February 11, 2010

Foolish and Weak

***To my first four friends to follow Shaped to Serve - you all win!  April and Angel - email me your home addresses here and I will mail them ASAP.  I have your address, Joy and Christy, I will bring your coupon to church on Sunday!  (I know I said 3 but I just couldn't leave one of you out!) 

Today was Benjamin's preschool Valentine's Day party.  This was a first for this mom - seeing just how much sugar one child can consume between the hours of 9 am and noon!  Cupcakes, cookies, ice cream AND candy!  His teachers USED TO BE two of my favorite ladies in the whole world! 

When I saw the remnants of the party in the classroom, and the smell of all things sweet turned my stomach, it reminded me that I am no longer bound to food.  And that, girlfriends is a good thing! 

I have to share with you something that only God could have orchastrated. 

If you were to go through my prayer journals you would see that the same prayer pops up over and over.  "Lord teach me to be the mom you desire me to be!" 

I long to be organized - but find days when the kids and I never get out of our PJs. 

I long for a structured day - but find my kids finally falling asleep for their afternoon nap at 3:30 instead of at 2:00 when I laid them down. 

I long to make fun memories with my kids - but find that Play Doh stresses me out. 

I long to be an example to my kids of the love and grace of Jesus - but find myself in a battle of between being too hard on the kids (and expecting more out of them than an almost two year old and a three and a half year old is capable of doing) and being too leaniant on them (and having them think they can overrun mom and dad). 

Enter God....

Chris and I are new to our church.  Exactly one year ago this month we started attending and just became members in November.  At our previous church we were the epitome of active.  I taught multiple bible studies, spoke at women's retreats and conferences, created the children's church program, directed VBS and did anything and everything in between.  (I had a very hard time learning the word 'no').  Chris served on council and did anything and everything his schedule allowed and still holds the prize for being the most patient and understanding husband as his wife ran in a million different directions. 

That life came to a screaching halt when we were directed by God to leave our church.  We came to Messiah and God had us sit and listen and be fed.  A great time of refreshment that was so needed in both our lives.

This fall I became antsy looking for a ministry to get involved in.  My passion is women.  The thing that makes my heart sing is to see women break free from the chains that their past, their 'religion', their family dysfunction and ultimately the enemy has them bound to.  God has called me to minister to women and I sat for many months waiting for God to lead.

About a month ago our pastor stopped me in the hall at church during preschool pick-up and asked me to set up a time to meet with him.  He had a ministry idea he wanted to talk to me about.  I bit my tongue and stopped myself from just yelling "yes, I'll do whatever you want.  Just give me something to do."  (I have grown a lot this last year!)

As I sat in his office a week or so later he asked me if I would coordinate the outreach to our preschool families.  Starting with a newsletter addressing parenting topics (How to get dressed before 4pm?), resources (James Dobson's The Strong Willed Child...Otherwise Known as Katherine Gronstal?), and activities (How to embrace Play Doh as your friend?).  And do this with the ultimate goal of ministering to those who are not churched. 

While the idea and ministry opportunity intrigued me I have to admit, I felt completely unqualified.  Me help people raise their kids and not lose their minds?  I had already lost mine so there wasn't much I could offer.

But God. 
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong." I Corinthians 1:27 NIV
Foolish?  Um, I pay to be blonde and get my money's worth all the time!

Weak?  I had to get married so I could open pickle jars!

Ok, Paul thinks I am qualified...

The more I pondered and prayed about the opportunity, the more the Holy Spirit kept bringing ideas to mind.

Ideas like:

How can a mom, who can't get her kids dressed during the day, still tuck them in at night with tears of joy for these unbelievable, totally undeserved miracles from God?

Who do you talk to when you think you have completely failed as a parent and your kids will end up as permanent fixtures in a counselor's office? 

Where can a parent find a safe place other than Facebook to share their struggles and joys and find someone, anyone who has walked a mile in their shoes?

It was ideas like those that convinced me this is something God has called me to.  By reaching out to others and helping them navigate the sometimes rough, somethings calm, and sometimes downright hilarious waters of this crazy thing called parenthood, my prayer of "Lord, teach me to be the mom you desire me to be!" would be answered.

Isn't that so God?  By putting our focus on being a blessing to others and pointing people to a Savior who can turn their biggest mess into something beautiful, we in turn are the ones who are truly blessed.  We don't have to have all the answers - in fact we shouldn't have all the answers - for this broken, lost world.  We just need to offer ourselves as a living, breathing, available vessel to the One who holds it all together and let Him do the work.

Here I am.  Lord, send me....


April E. :) said...

Wow...what exciting times!!! I look forward to hearing more about your ventures!

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