The other day I went rummaging through our garage and came across a box with all of my old journals and books. I found a journal where I'd written out this quote and a prayer that I use to pray daily for my children. I can't remember the name of the book (I'll look it up), but I know the author is Donna Otto.
I remember the book too well as it was a life-saver for me during the beginning years of my ministry as a stay-at-home mom, and the giving of my body for babies. I was on my third child when I came across this book. I'd just suffered another miscarriage before bringing my son, Kyle, into the world. So actually that put the number of miscarriages to eight. I'd forgotten about the one before Kyle until reading the journal I found.
Anyway during these times, it felt like everyone I knew with the exception of my parents, were against me having "too" many babies, staying home with them, and home schooling. You would have thought Kennedy and I were insane. This is the time when Elisabeth Elliot was truly a God sent for me—a jewel. She and I would talk long on the phone and we would write. Lots of letters were exchanged back then. When she was in town or passing through I would go see her. It was she who recommended that I get this book.
Mothers our work is a ministry. It's the call that God has placed on our lives, and if you are a mother who is called to stay home? Your domestic duties as routine and mundane as they may be is your "high calling."
Ann Voskamp says, "Scratching a stubborn pot furiously with a wire scrubby, I remember it again, what I once read of liturgy. That liturgy has its roots in Greek word leitourgia meaning "public work" or "public servant." The meaning! This life of washing dishes, of domestic routine, it can be something wholly different. This life of rote work, it is itself public work, a public serving—even this scrubbing of pans—and thus, if done unto God, the mundane work can become the living liturgy of the Last Supper. I could become the blessing, live the liturgy! I rinse pots and sing it softly, 'This is my song of thanks to You ...'"
Our commitments to say "yes" again and again to the many mundane tasks of motherhood will make the difference in not only our lives, but in the lives of our children for the work that we do: the washing of feet, and the washing of souls, pots and pans is a heavenly work. Soul work. Character building for mother and for child.
The prayers... pray that your children will ...
~ fear the Lord and serve Him
~ know Christ as Savior early in life
~ hate sin
~ be caught when they're guilty
~ have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships
~ respect those in authority over them
~ desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong kind
~ be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one
~ Pray that your children and their prospective mates will be kept pure until marriage.
~ learn to submit totally to God and actively resist Satan in all circumstances.
~ be single hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus.
~ be hedged in to they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places, and that wrong people cannot find their way to your children.
~ have a quick repentant heart.
~ honor their parents so all will go well with them
~ be teachable and able to take correction
~ Pray that your children's lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
~ will live by the Spirit and not gratify their flesh
The only assurances I have of access to my children's hearts is through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Donna Otto
"What makes our labor holy, what makes it eternal, is not just the work but the state of our hearts while performing that work. When we comprehend that truth, then we realize washing dishes is as significant to the kingdom as operating on a patient; driving a truck is as eternally triumph as leading a company. Then even in the zig-zags of our careers, when life seems more random than ordered, when it feels like we're running in thick and with heavy boots, we can rest in the knowledge we're serving God as we labor faithfully and diligently." Randy Kilgore