About 11 years ago, I first read an article entitled 'The High Calling of Wife and Mother in Biblical Perspective' by Dorothy Patterson that is part of John Piper and Wayne Grudem's book 'Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.' When I first read this article, I was living as a missionary in the Netherlands and was about 7 years shy of becoming a wife and 8 from becoming a mom. It is interesting to see the points I underlined when I was so far from experiencing its truths, compared to what stands out to me now. I re-read this article last week in light of our new ministry home at South End Baptist Church in Frederick, Maryland, on an especially difficult day with my children (you know, one of those days when you sit everyone down and read them 'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'), as a reminder of God's good plan for me as a wife and mother. As Ricky, Isaac, Emma, and I transition into our new chapter, the words I re-read from Dorothy Patterson resonated even deeper into my heart: '...it is hard to locate an aging mother who believes she made a mistake in pouring her life into her children, and it would certainly be more difficult to find a child to testify that his mother loved him and poured herself into his life to his detriment and demise.'
The Lord impressed these words upon my heart as a read: reward (Psalm 127:3), blessed (Psalm 127:5), delight, privilege, LOVE. There is much ministry to be done in the church and community and world and I pray for God to give me wisdom in where my gifts and experiences fit for the church's benefit and His glory, but most of all, I pray that I will cherish Patterson's words 'Mothers, too, win most by losing all.' I pray that I will lay down my life for my family, as Ricky's helper and Isaac and Emma's mom and that I will do this with a spirit of delight. I am not 'missing out' on all the ministry Ricky is doing. I am 'gaining' the privilege of holding my children, who are the gifts of much answered prayer, on nights when Ricky is ministering in the church and they need their mom to nurture their hearts in the midst of transition and missing their dad. I am not just to 'demonstrate' the 'high call of wife and mother', but to 'delight' in its blessed rewards as I cling to the verse I have posted in the kitchen, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weaknesses' (II Corinthians 12:9). So, now, 11 years removed from the 23 year old girl who was living as a missionary in the Netherlands trying to learn how live out Biblical womanhood, I sit holding my little girl who is resting in my arms as she recovers from a weekend virus (while her brother spends some needed 'Isaac/Daddy' time at a minor league baseball game featuring our very own Frederick Keys!), with delightful gratitude for this high call God has placed upon me by His grace.