By Hannah Nelson, associate pastor – kids and families
Our pastoral staff takes turn writing blogs to share on Facebook. Well, turns out, this week is my turn. But the thing is, I’m drawing a blank. Last night I was up with a sick child (like holding her hair back, sleeping on the couch sick). Today a second child was ill enough to need a trip to the doctor. So, there I am, a sleep-deprived mom with two sick kids waiting for the doctor’s appointment. We finally get back home after stopping to pick up chicken noodle soup and drop off some paperwork at the medical lab. I curl back up on the couch for a quick nap before picking up the rest of the Nelson tribe from school. Then, it’s off to a dentist appointment (for one of the healthy kids). Now I sit at home, with a minute to myself, and can’t for the life of me think of a topic to write about.
I took some time to reflect on the last 24 hours: a full day of work, afternoon meetings, life group in the evening, which was immediately followed by the sequence of illness and doctor’s appointments today. While we were sitting in the waiting room of the pediatrician’s office, my youngest asked me, “Is it tiring when you have two sick kids?” I told her that I supposed it was, but that was part of my job as a mom. So, I’ve been thinking about that question today. I mean, it’s tiring enough to be a mom to five healthy children, let alone adding in illness, injury, or the like.
I’ve always dreamed of being a mom since I was young. I guess it’s the helper/caregiver nature in me. I don’t think you can anticipate the magnitude of challenges that arise in parenting, or the tough decisions you will face. I know it’s hard to believe, but I don’t love waking up in the middle of the night to clean up after a sick child. I don’t love seeing my kids in pain, whether physical or emotional. I don’t love feeling sleep deprived or skipping a much-needed shower. But, that’s sometimes just part of the job description, and so I do it.
This made me think about my “job description” as a Christian. What is it that is required of me, and what is my attitude about it? I know that I am called to the Great Commission-Go and make disciples, preach the Gospel, tell all the nations (Matthew 28:18-20). I know that Jesus demonstrated how we should pray and modeled taking time to be with the Father (Luke 6:12). I know that Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with everything I am, and second to that, to love my neighbor the way that I love myself (Matthew 22:37-40). I know that we are encouraged to “not stop meeting together” as believers (Hebrews 10:25).
I’ll be honest, there are days when doing the “Christian” thing is not my first choice. It’s hard to always love others, it’s sometimes intimidating to do evangelism, and some Sunday mornings I’m just really tired and would rather sleep in than get up early to go to church. As a mom, I just do “my job” because I must, and because my kids depend on me. In contrast, as a Christian, I know at times I fail to do my part. Why is it that what God has asked me to do is lower on my priority list than what is required of me to be a mom? I chose to follow Jesus. Now I need to keep choosing to follow Jesus every day. The life I live as a Christian is not about me and my comfort. It is about giving glory to God, telling others about the Gospel, and growing closer in my relationship with Jesus. Even though being a mom is one of the most important roles I have, it is small in comparison to what God has called me to do and be as a Christian.
Even on those days when I lack motivation to live out my life as a believer, I have to choose to do the right thing. Just like being a mom who doesn’t neglect the needs of my kids, I can’t neglect the responsibility I carry as a Christian to obey Christ and live out the Great Commission, love God and others, and spend time with other believers.
What lessons can you learn from real life? How can you make living for Jesus a priority in your life above everything else?