How often do you stop and think about motherhood? Your role as mother to your children, and how you are travelling along that road? If you are like me then there are hundreds of daily distractions that come at any given moment. A phone call, text message, a need to see your Facebook feed, Ebay items ending soon, the latest tweet and another blog post….food, chores, you get the picture.
A good friend sent some encouragement my way via Carolyn Mahaney’s post Mother’s as Mission. Today it was spot on. And I know it will be spot on tomorrow. If we don’t ask ourselves the hard questions about how we spend our time and energy equipping ourselves for the task of mothering then we will be distracted. Raising our children is an enormous responsibility. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, mother’s are responsible to raise children who “require not so much to be taught anything as everything.”
|Paris doing good?
Doing good and making the right choice is commendable. I would suggest it is how I hope I am raising my children and what I hope and expect from my friends. Advocating for good for humankind. But sometimes we do good for the sake of it, we don’t ask the hard questions. Our ‘do good’ mentality has become a quick fix in our society. We give to charities when a representative knocks on our door or asks for a donation at a traffic light. We volunteer at the soup kitchen, give of our time, pass on our unwanted clothing and household items and we feel like we have made a contribution.
Likewise, the church has been caught up in doing good. This is after all following Jesus’ example of helping the poor and needy, welcoming the unlovely into your home and to your table. But the church has become distracted by causes and doing and less astute at asking the hard questions. I heard Bob Lupton speak at the Verge 2012 conference. He suggested that charity has become toxic and that the church is on the verge of a major paradigm shift. Amongst many stories of charity and good, he revealed a common scenario of a local church sending people on ‘mission’ to paint an orphanage in the third world. The money spent coordinating and investing in taking a team of westerners to an overseas location to perform a task, they were not professionally trained to do so could have been used to give work to two local professional painters, employ a couple of full time teachers at the school and provide complete new uniforms for the entire student body. Have we not asked the hard questions? The mission trip was good for ‘me’ but really it didn’t offer long term change for my brothers and sisters in need.
Mission needs to be authentic. Our good needs to offer real outcomes. Lupton is advocating a paradigm shift. It is worth asking yourself is doing good always ‘good’?
Since baby number four (now two years old!) I have been trying to get to the Flex’n’core class at the local gym. It is a gentle class that combines pilates and work with a fit ball. It is absolutely fabulous for inner core strength – yes, I mean the old pelvic floor. If you have been pregnant and given birth you will know exactly what I am talking about. That band of muscle that holds everything in gets S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D beyond recognition and I suspect most women spend the rest of their lives trying to get it back into some working order.
But today the class was full to over flowing. There were more than the recommended number simply because this newish instructor is so good. She is an excellent teacher, uses great words of encouragement, works hard to remember names and is able to pitch a class at multiple levels at once. Her humour and great modelling make us all come back I think.
In any given class I will know 6-10 people. Women from school, work, community, neighbours, church circles…the list goes on. We talk casually about “X” as we prepare for the class, we share each others pain as we go for “another set of 10” and then we chat as we leave the building. Sometimes we have coffee afterwards and other times conversation begins when we arrive at the creche to collect our children.
I was really struck today by the mission field that is in front of my face each day. Do I see this as an exercise class that helps improve my pelvic floor? Or is this a God given opportunity to build relationships, share experiences and encourage other women?
If I choose to hear the promptings of the HS I will go each week now, prayerfully, intentionally and with the desire to flex more than my inner core! I wander what mission God is calling you to, today.