When I grow up, I want to be…

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Ephesians 6:19-20

If you look through my prayer journal over the past few months, you will see a theme. I want a strong purpose. I want to be a force for the Lord. I feel like I am camped on the edge of the wilderness and God is getting ready to push me in- to follow Him into some uncharted territory- but, I don’t know what, where, or how. In addition to purpose, Monday I had prayed for a gift. I wanted to know if God hears me. Does He know me? I feel like He has been so quiet lately.

Purpose. Influence. Confirmation. Affirmation.

Our Tuesday gals have been gleaning from Priscilla Shirer’s field in the study called One In A Million. She is walking us through the book of Exodus. It’s a story of deliverance, smelting, obedience and being surrendered to the Lord. Not relying on our own ability, knowledge or strength…but, God’s manna and provision. Perfecting us to following Him into Promised Land living. This is a RICH study and I have enjoyed every step.

Yesterday, however, I was a little downcast after study. Discouraged.

We had moved on to Numbers 13. A leader from each tribe was sent in to investigate and report on Canaan. Leaders are supposed to lead, right? Well, these leaders gave a false report…one birthed out of fear and uncertainty…and these leaders led the people to settle for second best instead of Promised Land living. For 38 years, they would walk in circles in the same place. Uggh. If only the leaders had been fearless in following the Lord…in having full faith in the Lord…in believing and trusting the Lord at his word.These leaders were to be the influence.

So I began to wonder. I am sitting on the edge of this wilderness…an unknown. Will I choose a comfortable, familiar place and walk in circles? Or will I follow? I pray that I do.

In times of uncertainty, we all need to make sure we have trusted people who we can go to for influence; spiritual counsel. We need to make sure that the people who influence us are pointing us to Jesus. But, we also need to be an influence-ER.

“What kind of influencer are you?”

Immediately, I hung my head. I wrote in my study guide…”I am not. Unacceptable + ineffective= lukewarm.” I don’t have a circle of influence. There is one woman in the group who has people texting and calling her for counsel all hours of the day. While that is her calling- not mine (I promise, I am not coveting here) – I wish I knew what my calling IS. Yes, I am planted and I am blooming and growing in Christ…but, am I still in the pot or am I outside in the great-wide-open providing shade for others, dropping seeds that may grow…unrestricted?

Yep. I left there feeling small, insignificant and super discouraged. I’d love to write a book…but, don’t know where to start. I’d LOVE to be like Priscilla Shirer and share the things God has shown me in life and through study…but, being in front of large groups makes me turn ten shades of red. Being in front of groups of people is not my place.

So where is my place, Lord?

There is no way I could have been prepared for the gifts that followed immediately after this wall of discouragement stopped me in my tracks. Yesterday, God started sending me gifts of purpose and confirmation…affirmation.

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At 4:55 pm, I received this text from a friend about a conversation we had a few weeks back. Encouragement from a dear friend. But…wait…did I say something? Am I really an influencer and I didn’t know it?

Then I thought of the card my dear daughter gave me on Mother’s Day. In it was a picture she drew under the caption “Mother’s Favorite Things”. That picture is my Bible, coffee and a cupcake.

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This is what she sees. In the morning before they go to school this is where they see me; at the table with my coffee and Bible. (The cupcake? Not so much, but it certainly sounds like a great idea!) I am not perfect. They see my flaws. But, my kids are “seeing” even when I am not “saying”. Thank you Lord. Not only did He confirm this special and important purpose, but I feel like I must be doing a good job – as long as I am following His lead.

So, I sat down and stopped drinking from the cup of my own insignificance – served in my private pity party. The truth is: when I am less, God is more. I started thinking about where I am planted…I am a mother. I can think of no greater influence than the molding and raising of children. Funny, I had been praying about that this month, too. I so want to be a Proverbs 31 woman in my home, a helper to my husband and also a Deuteronomy 6 mama who leads by example and really walks the walk with my kids and anyone else who I may encounter on this road.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Then came the greatest gift…one I could have never even thought of. To GOD be the glory!

Last night was our daughter’s Kindergarten graduation. After a song, each child came to the microphone one at a time to introduce themselves. This special introduction included their name, birth date and what they want to be when they grow up. As a general rule, I try to not share pictures of my kids faces on this blog and keep their personal information to a minimum. TRUST me…if I could have gotten this video to upload I would have broken that rule today. As she stepped confidently to the microphone, she gave her name and date of birth and then this….

“When I grow up, I want to be a Mommy.”

At the end of that short video clip, you would have heard a whimper just before the camera shut off. It was me. The Lord pricked my heart and it’s contents gushed out in the form of tears of joy. It was all I could do to keep from WAILING. I know that I didn’t hear another word said for the next 5 minutes as I tried to contain myself. I cried on and off for hours after that.

Influence.

Mothers: never underestimate the power and scope of your influence in Jesus’ name!

It is a divine calling and should not be seen as a purpose that is less than others. No, I am not speaking to stadiums, congregations or even small rooms of people, and if it’s God’s will- the book will happen in God’s time. God spoke loud and clear yesterday. I am an influencer- to my kids, my husband, their friends and anyone I come in contact with. As I walk the road and when I rise and sit- if I am living what I believe and for WHOM I believe- I am making a difference in the name of Jesus. Yes, I want to do more for Him. But, I think God wants me to provide shade and seed to these little ones who are in my care and not brush off this purpose in search of another. The eternal importance of these years is one that cannot be measured. The influence I have on these two children and the influence they will have on others…their grand kids and so on…is one that has the potential to seed and grow for generations to come.

She could have chosen ANYTHING…and she wants to be a Mommy…like me.

Oh sweet Jesus ~ Thank you for making me hers.

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Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Yes, to HIM be glory…throughout all generations.

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2 thoughts on “When I grow up, I want to be…

  1. Joanne : You are blooming where you were planted….and maybe getting a little root bound in that pot as you grow more in the knowledge of His word and closer to Jesus. Just look at it as your plant is growing into a bigger pot to shade your family as they grow, too! And as they grow, they will bring others to rest in the shade of your plant for awhile. You ARE influencing the most important people in your world right now. And that time flies by so quickly. You are an amazing mother and wonderful friend. And an influential writer. That book is writing itself with every post:). Be encouraged and keep growing!

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