So… our washing machine and dryer decided to stop working properly. The washing machine slowly stopped spinning out fully. As a result, our dryer was having to work overtime and slowly stopped working correctly too. For the last couple of days, I have been in denial as the laundry pile continues to pile higher and higher. I never actually realized that dirty laundry stinks… Usually, I have it in and out in the same day.
My wonderful husband went out and bought a new (to us) washer and dryer. Within the first hours of owning these machines, they did three loads of laundry with a huge stack to go. Then it happened… our new(ish) dryer broke. (Don’t worry my husband has already ordered the parts and is fixing it.)
But here I am with at least 4 more loads of laundry and 2 wet loads… I have to go to the laundry-mat… with six kids…
Immediately after breakfast, we piled the laundry baskets, laundry soap, coloring books, crayons, books to read, and the Chess board into the van and headed to the laundry-mat.
When we arrived I told my kids to make themselves at home in the corner next to a seating area. Coloring books scattered, Chess began, and I was off to put the loads into the machines.
I have really good kids. They did exactly what they were supposed to do. When I asked for help switching the loads, I had five eager helpers (the baby was asleep.) I asked one of my children to stay next to the baby. He did not like that request.
The look on his face was like, `But mom, I want to help.’ He had no idea how much help he was actually being by staying with his sleeping baby brother, so that I could do what I needed to do.
I get it, kid. I do.
Some of you may know that my husband is now a youth minister/pastor. It’s so exciting to see him doing exactly what God called him to. And I really want to volunteer to help out at youth. I really want to be involved.
BUT… I have six kids… and dad doesn’t usually get home on youth nights until well past bed-time.
At first, I was supper bummed. I want to be involved. I want to volunteer. I want to impact the Kingdom like my husband gets to do.
As I was praying about this (and many other frustrations) I was gently reminded that THIS IS my ministry. My kids. My home. My family. I have 18 years with each kid. If they live to be 70, that’s not even one-fourth of their lives. But these years are so important, so formative.
I love to listen to people share their testimonies. One thing that every testimony has in common is the mentioning of parents. Sometimes it is positive… sometimes it is negative… but no matter what, your childhood effects your testimony. Parents are part of every person’s testimony.
I have six children that I pray grow up to impact the Kingdom in big ways! I know that I am in no way a perfect parent, but I hope I am pointing them to their perfect Heavenly Father.
So right now, volunteering for all these other ministries and such can take a back-seat to my role as mom.
It’s just a season. This season will end. When it does, I can happily accept roles in other areas. But my first, primary, and most important earthly role is to my family. Seeing the importance in my role helped me be at peace with this season in my life.
So when I recognized that look on my son’s face at the laundry-mat, I knew, I recognized, I understood. He had no idea just how important the job was I asked him to do. After I explained to my son why I needed him to stay with his baby brother, it was like a lightbulb went off in his head. “OHHHH… ok no problem mom.” He went and sat down next to his sleeping brother and happily read a book.
Sometimes the jobs we are given to do, don’t seem that important. It’s hard to see all the moving pieces of the big puzzle of life. Sometimes I wish I knew the big picture. I wish I knew where I would be in 20 years. But then I am selling myself short. I would be just like the Michael in the movie “Click.” (Who kept fast forwarding to the big events and realized he lost what matters most in the process.) The process, waiting, the unknown journey, is just as important as the big events. The big events are awesome, but we have to submit to what seems less important. It’s in those moments that character is made. That learning is going on. The growing occurs.
Sometimes I forget, “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).” God knows what he’s doing. Even when we can’t see it. He has a plan. And we are so blessed to be part of that plan!
It’s not our job to understand. It is our job to trust Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all you heart, and lean not on your own understand; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV