Opportunity and Independence

I often feel like being a mom is one of the most wonderful and fulfilling things ever.  I love being home with my kids and homeschooling them has given a whole new meaning to investing into them and their future and I really thought that was it, like it would be snacks and naps forever  (did I mention I was not really that excited about this in the beginning…boy I’ve come a long way ).  So I find myself in this new place in life.  I know that I have talked about it before on this blog…that there is life after toddlers.  We are preparing to go into our next level of homeschool, meaning that I have a Kindergarten student, a grade 2er and a grade 5 boy.  Wow!  The word independence grows each day and it is so exciting.12087979_10156141122345501_7967903600154131013_n

Where was i going with this…oh yes…before I start reminscing and posting baby pictures I wanted to share a new step for me in all this independence…I taught for my first time ever in a YWAM school…like a whole week…all by myself.  This is unbelievable to me.  My children’s independence has lead to something crazy that I didn’t see coming…my own independence and identity outside of motherhood.  It is a new season let me tell you!  I was petrified, I was unprepared (it was so soon after arriving home from Aus). I tried many times to get other people to teach instead of me…with no success, I pulled together a team of people to come with me (I dislike doing things by myself….thanks to motherhood and extrovertedness…and I was just plain scared…who wants to be scared and alone when you can be scared and together!) and began to prepare.  That’s when the magic happened.  I was asked to teach in a School of Frontier Missions.  In our organization, that is a school for people who are preparing to go long term to the difficult places where no one has heard of ‘the Gospel.’  Ummmm….you might be wondering (I sure was…) have  I ever been to the frontiers??  Well, yes, for a few weeks here and there with outreach teams, but I was generally changing diapers and looking for goat milk to nourish my babies….does this still count?  Apparently yes…in God’s books it does count!

This journey actually started many years ago when I was asked by our base leader if anyone would like to go to a seminar on Member Care.  I hadn’t really heard of that, sounded interesting….and, let’s be honest, it was in Banff and I had just had a baby and was delighted to get away…even if it meant taking my youngest with me.  So off I went with a couple of staff ladies from our base.  It was a great week but I just never felt able to put anything into practice…I was too busy being a mom, wife and house mom to the girls that lived with us.  Move ahead 4 years and I now have ‘member care’ on my job description and am wading through the muddy waters of what this means and how do we do it in a culture that is not our own when bam….I am invited to sit in on a week of teaching at the first Frontier Missions School ever to run in the S11990596_10156146125620501_963008909129004697_nouth Pacific about Member care.  Awesome…I am in.  I was blown away…first, I got to hang out with some amazing ladies…spirit connection at it’s finest and water to my thirsty soul (a bit of member care in action there), second, I so connected with everything the speaker taught and realized that I am very passionate about field workers having everything they need to stay in the field long term….to be career missionaries and to excel, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.  That even though I am not ‘a counsellor,’ I love connecting people with the resources and people they need to carry out what God has spoken over their lives.  I believe that God has called us to be healthy in mind, body, soul and spirit….especially because we are His servants.  I knew that week that this was part of what I was made for…part of our calling as a family…

Member care is doing whatever it takes, within reason, to insure that our workers feel cared for and supported by their agency and church and that they have the resources they need to work effectively, and to care well for themselves, and their family.  It is comprehensive – the ongoing preparation, equipping and empowering of missionaries for effective and sustainable life, ministry and work.” (Global Member Care Network def. 2008)

The formal and informal efforts to develop, preserve, and restore kingdom workers for effective service.” Bruce Swanson, Missionary Development Dept CBI

I was excited and we have spent a lot of time brainstorming and putting into practice some things here in Fiji, for us as a family, for us a team and us as a mission…however my excitement dimmed a bit when I was asked to teach it…that was just too much…I have so little experience.  I love teaching kids….and adult English…you know concrete things…but I said ‘yes’ anyways because it was the thing to do.  Every time I prayed about it, God confirmed that I could do it.  People agreed to go w12106924_10156146125695501_8946998098449192797_nith me so I knew I at least wasn’t alone.  As I reviewed some of the material I got excited again…I love this stuff…gathering a team around you…figuring out how much money you need to raise and coming up with strategies to do it…researching your called to country etc.

It was a fantastic week…funny thing is that my ‘team’ didn’t show up until Tuesday night and Wednesday night…and I survived!  I had fun!  I poured out into those men and women with an open and enthusiastic heart.  I connected again with other women and enjoyed great company and good laughs.  We prayed for students and staff together and saw new freedom enter lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.  It was a.m.a.z.i.n.g!  The students were so gracious and affirmed me in very touching, personal ways…my team came through (eventually…way to leave me hanging without my security blanket….) and God reminded me that it’s about Him and I.  All of this was made possible by a loving God who won’t let fear bind us up, a husband and kids who gave me time and listened to me complain about how I couldn’t do it…all the while affirming that I could, and parents who happened to be in Fiji to take care of our lovely kids so I could leave and not worry…Adam was also away teaching that week in a different location, but that is old news!  It was lovely and I think I may do it again someday!  Now…back to homeschool!

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Categories: Learning, Living, Loving

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