Thursday, March 24, 2016

Called to Sparkle

This is my last post on the book "Longing for Paris." I wasn't even sure I was going to write more about it, but a page in the second to last chapter really stuck out to me. It touched on something that I've discussed with friends off and on.

Sarah talks about how we are made to shine God's love to those around us. We are called to live out of who we are, to be alive. So often we think that means we must get out there and do something big for God. We feel unfulfilled being in our homes, ministering to our children and our husbands, our parents, our families, whoever. We feel small and insignificant and we want to do something big for God. I don't think I'm along in this thought either.

I'm going to quote a couple paragraphs from her book.

"Sometimes I wonder if good works have been relegated to physically meeting needs outside our homes. There seems to be an unspoken consensus that if our good works are only done in the home--at least for a time-- that we aren't doing enough That we need to something bigger for God.

"What if my good works are being faithful to my family-- loving and supporting my husband, teaching my children about God and the world they live in, taking care of my home and being hospitable? What if the daily things such as feeding my children, bathing them, showing them how to properly brush their teeth, helping them learn to read and how to speak kindly to a friend who has hurt them-- what if those are my good works? Is that enough for God?"

If I look at it that way, then maybe I am doing enough for God. If I am being faithful right here, right now where he has called me, what more do I want? Sarah goes on to say that the guilt comes when we know to do something and we don't.  Maybe I am supposed to step out of mycomfort zone and invite that person over for coffee and I really don't want to, what do I do then? At the point, I think I am no longer being faithful to what God is calling me to.

God does give us the command to love and serve, but that is going to look different for everybody and quite honestly, I think that is going to look different at different stages of our lives. I like to think, when I worked as a nurse, that I was able to touch people with care and compassion at a rough spot in their lives. Yes, sometimes, I had to be blunt and brutally honest and probably didn't come across as caring and sometimes I didn't care. Instead, I wanted to shake them and say, "If you don't care about your health, then neither do I." I don't feel like I touch that many people right now, but my time may come again.

Right now, I do feel called to be a stay-at-home mom. Sometimes I get itchy fingers. I renewed my nursing license the other week and the itch to go back to work hit hard. I was trying to think how it could work and then I read a book on parenting and he emphasized very strongly that a parent, if at all possible, should be home with the child; and I realized once again, that I am where God wants me to be and I need to live my life right here, right now to the fullest extent possible.  If He ever calls me back into nursing, I will gladly go, but right now I'm going to love on my daughter and hopefully give her a childhood of good, positive, happy memories.

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