How many people do you think it took to serve a king and run a royal kingdom? I’m sure it requires a ridiculous amount of unnamed, monotonous jobs compared to the few whose positions are in his named court. There are some pretty dirty jobs, and somebody’s got to do them to keep things running, right? Have you ever seen the show Dirty Jobs? Being a mom needs to be on that list!
Like in any kingdom, including God’s, there are few of us who are chosen to be recognized. However, the applause those in the spotlight receive is in itself enough to cause them to lose sight of The King’s glory rather than their own, so it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s also human nature to perform for the affirmation. It’s easy to do well when everyone is looking and praising your every move, but the majority of us will never receive that sort of feedback in life, nor should we be motivated by it.
Serving The King of Kings and the people He has called us to, especially as a stay-at-home mom is hard work and at times very tedious. There will be mess ups and hardships as well as joys and triumphs throughout the many years in Kingdom service. Sometimes we’ll get assigned a special project where many are impacted and the reward is great, while other seasons are spent scrubbing floors. The good thing about our King is that He sees it all and He planned every detail to work together in perfect harmony, even our complete failures are factored into His master plan.
Instead of feeling unappreciated, or at times that there isn’t much purpose in what we are doing, we must remember that God Has placed us exactly where we are for a reason (Acts 17:16) and we must rest knowing that He sees every little and “unimportant” thing we do. (Hebrews 4:13)
Unlike many kings, our King knows each citizen perfectly. (Psalm 139). He takes great delight in the work of each son and daughter especially when they have humble, servant hearts that long to please Him. (1 Samuel 16:7) He promises to empower weary souls to maintain such a humanly impossible attitude by His Spirit (Romans 8), His word, prayer, fellowship and more. He really is an extraordinary King and it is my joy to serve Him! The key for me is remembering that bringing The King glory is what it’s all about, whether I’m changing diapers or sharing the gospel with a tribe in Africa, it’s all about the Kingdom work and the attitude of my heart.
I won’t overstate it- life as a wife and mom of two is hard, and in the day-to-day it’s easy for me to lose my focus, to muddy my motivations and indulge in cheap pleasures rather than finding my rest in God alone. This year my New Years resolution, if you like to call it that, I’d rather just say my goal or “mission statement” is this:
“Going incognito and serving the King”
Who he has called me to serve
Whatever it will cost me
When no one sees, notices or praises
Wherever He leads me to step out of my comfort zone
Why– for the glory of Jesus!
How– by the power of the Holy Spirit
I want to live my life marked by more integrity. Why “incognito?” The majority of what I do, no one sees and so it’s easy to slack sometimes, whether it be an unimportant or vital area of my life. I also don’t want to expect praise, but rather look to God for my affirmation first. Any stay-at-home mom will especially resonate with this statement!
I want to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and be more open to His voice during my days, whether it’s reaching out to a neighbor or bringing someone a meal, I want to let His voice reign over mine. I want to take all that I know about God and really live it out, not by trying harder in my own strength, but by the strength God provides.
I want to make the little things count. For example, making the first thing that touches the floor in the morning my knees rather than my feet. Even a short prayer while my child fusses (or screams somedays, let’s be real) in bed could make all the difference in my day. I’ve also learned that I’ll never get a full day to clean the house in this season of life, so it’s all about doing little things as I go. There are a million examples I could give of things I’ve done or heard or seen that seem to count simply because I know of them, but not because I actually do them. The scale needs to be tipped in favor of doing rather than just knowing, not because I want to be a “better person” but because I want to better serve my King.
Expectations can make or break my mission statement, so I’ve learned in my meager 28 years of life. They are so important to define because they heavily influence emotions, reactions, relationships, logistics, basically they play into everything. We have expectations in every relationship, for each day, in any task, but these people or things are usually entirely unaware of our exact expectations. I’ve discovered that identifying my expectations in my closest relationships (marriage, children, family, friends) is so crucial. We think certain people should respond in specific ways, but often they do not and we react with any range of emotions from joyous surprise, gratitude, annoyance, frustration, hurt or anger. Sometimes it’s appropriate to discuss our expectations in a relationship, but other times we need to evaluate if our expectations are realistic or not. What I really need to have is a greater expectation of what God will do in and through me if I hand it all over to Him.
Fellowship is so important in our lives of service to King Jesus, which is one reason Matt and I are super excited about the new life group that we’ll be leading beginning at the end of January. I know the study is so timely for me and everything I’ve just shared. Matt and I felt God leading us to lead a group again a few months ago and we really sense He’s got some neat things in store for our group of 12 couples that will be doing Francis Chan’s Forgotten God book study about rediscovering the power and role of the Holy Spirit. I’m very excited about this group!
God has wired me to regularly set goals for myself and I hope that me sharing the ways He’s leading me to live in 2014 will inspire you to have a prayerful and reflective conversation with God about how He is leading you to live in 2014 too.
Happy New Year!