Baby Steps to the Breakfast Table

Galatians 5:14

I lay in the dark, late, seething.

I had just read a chapter from Crazy Love about living a life for God. Examples of ordinary people feeding starving children, abandoned to the streets, families going to soup kitchens on Christmas morning, lives of meaning.

I wanted it SO badly. I wanted to leap out of bed, race into the living room and announce to my husband that we should give our 401K to the hungry and show our children how to serve on Christmas instead of buying presents. I know he wouldn’t agree, and I was mad. I was SO mad.
How dare he save for our family? Why should we have extra money when people are without food? Why should he buy our children more presents when their rooms are already bleeding plastic into my living room? Desperate, angry, I prayed:
“God, I want to give it all to YOU, I want to serve you in the slums and take in a million orphans, and give our money to the needy, but HE wont let me! How am I supposed to give my life to you when he isn’t on the same page as I am? He’s my husband, so change him so I can serve you”.
Quietly, softly, God spoke through a reminder of that very morning. It was five. In. The. Morning. I was desperate for sleep, half dreaming of a snooze button for two year-olds and the words had come, in a drifty way, a soft way:
I don’t dream in bible verses, so I knew it was Him.
“Oh God, please go away. Let me SLEEP for five more minutes, that’s why you invented cereal…right?”
Then my uncooperative brain responded, “Compromise ruins a celebration.” and I prayed for strength (yes, I hate mornings that much) and found my way to the coffee, and it wasn’t that bad at all, and I made eggs, and saved my husband from oversleeping an important meeting at work.
Sixteen odd hours later, I lay there, anger washing away in the face of my own nail-file of a refining moment.
I smiled. I knew that God had heard my prayer to serve Him more, and once again, instead of the radical (and much more thrilling) prospect of a life without toilet paper, he pointed to the now.
“Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.” -Oswald Chambers
God doesn’t deal in fantasy life, He is not constrained by time and He never has to rush.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” -Acts 17:24-25

Maybe someday, I’ll be doing something “BIG” for Him. For now, He’s asking me to rise early and feed my family.
“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in the small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
I try to think of the most loving thing to do with my life, and I think of anonymous people with the most obvious need.
I need to love my husband, who I get so mad at for loving us in his way.
He lavishes gifts on our children, and why is that so bad? Doesn’t God do the same for us? Isn’t that why we have flowers and sky and watermelon and broccoli and every color bird with no two feathers the same?
My husband cares for us and loves us and provides for us, and maybe for now, I should work on loving the people God has put into my life instead of the ones He hasn’t.
“Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are — in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools…You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society — completely forgotten, completely left alone” –Mother Teresa
For more of baby steps to love, click here.

21 thoughts on “Baby Steps to the Breakfast Table

  1. THANK YOU for these words. I have a bad habit of wanting to help the anonymous people in life as well, and a good friend of mine reminded me that I need to make sure my household is in order first. Sometimes that's hard when you really WANT to help those outside your home, but know that God has who you are to serve, right there with you. We are just in a “season” of life where we are to raise our children – and all too soon will this season change. Savor it – (and all its challenges!) 🙂

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  2. that is the best blog post ever!!!! i love it! and i love you for thinking it and then sharing it! you are an awesome woman of God, just because you WANT to SERVE HIM sooo much! what a great reminder from my young friend! i am blessed to call you my friend! luv, deanna

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  3. This is a wonderful post and YES. I often feel like I'd be so great at serving others if I wasn't so busy looking after my kids and family and forget the people right in front of me.

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  4. wow, wow, wow! just two nights ago I was sitting talking to my husband about this exact frustration. My heart is missions. Sometimes I sit thinking about how I can help others, and being annoyed at the fact that at this moment , there is nothing I can do. What better example for Christ is it to show your kids who He is, give them a heart for Him, teach them the power of prayer, and love and take care of them the way I want to for all the other hurting people out there. It's just as important. Thank You so much for writing this!

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  5. Sounds like a hard night girl!!! I love how God doesn't leave those cries unanswered. There are things that He isn't always quick to respond to, but He KNOWS when we need to hear his voice. I LOVE that! We have an amazingly gracious God!

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  6. This is good JoAnn. We need to love God's way and charity begins at home then branches outward where we can serve. You are an encouragement to those who read your Ostrich pages. Thank God for your insight. And yes, what an awesome God we serve.

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  7. Smack! I've been hit in the head again by you. A Real kindness would be if you would would…wait, this is encouragement. I embrace it…even though I was opting for a toilet paper-less life less than 24 hours ago and ranting about who needs house additions done when Africa is needing the gospel.
    Ahem. Thanks God for waking Joann at 5 to tell me this. I'm listening. Please don't wake me up at 4 am. Amen

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  8. Crazy Love was a great book. I highly recommend it. Diva, I fully expect a hilarious blog post from you when it's your turn to wake up at 5 a.m. and be gently nudged with P31 verses…:)
    Kohrs, I think he cares about our heart, and his yoke is always gentle…I love hearing about your heart's passion!
    Aunt JoAnn, people are going to think I'm talking about myself. Get a new name! 🙂 Just kidding, you had it first.

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  9. If you are willing, God is faithful to use you as his ambassador right where you are. As a family we pray “Lord, wherever we are, in the workplace, at the mall, in our home, use us. Put us in the path of people who need you, and use us.” And He does! There's nothing like being a Christian and bringing some heaven to earth by the power of his Holy Spirit. We are commissioned to depopulate hell. What a wonderful life! Wherever you are right now is where you're meant to be. He will use you.

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  10. I love “Crazy Love” and felt the same way when I read it. But you are SO right about God's very high and holy calling to you (and to me) as “mommy”…there is no higher calling. It impacts generations to come in a way most other calls cannot.

    After visiting your blog, I love your heart and I love your writing! I will follow and visit often!! 🙂

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