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Stinky Fish and Stinky Diapers

fish and diapersCan’t you just picture Jesus walking the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, calling out to Simon and Andrew to come follow Him? Matthew 4:18-22 tells us they were casting a net into the lake. Just doing their usual fishing routine. The same thing happened as He called out to James and John who were in a boat preparing their nets. All four men heard Him, dropped their everyday activities, and followed. Not only did they follow, but my translation says “at once” and “immediately.” Levi was a tax collector sitting in his everyday spot at the collector’s booth, and like the others, when Jesus said, “Follow me,” Levi got up and followed Him (Mark 2:13). How about you? Where is your everyday spot? Can’t you just hear Him? Hey (fill in your name here), come follow Me.

I’m not saying leave your career like His disciples did. You are probably right in the career where He wants you to be His light. What I’m talking about is when we are busy doing our everyday TV watching, fiction reading, or Pinterest pinning and He speaks to our hearts. Follow Me. Come away with Me, He gently invites. He really does have things that He wants to show us and tell us. Will we drop what we are doing and pursue Him? When we are in the midst of running our lives, it can seem like a huge effort to take the time to read the Bible and spend time in prayer, but actually that is what fuels us to live on top of life instead of getting steam rolled by life.

My heart is drawn to you, young mothers out there today. I remember when my kids were toddling about and I was surrounded by loads of laundry, dirty dishes, and my French manicure was a result of the white diaper ointment under my fingernails. I was feeling overwhelmed. I reached out to mothers who had older kids and shared my concerns: “I haven’t read my Bible in what seems to be forever, I am frustrated all the time, and I miss feeling close to God.” Several told me it wasn’t really possible to be pursuing God when you have babies but that things would eventually slow down.

I totally disagree with this advice. Once one baby arrived and was finally potty trained, another one came along, and three children later many years had passed. I’m so glad I didn’t follow their advice, and I know my children are too. As we stay in Bible study and prayer, He supplies all that we need for our mothering job or any other job that He has called us to. I know that I couldn’t have parented in peace and wisdom without making my time with Him a priority. I wasn’t perfect and there were many days that slipped by, but just like oxygen, I could not spiritually survive without spending time in His presence.

I remember attending a Bible study on Revelation, and my weekly homework was often not complete, but it was so good for me to sit and hear all that the teacher was saying. As I glanced over many empty homework pages, I hoped that I hadn’t missed a major aspect of His second coming. I figured I would just explain it to Him on His return: “Sorry that I missed some of the timeline of events. I couldn’t get all the homework done because I was nursing.”

Ephesians 2:8-9—For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.

No, the Lord never wants us to feel guilt. He loves us unconditionally just like we love our babies no matter what they do. We love them just because they are ours. Relax and enjoy your mothering, and as you are quietly enjoying rocking your little one, just know that He loves it when you sit still and focus on Him so that He can rock you too.

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