My husband and I have always talked about being missionaries one day. When we were in high school we had the opportunity to see one of the Mercy Ships. That night we talked about how one day we would be missionaries together. S's mom had always told him that she thought he was destined for such a thing. Fine with me. I was just excited he included me in those plans! Ah, young love.
We still bring up the subject now and then. We have put off thinking about the whole thing whenever I was pregnant. We have decided to wait until they were older. We have thought about short-term mission work we could do with the kids. We know missionaries. We know former missionaries. We know people who grew up in missionary families. It's still in our plans for one day in the future.
When we bought our first house 2 years into marriage, I dreamt of raising our family there. We did end up moving into a nicer and newer house when I was pregnant with Sweetheart. So, then I pictured having teenagers in that house. I pictured hanging their graduation pictures on the wall at that house. I pictured them coming home from college to that house. I was set. We had a house and we would raise our family and gather belongings and everything would be great and comfortable.
Flash forward 7 years and find me packing again to move into this slightly smaller, much older house. I could care less what our house is like as long as I can make it into a nice home for my family. After all, one day we may be living in a hut in Africa!!! And? I will make that hut a wonderful home for my family. Being a homemaker doesn't mean buying a house and living the American dream. Being a homemaker means I can make a home for my family no matter where we find ourselves.
In line with that kind of thinking, I worked hard to downsize our belongings when we moved here. We can't just live and keep collecting stuff that we have to move and pack and take care of the rest of our lives! We need to be ready to serve the Lord. How can we be ready to go do His will if we are tied down to a house and stuff and debt, etc? Good thoughts. (In fact I think after living here 1 year it is time to de-clutter again!) I am absolutely convinced that going to do God's will is going to be an exciting time in our lives!
But what about when God says, "Stay"?
So we find ourselves in a mission field right now. Where we live, where we work, where we attend church---we are being called to serve. Right now. It isn't foreign. It isn't all that exotic. It isn't far away. Can this really be missionary work?
But we find ourselves in a position where we know some people who go to church but are not disciples. Some people who have heard the name of the Lord, but whose lives have not been changed or transformed. And some people that we would actually not choose to have our children spend time with. And in those respects, this is exactly like missionary work.
So my home....this home...for however long we live here, must be ready to serve the Lord. I must be ready to have people over. I must be ready to cook meals. I must be ready to share what we have. I must be ready for...things I cannot even imagine. I really can't.
Because I don't know what this "local missionary" thing looks like. But it sure feels nice to know we have the opportunity to serve the Lord RIGHT NOW and not sometime in the FUTURE. Instead of planning and dreaming of what might happen one day, we find ourselves here...right now.
May God use this family for His glory.