Think of a time when God hinted that He desired to use you in His kingdom purposes. Describe what He laid on your heart.
“I can think of several. Every ministry I’ve been involved in has a moment like that. Generally I say ‘Yes!’, occasionally ‘No!’
“One slightly different one that comes to mind was in the middle of my service. I had been babysitting for the Tuesday morning ladies Bible study for a year or two and felt convicted that it was a ministry from my heart, not a job to get paid for doing. After much persuasion I was able to get myself off the payroll and out of the budget.”
I had hoped to find a card you sent to your mother, or maybe something you kept from Daniel from years past, or maybe a comment about your mother or being a mother in one of your study volumes. But all that material isn’t exactly organized in a way that would make any of that easy to find. Indeed, while you’ve left enough written behind to fill years worth of Sundays, it all comes at me rather haphazardly, so there will never be any coherent, organized theme to what you say from week to week. But at least, this is somewhat appropriate for the season at hand.
Raising children is, apart from this day – and a few others, as one’s attention is brought to it – a fairly thankless task. Even more so in this day and age, where it seems to be determined that if a woman is not out in the work farce, earning her own way, she is worth that much less as an individual than if she were earning her own living as an independent paragon of feminism. Look, there’s nothing wrong with getting out there and making a living, but children pose a unique challenge, and the art of dealing with them is vastly underappreciated.
With that in mind, I confess that I had forgotten that your babysitting role with the ladies’ Bible study had been a paid position – and I doubt I ever knew what you had been getting paid, as this was probably just pin money for your own use (which, again, is fine). I suppose it might be difficult to get someone to do something like that without a certain… incentive. And we weren’t always particularly well off back in the day, either. We knew that your grandmother was worth… something (why, your dad once asked me if I was bothered by the fact that you would be worth more than I was, which I found to be a ridiculous question. In hindsight, I probably could have said something about how much you were worth to me, and that your value was so much more than any amount of money, but that’s neither here nor there now), but that wasn’t going to come to you until you reached a certain age (although we discovered after the fact that it was also pending your mom’s passing – I have suspicions as to why they might have withheld that fact, given how in other ways they underestimated us).
And yet, you decided that this was not something you should be receiving recompense for, but that this should be considered a ministry – a service to other moms, so that they could have time to read and discuss scripture with each other, and grow together in their own knowledge and understanding of what God had to say to each of them. In a way, this was a Mother’s Day present you gave every week to other mothers. I find it interesting that you actually had to negotiate to get yourself off the payroll – apparently, they were reluctant to forego paying you, but you insisted that you had been led by God to refuse payment for this service.
I know you wrote this down with no intention of anyone seeing this, and patting you on the back for doing what you did, either then or in your own study when you were filling this question out. And I’m certain you had no expectation that I would go looking for these things you wrote down, or that I would learn of these things you did because you felt called to.
I am sorry – for so many reasons – that I cannot rise up and praise you in your presence, like the husband of Proverbs 31, but what he says is true nonetheless:
saying, “·There are many fine women [L Many daughters act nobly], but you ·are better than [surpass] all of them.”Proverbs 31:29, Expanded Bible
Happy Mother’s Day, darling. Thank you for blessing these other mothers, and may your gift have brought forth that much more fruit over time.