With Kids in Tow, we are Always on the Mission Field

I wrote this a few years ago when my children were younger. This is for all the parent’s out there that might be feeling wiped out and needing encouragement.

No matter what stage of life season or predicament we are in, we should always see ourselves on a mission field.

If you have ever raised kids, you might remember the long days of character building, forgiveness, and exhaustion from managing the immaturity of growing humans. Maybe this is you right now? Maybe you’re a grandparent and spend a lot of time with your grandchildren?

I’m in the season of child management, I am literally investing a large portion of my life into pruning sour attitudes, talking it out, solving problems and giving advice. I’m also growing and learning right along with those younger people. Sometimes, I have to say I’m sorry and admit when I was wrong.

I’m dancing and hopscotching this parenting jig I’ve never done before, and I’ll be the first to tell you there isn’t a one size fits all program. It’s hard, hard work.

Bottom line is, I’m on a mission field. No, I’m not in a foreign country, but I’m often in foreign thoughts.

No, I am not praying for a plane out of a literal jungle, but I am praying for spiritual guidance and wisdom through my emotional one.

I may not be eating amongst savages of an obscure nation, but often times it sure feels like it when the name calling, dirty-footed, body odor smelling young humans start throwing food at the table. Or maybe its the teenager throwing out their mismanaged attitudes?

I have been placed there in the middle of chaos for reasons. Reasons I don’t fully understand yet. I’m just doing what God has asked me to do. I’m going where he asked me to go. It’s stressful and often difficult.

This season I am in, raising kids organically… It’s a mission field. Their little souls need guidance to go in the right direction.

My mission field is not just my family. Right now, they take my most concentrated efforts, but someday they will have flown the coop as baby birds tend to do. They will be sent off to grow in their own mission fields, discovering what they were called to do.

However, whoever is in my circle, I can foster and minister too. And I’m looking forward to grandkids, and the more ample time I will have to invest in them building and strengthening our family line.

How long does it take to send an encouraging text to someone? How much time out of your life does it take to send old-fashioned snail mail to a family member, or to someone you know who is sick or hurting? How much of our lives are we sharing and giving to each other? Yes, giving to people we don’t know is generous and all, but what about the people that are closest to you?

People are important.

The relationships with our people and the people that will become our people. Invest first in those closest to you, building strong ties. Then move out from there and touch people that aren’t as close pulling them into your life more fully.

Your family is a mission field.

Start deeply there, then share yourself and give yourself away to others outside your fold.

We are always on the mission field. No matter where we choose to live or choose to do. I matter and you matter. We make a huge difference even if we don’t see it right now. Our children are absorbing what we are giving to them. It’s a huge responsibility. But parent and grandparent- you are doing this and Praise God for every drop of God’s goodness you are instilling into the next generations!

 

~Prudence O’Haire

 

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