“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. Boldly and without hindrance he preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” -Acts 28:30-31
During the month of July, Brad was one of the Head Leaders for Young Life’s Castaway Club, so our little family packed up and moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for a month. It was a time of hard work and long days, but also a time of being refreshed and inspired by sharing our lives with other believers in a close-knit community of love. It was a real joy and pleasure daily to grow together and share everything (Acts 4:32-35). I was especially inspired by the other moms like myself, doing their best to love God, their husbands, and their children, while creatively trying to find ways to make ends meet financially. As the month went on I felt more optimistic about our situation, and our survival of these difficult times. I also felt greater optimism about my role as a Young Life wife and mother, as I saw that not one woman carried out her role in the same way as the next. I felt better knowing that I did not need to fit a cookie-cutter image of a ministry wife, and that many of my insecurities in this role were based on lofty expectations of my own making.
One of the highlights of my month was our daily Bible Study of the book of Acts. I was inspired again by the life of Paul, and his determination to share the gospel despite great opposition by people and circumstances. As a first time mom this past year, I have often felt limited by an erratic schedule, naptimes, more complex mealtimes, unpredictable interruptions, and the additional duties and burdens brought on by parenthood. I have felt useless and inadequate in almost every aspect of my life. So one of my favorite passages came at the very end of Acts. Paul is under house arrest and cannot travel. This is a drastically different life than his earlier years as a teacher and missionary. He is confined to his rented house, and must simply wait for God to bring people to him. Yet Paul’s message never changed. He welcomed those who came to see him, and then BOLDLY and WITHOUT HINDRANCE he continued to preach the kingdom of God and teach about the Lord Jesus Christ. Despite being under house arrest, my Bible Study reads, “Almost single-handedly, Paul saturated the entire Roman empire with God’s truth about Jesus.” What a message of hope to stay-at-home moms!
As we begin a new school year in the Chisago Lakes area, I want to remember Paul, and how he managed to tell the world about Jesus Christ from his living room. Rather than making excuses, he embraced his new and unique role, and used his home as a platform for the gospel. As we await the arrival of our son in just over 3 months, and I anticipate the even greater limitations on my time and resources, I hope that I can learn to be like Paul. No matter where I am, or what my circumstances, I am loved by God and can be used by God for his purposes. As Crystal Kirgiss is so fond of saying, “When God looks at you, you take his breath away.” Thank God that He finds us each breathtaking…even though we are unloveable and undeserving. May we never stop declaring his great love boldly and without hindrance…even from our living rooms.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”