Do you realize you are here for a reason? I’m discovering more and more that our “everyday” mom life can be blessed and laid out in an extraordinary way if we ask it of God with an expectant heart and accept interruptions as invitations. First let me ask you this: have you heard of the Prayer of Jabez? Honestly, I hadn’t until my Mom let me borrow a book that delved into the intricacy and impact of this very short but heartfelt prayer uttered by an ordinary but honorable man named Jabez:
“Oh that you would bless me indeed and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!”1 Chronicles 4:10
Accept Interruptions as Invitations
So as I’ve been praying this prayer over my life, there is a part that I’ve wrestled with a bit. Honestly, the “expand my territory” part of this prayer has been a point of fear for me. Why? Well, because I don’t know what that looks like and honestly that sounds a little scary. I start thinking, How much expansion are we talking about here, God? Are you going to ask me to do something crazy and super scary, like move to a foreign country? Lord, I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of sacrfice. Am I? Now, God calls some amazing people to those beautifully challenging tasks for His Kingdom everyday. I don’t know what God’s future callings are for my life…but what I do know is that I want to be used by Him. So I’ve kind of stayed here for a little while. Mulling this over.
Well Sunday morning, Josh, one of the awesome pastors at our church, brought a sermon about loving our neighbors. He explained how we are called to influence the people placed within our world. As followers of Christ, we are called to be salt (“a preserving presence”) and light wherever we are to whoever is around us. And then he said something that stuck to my heart like glue: “Often times, hurry is the enemy of love. What if we slowed down? What if an interruption to our day was actually an invitation?”
Invitations + Expectation
This is where those two concepts, expanding my territory and loving my neighbor collided for me. The expansion of my territory is my availability to be used for appointments created and ordained by God…no matter how big or how small…no matter how I’m “feeling.” I should be looking for these beautiful moments to shine a glimmer of Christ’s light into a normal, mundane moment with another precious life. When we accept interruptions as invitations we step closer into that reality.
An Expectant Heart at Work in Real Life
As a matter of fact, one of those moments presented itself to me this last week on an unseasonably warm day as I took my kids to a park that we don’t regularly visit. I was having a rough “mom day” that day. I had bustled into the park in a bit of a huff with frustration probably written all over my face. But this particular day, I had worn a new t-shirt that had the scriptural reference, “do everything in love” printed on the front. There was another mom there and we had said a few short words in passing to each other as we followed our kids in all directions around the playground.
Later on, my kids wanted to swing so we ended up stationary at the swing set and a few minutes later…this same mom began swinging her little one right beside me. We began talking to one another and she began opening up to me and sharing her heart. She mentioned, “the Lord” which cued me to think she was also a follower of Christ. We talked more in-depth and discovered that we both were in seasons of uncertainty. I shared a promise from the Bible that I’ve been holding onto from Proverbs 30:5, “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him” and I told her I would be praying over her situation. She offered precious encouragement and wisdom as well as a promise of prayer back to me. She told me before we went our separate ways, that she had noticed my shirt and had a feeling that I might be a Christian.
Accepting the Invitations
If you are looking for a church to be a part of in the local MD area:
Pleasant View Baptist Church in Port Deposit, MD is a church that is very dear to my heart and is full of amazing people who love and serve the Lord.
Freedom Church- Rising Sun, MD campus is the church we attend. There are also campuses in Bel Air, MD and Middle River, MD. We’ve been blessed to be in this wonderful church that purposefully shines the love of Jesus and has a mission to reach a generation that is in danger of falling away.