Saturday, May 17, 2008

making a difference

I live in the suburbs.

I love my neighborhood and the court I live on, where my boys can ride their bikes around and around while I sit on a bench sipping iced tea. We live close enough to walk to school, and in the summer, we splash in our neighborhood pool. Sometimes we ride our bikes to get ice cream cones at the end of the day.

It’s comfortable here.

When I read about the work other people are doing for Christ, sometimes I feel uncomfortable. Inadequate. I wonder if what I do is enough. Am I really called to the suburbs? I wonder. At times I think I’d rather go to Africa or Asia, anywhere but here, sharing Christ with my neighbors in this comfortable place.

I read about the work Erika Haub is doing in South Central L.A., and weep sometimes at the beauty of her calling. (And I’m not even a crier!)

My long-time friend LeeAnn, a.k.a. FrazzMom, lives in the Bay Area of California, but manages to take her children on missions trips across the globe almost every year.

These people are making a difference in this world.

Am I?

I’ve mentioned before my husband’s call to missions, as a sender. We got a letter yesterday from a family we’ve partnered with for over a decade, and I read with joy that their daughter just graduated from college, and their son is on his way. I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to witness God’s faithfulness to their family.

We’ve supported the work of Compassion International long enough that several kids have grown up sending us letters, and we need to choose a new child to sponsor. When I read about global poverty, I think of the work Compassion is doing around the world to change things, one child at a time. It’s a small thing, only $32 a month, and yet a child’s life is different because of it.

I take care of my boys, loving them and teaching them and feeding them. (And feeding, and feeding, and feeding.) I clean the kitchen floor. I vacuum.

Is it enough? Am I making enough of a difference in this world? Am I being faithful to God’s calling on my life?

Honestly? I don’t know. I hope so.


Sus said...

found you on alltop. thanks for writing this - i totally feel the same way, at home day in and day out with my kids in a small midwestern town. maybe we raise these kids as our mission - to touch the world through their lives. i hope so.

maggie, dammit said...

I think the very idea that you're asking the questions at all is your answer. You are most certainly making a difference.

(and hi back!) :)

Llama Momma said...

Sus -- Thanks for coming by and saying "hi." I truly believe that mothering children is one of the most important jobs out there. It just doesn't feel like it most of the time.

Maggie -- I think asking questions is always a good place to start. Thanks for stopping by!

ann kroeker said...

I just had a conversation with a friend about this last week. She admitted that she was comparing her little life with those of some friends who are always doing something big--this summer they're going to Ethiopia to volunteer at an orphanage, the moms and eldest daughters! She said, "I'm just struggling to get through my simple little life without falling apart...and they're flying to Ethiopia to serve the Lord in an orphanage! It's hard not to compare and fall ridiculously short."

To struggle with the question is important--to be open to the Lord if He *is* leading you and your family to something "bigger."

But it is big to be praying faithfully at home and serving every person God places in your path, whether it's your child, your neighbor, or an orphan in Ethiopia--even if you don't travel there, you can, as you are, support them via Compassion (or other similar organizaitons).

Good thoughts. Big thoughts. They make everyone think, not just you.

Erika Haub said...

I might add that by far the most challenging part of my every day is managing bodily fluids and functions; cleaning up messes; cooking dinner and not losing my cool when children refuse to nap or they have accidents or throw a fit about having their hair brushed. To minimize any of that is simply false.

As I have said to you before, I feel a sweet kinship with you and am certain that you and your precious family are responding to the Breath of God in your midst: and that Breath moves over cozy suburban streets with passion.

That said, I expect that there will yet be surprises for how God will call your family to engage the whole of His world and I look forward to what those testimonies will be.

Love from L.A.!

Llama Momma said...

Ann -- comparisons are rarely helpful, and yet I do it anyway. Really, at the core of my thoughts here is the simple question of faithfulness. Am I being faithful to God's calling?

Llama Momma said...

Erika --I love surprises from God! And you're no way do I want to minimize my tasks as a Mom. Not at all. I guess it's the other stuff I'm questioning: is this where God wants us right now? Are we being faithful to His call? Could we do more, and if so, what should that be?

MamaToo said...

You wonder "if," but I wonder what is "enough"?

I think our father knows we'll wonder from time to time...
"what does the lord require of you?
Act justly
Love mercy
Walk humbly with your God."

I read and trust those are true for your home in the suburbs. Your blog goes many places your feet and hands cannot. I'd love to reach through the web with a hug and encourage you to keep on doing what you're doing, where you are, for as long as God has you here. You are loved, so keep up your confidence and remain faithful to the one who has sent you into this season.