At the end of kindergarten, each student in my daughter’s class was asked what they wanted to be when they grow up. Many had noble aspiration such as policemen and teachers. Some had their parents getting teary eyed as they told of wanting to be just like their mom or dad. My little girl proudly proclaimed she would grow up to be…a fairy. Priceless! While I truly wish she could stay little forever, I know she too will grow up and be faced with the question of “What will I be”?
But, what if we have been asking the wrong question? What if it isn’t, “When I grow up I want to be a ________” but rather, “When I grow up I want to be _______." We all long for a purpose not just a position. We all search for a talent not just a title. We all desire a worth not just work.
Today, it isn’t what I want to be but who I want to be that stirs deep within my soul. I want to know I made a difference to my family, my friends, my savior. But, there are many days I struggle for answers to my questions: Why did God put me in this place, at this time, with these crazy people I call family? What is the point of endless loads of laundry and dishes and books that I ashamedly skip pages through to hurry through four bedtimes? What is my unique contribution supposed to be for such a time as this? What in the name of everything good am I doing?
It is then that I retreat to the dark place. Do you know that place? The place that doubts I am good at any of this. The place that tells me my kids deserve better. The place that says that I will never get it right. It is these moments, away from the hustle of managing this busy life in baseball with four children, that I start to question my own purpose. Did I do everything I needed to today? Did they finish their homework? Are their clothes folded? Scratch that, are their clothes even clean? Was I a good example? Did I do enough? Was I enough?
Each one of us has a spiritual gift, a gift God bestowed upon us to use specifically to build each other up, share his love to those who do not know him, and grow his kingdom. However, as difficult as it may be, part of finding out what you are good at is learning what you are not good at! I know for myself, I am not an inspiring performer, an intellectual philosopher, a skilled apologist, or most recently I discovered, I am not a home-schooling mama. (You guys, pray for my kids!)
But, I do know that when I am engaging my spiritual gifts and allowing myself to be used as a vessel by the GREAT I AM where he has placed me, even the smallest tasks seem to be great accomplishments with significant reward. Planting a kiss on a scraped knee, writing notes in tiny lunch boxes, shuttling kids from piano to baseball, to soccer and lacrosse, to gymnastics, and then back to baseball. And then there is the seemingly endless hours in the dreaded car line for school pick-up and “family homework projects” (seriously, I DID first grade already!).
Yet, these are all ways I am teaching my precious littles what a relational God looks like and who He is to us. Those are the things that help me crawl out of dark place and find the joy that comes with choosing His higher purposes even in the smallest of tasks. And there is no greater purpose than love.
Doing the smallest of these acts of love is the only thing that we need to draw people to his throne. We are not working tirelessly for acceptance into the Pinterest Priesthood, we are working to bring glory into his royal priesthood, even if the road is paved with dirty laundry and family homework. So, sweet, tired mamas, remember you are in his grip and He says, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you are enough for me.”