Being Used for the Kingdom - Encouragement Café - May 12, 2017

Being Used For The Kingdom
By Samantha Jackel

Friday, May 12, 2017

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

I can remember being pregnant with our first child – the excitement of the ever growing stomach, the first kick, the long sleepless nights wondering if the baby was ok, the cravings that seemed to make no sense and the endearing thought of holding my precious gift for the first time.

I can remember falling asleep at night with sweet thoughts that soon I would be cradling my baby in my rocking chair.

The harsh reality hit when my daughter was born – she came out screaming! The romantic thoughts of breastfeeding changed to painful, toe-curling experiences and the sleepless nights up tending to a hungry, unsettled baby seemed to last forever.

As time went on, we had more children – five in fact! We had them very close together and all in under five years. I learned quickly the ability to tell every whimper, scream and shriek and I even knew how to read the “quietness” and whether it was normal or due to mischievous behavior.

I seemed to spend those first few years balancing my roles within home, family and church. I was mom, wife, church-leader, cook, cleaner, counsellor, taxi driver, cop, life coach and behavioral management specialist — that was until God captured my heart with some “home truths”.

I wanted to be seen as a mom that had it all together, could do anything and everything. I can even remember a friend unexpectedly dropping by to say ‘hello’ one time, and me running through the house throwing laundry, books and toys into cupboards (even kitchen cupboards) and slamming the doors shut – all while trying to look composed as I ushered them into my home.

I wanted to make the impression that motherhood came natural and I could be everything to everyone! It was straight off the set of “The Brady Bunch” – picture perfect!

But on the inside I was crumbling. Raising a young family and juggling life was taking its toll on me, and affecting my kids and my husband. And then Peter and I decided that we wanted to home-school our children for the first part of their education.

I can remember a leader at church coming to me one day and questioning my decision, “Why would you home school? God has so much in store for you and He wants to use you in the kingdom.”

Instead of being overwhelmed with joy, my heart ached. It was then that God spoke deeply to my heart.

God did have much in store for me and He did want to use me in the kingdom – but that kingdom was my home and included the lives of my husband and children.

He had entrusted and gifted me five beautiful and sweet little babies – all born into my care, all depending on me for nurturing. He had entrusted me with the task of raising our children as disciples into His Kingdom – there is no more noble or honorable calling in life.

Jesus gave up His life for me, and I lay down my life for them – my family. My role was nurturing them step by step through life and helping them to find Jesus amidst the circumstances of life. Motherhood is not only a gift but I believe a calling and a place where God will use all our “gifting” if we let Him.

As mothers, we do not have to reach the expectations of others. His expectation of us is to provide a safe and nurturing space for our children – teaching, loving and guiding them as they grow and learn.

Lord, I pray that You would help each of us to see the importance of motherhood and how it is a true gift to be able to guide our children. Lord, help us to grow and be the mothers You have called us to be. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

© 2017 by Samantha Jackel. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 12 May 2017.