Years ago our family lived in NE Portland in a really run down part of town. Frankly, it was dangerous. We were in a “starter home”, a “fixer upper” former drug house. Even our life group joked about not wanting to come to our house because we lived in the “hood” and they did not want to leave their cars in front of our house for fear they would be stolen! We had three small boys at the time; ages 4,2 and a newborn. My husband worked from very early in the morning till 7 or 8 at night while we saved up and prepared to move to Asia as missionaries for the first time.
One day I was sitting in my house, it was snowing outside and I was feeling TRAPPED and bound by the life of being an OVER FULL TIME MOMMY!!!!! I was neck deep in the “every day”. Rocking and nursing my newborn, I admitted to God that I was lonely and discouraged. Although so in love with each of His precious gifts to me, I began pouring my heart out to Him.
“Oh Jesus, I had so many plans… I have always wanted to be a mommy, but I truly had no idea that it would be a matter of survival so much of the time. I know loving my family is ministry… but my deep down passion is evangelism. How can I have been given such beautiful gifts and yet feel like these very gifts are holding me down!!!???” My heart’s desire is to load up these kids and go “work” for you somewhere, but I just can’t… here I am… stuck at home… bound by nap schedules and nursing newborns! Please show me that you are in this, that this is truly Your plan!!”
I wondered about His response… Would He be angry with me? Would He even hear my heart? I felt ashamed inside for not being content with what the Lord had given me in ministering to my little people there in my lap. I needed some sign that being a mommy was in fact an open door for ministry…
You might not believe this, but AT THAT MOMENT the phone rang… and it was a man… looking for a prostitute.
At first I was so taken back. I told him with righteous indignation that this was the home of a stay at home mommy of three little boys. He apologized sheepishly and said he had clearly got the wrong number and then I practically screamed into the phone, “OH MY WORD!!!… NO, you don’t have the wrong number! This is no mistake! You are not going to believe this but you are the answer to my prayers! BELIEVE ME, I had his attention now!
I went on to tell Him that God loved him so much that He had allowed him to dial the wrong number, that God had been so desiring to talk to him that He had him dial this number… ME… little ol stuck in the house ME! We talked a very long time -I KNEW that he had free time, and me, why I was stuck in my rocking chair there, staring out the window at the dangerous streets of North Portland… safely nursing my infant and witnessing about my precious JESUS CHRIST, Savior of the WORLD!!! By the end of the conversation he was blown away that what had started out as a call for a prostitute had ended with him sitting there with his Gideon hotel room Bible reading about a Savior who died for Him and wanted to have a relationship with him; not a one night stand, but a forever thing!!!
That was only the beginning of the Lord showing me the ways that He was going to use what I viewed as my “limitation” (my job as a mommy) to “minister.” The doors that He has opened because I have chosen to minister first to my family have been limitless. Your mission field is everywhere around you. It is the precious ones you rock to sleep at night, tuck into bed and read a story to, or wait up for and pray they drive home safely, or your prayer might even be that they call home… just for once… this year… THAT is our first and most beautiful mission field as mommas. It’s the kids you carpool home, the tired soccer mom you sit beside on the bench, the homeroom teacher you just helped by baking 50 green cupcakes. But be looking, and don’t be shy about pouring out your deep desires and crazy dreams to God. He will use what you view as the everyday duty and He will plant you in the middle of a miracle. By the time we actually ended up in Asia, I had four little boys in tow, and you guessed it, they opened up more doors than I could possibly walk through for evangelism.
I believe He has hidden treasures in every “mundane” thing we do. Serving my four boys and husband has opened more doors than I could ever count. Just be willing to re-think a “wrong number”…after all, God invented the child’s game of hide and seek… and He is hiding there in the mundane… let’s go find Him… “Ready or not…here we come!!!”