Thursday, July 3, 2014

Years of Deep Roots

The years of raising little ones can seem never-ending; occasionally it even feels like life is passing you by while you change diapers, cook dinner, and wash little hands. The accomplishments seem small even though you know they aren't. There just isn't much recognition in teaching letters, manners, and good habits. But recognition doesn't       determine the value of how your time is spent. 

These are not wasted years, even for you, if you spend them correctly. These are years spent learning and leaning into God. I have learned more about God and how He changes my life since I've had children than in all the years beforehand. That knowledge benefits my life, my marriage, my family, and my church now. Who knows the impact it will continue to have as life goes on. I cannot imagine the scope of God's plan for me. Or for you.

photo courtesy of tiverylucky/

Maybe you have big dreams and they seem impossible to realize. That's right now, in this season of life. Instead of looking at the big dreams, the impressive branches, focus now on growing deep roots. How?

1. Spend time with Jesus. Every single day is best. I know I need more of Jesus every day to face the work in front of me. Read and study your Bible. Pray. Memorize Scripture. Get to know Jesus. Even if it's in fifteen minute increments during naptime or after the kids have fallen asleep. There is no prerequisite set in the Bible. Just grow in Jesus. Practice obeying. Learn as much as you can about how Jesus did things, what the Bible says about different topics, how the Bible applies to your life, and then apply it to your life. Allow God to transform you through your time in the Word. 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Joshua 1:8
2. Be faithful. Be faithful to the work God has given you. God has given you this work.  This Amy Carmichael quote really convicts me when I start to feel unnoticed: "If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider not spiritual work I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love." Be faithful to your marriage, to training and loving your children, to church and your service there. It matters that you are trustworthy. Those little things that you are being faithful to might not seem impressive but they matter.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. Luke 16:10
3. Learn. Be constantly learning about the things relevant to your gifts and callings. Read books about marriage, motherhood, homemaking, education, cooking, writing, speaking, or whatever you are interested in. Practice your instrument even if it's just a few minutes a day. Those minutes add up. Set aside thirty minutes a few times a week to sew, craft, create, decorate, build, or whatever you are involved in. This will keep your interest up and help you as a person who spends most of her time with small children. Don't be concerned about how much time you can spend on learning, just learn something every day.
The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge. Proverbs 18:15
4. Pursue excellence. The habits you develop now will either help or hinder you throughout the rest of your life regardless of what you are doing. Strive to be a woman of excellence in all that you do. (See Proverbs 17:27 also.) It matters, not just what you do, but how you do it. This motherhood job is powerful; learn to do it with excellence. And do whatever else God places before you with excellence too.
The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour; but the way of the wicked seduceth him. Proverbs 12:26
Don't be frustrated with the limits of having small children. Limits make all art better.  Those people you are raising are your greatest life work. Focus on putting down the deepest roots that you can during these years when time is valuable and the work is exhaustive. Then, and only then, will you have the support system to hold you up while you grow those branches.