Get everyone dressed. Feed them breakfast. Change diapers. Nurse the baby. Wash off the table. Vacuum. Fold the laundry. Pick up toys. Break up fights. Make dinner. Do the dishes. Sometimes it feels like the only excitement in my life is when the cereal gets spilled on the floor or someone trips down a couple of stairs. Woohoo.
I want my life to be full of purpose and intentionality, but so much I do throughout the day feels like rote, boring routines.
I daydream about doing big things—bigger things than I feel like I am doing right now. Usually, the big things involve moving somewhere or doing something different or helping people other than the ones in my house.
After all, there are so many major crises in our world today.
But for those of us who are home caring for small children, holding down a job, or juggling both—not many of us have an abundance of extra time or money to give toward helping solve all the problems.
What can I, as a homeschooling, part-time working mother do to help with these overwhelming and overpowering problems?
Enter Mother Teresa.
“It is easy to love those who live far away. It is not always easy to love those who live right next to us . . . someone in our own home who does not feel loved. I want you to go and find the poor in your homes. Above all, your love has to start there. I want you to be the good news to those around you.” – Mother Teresa
Her words echo what a visiting missionary to the Middle East told me when I asked how I could help with the refugee crisis. I wanted him to encourage me to do something bold and oh, so meaningful and important—but he simply told me to care for the refugees who had moved into my city.
God’s sacrificial love is not waiting for our kids to grow out of diapers. It’s not on hold until we discover the key to balancing work, family, house cleaning, and volunteering. It’s not in reserve until the kids are grown, and we have the time and money to buy a ticket to a remote jungle and translate the Bible into another language.
It is for now, and it is for here. It is for the everyday and the mundane.
It is for toddlers—yes, Jesus loves you because He made you not because you are perfectly well-behaved.
It is for middle school girls—yes, forgiveness is possible.
It is for struggling marriages—yes, love can mend the most broken of hearts.
It is for families dealing with addictions and secrets and anger and fear—yes, God’s love can fill up the chasms between us and restore us to wholeness.
It is for feuding neighbors—yes, reconciliation can be made.
God’s love starts in our own homes as we selflessly change diapers, in our own churches as we encourage the elderly widow, in our own neighborhoods as we encourage the mom at the playground.
Where will God pour out His including, healing, forgiving, powerful love next? Look around.
Who is in your neighborhood? At your kids’ school? In your home? That’s probably a clue to His next big move.
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Lord, build your kingdom here. In my heart. In my minivan. In my neighborhood. In my kids’ school. Let my daily, routine acts of love and obedience—no matter how small or boring they may feel—make a lasting difference in my corner of the world.