the ministry of our church nursery, you can read “The Crazy Day that Changed My Perspective on Church Nursery.”

Your ministry may look like coaching basketball, playing in the nursery or toiling away at a job. Year after year of work in your community, home, home school group, church or in your job  will become a legacy of faithful service. Do not be discouraged! Remember, “Little is much when God is in it.”

“When the conflict here is ended,

And our race on earth is run,

He will say, if we are faithful,

“Welcome home, My child— well done!

Little is much when God is in it

Labor not for wealth or fame;

There’s a crown and you can win it

If you’ll go in Jesus name.”

Hymn, Little is Much When God is in It,
by Kittie L.Suffield, 1924

A similar article was first published in the September/October 2015 edition of Frontline: Bringing the TRUTH HOME. Frontline is an excellent magazine published by Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International. This magazine is a fantastic resource about current Biblical  and social issues, including some articles that are in-depth studies. For a subscription, you can email them at info@fbfi.org or see their website at www.fbfi.org.

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Elizabeth Estelle, wife, home school mom, gym teacher, housing counselor, and now a blogger at https://homeschoolchristianmom.com.

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