Since I’ve been home as a mom, a new kind of yearning has filled my heart. Strange as that sounds coming from a mommy who blissfully spends her days enjoying her sweet baby girl… My heart has been aching for some way to reach out.
For seven years, it was in the daily interaction with my teenage students. Even on the days when I felt the immense spiritual battle, I knew that I was called to serve them and prayed daily for a compassionate heart.
Now that my sphere is much smaller, I’ve been praying about how I can give back to God some portion of the abundance he’s given me. Well, immediately I understand that I do that minute by minute with my daughter and my husband. This has made me mindful of the way I steward my time and energy for them – this includes my attitude, which I am continuously working on and have to confess to the Lord everyday.
But in addition to loving on my husband and daughter, the Lord has impressed upon my heart Psalm 51:16-17 declaring
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.
and 1 Samuel 15:22
as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
Diligently, compassionately, my brother returned to the laundry mat each week to wash his clothes and chat with his friend. Over a few years, he was able to encourage this man and speak truth into his life. Is my brother a saint? Nah! I grew up with him – I would know – haha! BUT, he loves the Lord and was willing to make himself a little uncomfortable for the sake of another.
Then I remembered my neighbors – literally the folks next door. On our left is a kind, older couple who like to travel. The wife had an accident while on a recent trip and she broke her foot. She’s stuck at home for weeks.
On our right is an elementary school teacher from San Bernardino (my previous school district) who is on disability for lupus and neuropothy among other things. So, with my brother’s words in my head and the Lord’s leading, it dawned on me – “I’m home every afternoon wondering what to do with my busy little girl! Duh! Go visit your neighbors, Janette!”