As we gather at the well today, Michelle from She Looketh Well has challenged us to look deep within...at our hearts....at our motives. She openly and honestly shared how God revealed to her heart how she was following selfish motives (noble and "good") instead of her true biblical purpose. She was active in ministry and church, but her heart was not complete until she fulfilled her true purpose- being a wife and mother. Please take a few minutes to read her story At the Well.
Michelle's story resonated with me as well. As a women's speaker and writer (and even blogger), I have wrestled with my heart and my motives. Since 2004, I have had to continually turn over my motives and desires to God. At times, ministry and mothering have been at odds. God has continued to remind me that my FIRST and FOREMOST ministry, my priority, is my family- my husband and children.
It struck me one time in full force when I was speaking at an engagement. I had just finished speaking and I was alone in my room, praying and praising God for what He had done in the women's hearts. Several women, in tears, had "breakthroughs." Some had been released from bondage. Others, for the first time had realized how much God loved them. I was rejoicing that these precious women, many for the first time, realized the difference between "religion" and a "relationship" with God. Some had come to Christ for the first time. And then God spoke to my heart, opening my eyes.
I thought (and prayed), "God, what difference does it make in my life if this whole room of women love You and have a relationship with You, but my children do not?" I realized then that I needed to be just as concerned with my children's relationship with God as I was with women I have come to know in ministry. I couldn't just take for granted that my kids "got it." Of course I prayed with my kids and for my kids and we had many biblical object lessons. I taught them bible stories and they are familiar with God's people of the Bible. But.....
Did I tell my girls, like I tell the women at retreats, how much "God is enthralled with their beauty?" That they "are precious and honored in their sight"? Do I continually teach them (as I do in conferences) to "not conform to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of their minds?" Do I tell them over and over (as I do in retreats) that "the Lord their God is with them. He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in them. He will quiet them with His love. And He rejoices over them with singing"? That weekend, I realized that everything that just comes naturally to me at a women's conference, I needed to do those things at home with my OWN children!
My wonderful friend and spiritual mother, Donna would continually remind me as well that my FIRST ministry is my family. Click here for more on spiritual mothers.
Yes, the "world" has a lot to do with our restless feelings of wanting "more" than "just" mothering. We look at "glamorous" women who seem so "together" and sometimes feel inadequate. And, let's face it, laundry isn't all that exciting. It can be really fun preparing for a women's conference- spending time writing, praying....putting together cute outfits.....
I continually went to the Word to renew my thinking.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him. Colossians 3:17
I needed to look at housework differently...(and I still work on this!). I needed to be thankful for a beautiful home to keep for my family, to be thankful for the clothes we have as I launder them....And, as I take care of these things, going about my chores, doing it for GOD.
And, then, finally, for me, I had to realize that there ARE different seasons of life. I KNOW that God has placed this desire in my heart to encourage women through ministry. I know that God has placed this love of writing within me. He has anointed me in a speaking ministry. I know those are His callings upon my heart. But, in this season of my life, my children and husband take much of my time. I know it will not always be so..... I want to enjoy this season....being HERE for my family. That means I may not be able to blog as often as I like. It means I have lots of ideas and "topics" that I continue to "store up" in my heart (and in tons of spiral notebooks!) I continue to remind myself to be patient and wait on the Lord. I know His timing is perfect. So, even though I may not be speaking as often as I would like, I am resting in Him, knowing that His plan is perfect. It means that I must also continue to examine my motives. Am I doing something out of obedience to God, or am doing it for praise of man?
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
I continually pray this! Lord, reveal my motives! I don't want to do anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit!!!!
Michelle asks us to ponder a few questions:
Has your heart found its way home?
Do you find complete fulfillment in your biblical purpose?
Please join us at the well today! You may find yourself a bit challenged as you wander "back home"!
Please click here for more encouragement on this same topic.