As the last days of school arrived and our children filled the house for another fun summer, I approached the days with mixed emotions. I love the less-structured days and the joy of spending time with my children. But I also wrestled with the feeling of frustration knowing the neighborhood children would spend the days and nights hanging out in our home. For me that meant extra clean-up, more responsibility, feeding what some days feels like 5,000, and having a sweet spirit.
I came to God with a whiney attitude, and He began to adjust it. I was reading Kay Warren’s book Dangerous Surrender where she asked her readers to say yes to God and let God tell you what your mission will be. Kay’s mission was working with people with AIDS. God kept telling me my mission field was in my home.
I went to work with a church in Mexico this year. I just returned from Brazil participating in a medical clinic where we have the opportunity to share our faith. But my greatest mission field is in my own backyard. Literally.
The children in my neighborhood need to see what a godly wife and mom looks like. They need to have a safe place to play and hang out. The first week one young man asked me, “Do you guys really sit down to eat supper?” Just yesterday a friend of one our sons said, “I can’t believe you talk to your parents like this. I could never talk to my parents about who I was dating.”
One of my greatest struggles was the amount of money I spent on soda and snacks. God got my attention once again and asked, “How much are you spending to ‘go and do missions?” Needless to say I quickly changed my heart and bought another package of cookies and store brand sodas. I am willing to spend huge amounts of money to travel abroad because my mind sees that as ‘missions.’ I struggled with seeing how feeding the neighborhood was a part of ministry. I sat down with my husband and talked about how much our mission budget for the summer would be and realized that feeding the multitude is just a part of ministering to them.
Kay Warren asked the reader to identify the needs around them. Then ask God how He wants us to be involved in meeting them. As I looked around, I knew the needs for the children in my neighborhood and I knew God was asking me to be willing to meet them.
How about you? Ask God to reveal to you the needs around you and how He wants you to be involved. You may just be on a seasonal assignment or yours may be more in depth. You may find, like me, that your mission field is closer than you think.
What I was doing serving the kids never changed, but my attitude did. If you are struggling with an attitude, I challenge you to ask God to give you His perspective on it. You may be like me and just need to see it from His perspective.