One of the biggest lessons I’m learning as a mother is to be joyful as I invest where I am. I say “am learning” because, honestly, finding joy in the investment of motherhood can be a daily battle. Thankfully, though, when I see the storm of discontent or frustration looming on the horizon of my heart, I can now name it before it hits and wrecks me.
The years pass quickly, and if I’m not careful, I can easily tether myself to the empty promises of wishing myself forward. As if the future will automatically be better and brighter by virtue of being nothing else but the future – different than today.
“When we finally get out of this apartment and into our new house, I will be so much happier!”
“I’ll be so much happier when the kids are sleeping through the night! Then, I’ll finally get some decent rest!” (Some one told me I probably won’t sleep again until they turn 18…if I am lucky!)
“When the boys get a little more mature, life will be so much easier!” (Again, I’m thinking around 18 we should be good…)
The forward-wishing gets me every time.
Instead of celebrating the good days with gratitude, I wonder why every weekend can’t be this great.
Instead of loving my family “where they are” on really bad days, my wish for the weekend to arrive overshadows all other prayers.
As women who trust in a future King, we cling to the promise that our futures ARE brighter and better, but only because of the One who is Better, Jesus Christ. It is because of Christ, who is also our present King, that we can invest where we are – in the exact country, state, city, neighborhood, classroom, moment he has laid out for us.
So, while we look to the horizon with future-looking eyes, we are also to view our messy, imperfect present with hope and joy knowing our King has placed us right where he wants us because he has a special job for us to do.
Letting go of worthy things
This year brought some big changes to our family. We kissed and hugged ministry partners and friends goodbye, packed up a house full of happy memories, and drove cross-country to Chattanooga, TN.
And although the move was a painful uprooting, we are beginning to see the tender shoots of new growth in our lives.
I took a break from blogging to invest in our family, helping my two challenging boys discover a new way of life among new friends. I have my missed both my Pittsburgh family and my little online community, but I knew that establishing real life community in our new city was important for our family’s transition.
And while investing where you are often means letting go of worthy things, God always cultivates in our hearts and hands something new for his glory.
Letting others invest in you
Another big lesson for me in this whole “investment gig” concerns its rate of return.
Investing where you are means more than simply setting aside personal desires, it also means setting aside personal pride. Investing where you are means more than letting go, it also means letting others in.
When we cling too tightly to what we cannot see, we often miss the blessings Christ has placed in plain sight – others whom he has tasked with investing in us.
Part of this moving adventure included finding a new church home – a new place where we could love and serve and do life together. We are blessed to find such a home in Christway Community Church in Ooltewah.
Our life group has been an immeasurable source of joy to us as we’ve intentionally slowed from a ministry sprint to a jog. As we wait to see where God wants us to invest next, he’s blessed with new friends to come alongside us, pray for us and with us, and cheer us on in everyday life.
When we wish ourselves forward (“We’ll start going to church when the kids get older…”), we miss out on the primary place God wants us to invest in and where he invests in us and our family through others: his body – the church – our home.
“Home is where the heart is” the adage goes. And if we, as women – mothers, daughters, friends, and sisters – can learn to invest where we are, we will receive the greatest blessing of all – Christ, who is our home.
Where is God leading you to invest right now? What blessings have you seen so far?
Big thanks to one of my newest blessings, friend & neighbor Jessica Tyndall of Heartwork Photography.