Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love.
This winter/spring of 2015 I read Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity by Jen Hatmaker with a small group of women. I must say that I thoroughly enjoy reading and discussing a book with other people. It is so interesting to learn which parts impacted each person. It amazes me that each of us were impacted by a different part of the same book.
Early on in the reading I felt that the book had the capacity to change how I live as a Christian (which I suspected might be the case by the title when I first considered reading it). I did feel like my Christianity was comfortable and thought that it could be something better than that. My prayer for the study became that the book would not simply be another "good book" I once read, a book that had no affect on me, but rather would challenge me to change some aspect of how I understand Jesus and/or how I live as a Christ-follower. I sought to find truth that I could apply to my life.
The book is an unfolding of the story of how Jen and Brandon Hatmaker felt God calling them to something different and new which ultimately led to the launch of Austin New Church. There is truth, inspiration and encouragement to be found within the pages of Interrupted. If you are seeking a new perspective on your faith or a reminder that God is trustworthy and loving and his timing is perfect, read this book.
As a stay-at-home mom, I have often felt like I have to wait for my kids to get older and more independent so that I can then begin a ministry of serving God with my gifts and abilities. That's not true at all! God has given me opportunities to serve and use my gifts right now, right where I am in my life stage. I just need to reshape my definition of ministry.
My first opportunity is, of course, to serve my family, to love my husband and children, to teach my children about loving and serving God - some through conversation but mostly through my example (this has become increasingly obvious as of late, as you may know if you read my previous post about a personal parenting fail). I can serve my neighbors by showing kindness and taking advantage of opportunities presented to me - preparing and delivering meals, watching pets, hosting play dates, offering free babysitting, listening to others and praying for them. I can write letters to others and use my gifts of encouragement and words without taking away from my responsibilities and duties to my family. God can use me right now in this current stage of my life and will be able to use me in some additional ways as my kids do eventually get older and become more independent.
I know that none of these seem like extraordinary activities. I don't expect to receive accolades or a well-known name from these small acts of kindness but I do find satisfaction in knowing that I am taking advantage of everyday opportunities to help those around me. And perhaps, if I am faithful in these small things, I will be ready and prepared for larger opportunities that may come.
"The kingdom advances in our small neighborhoods and small acts of love and small moments of faithfulness and small feats of courage." -Jen Hatmaker, Interrupted