“Mommy!” the little voice calls beside my bed, abruptly waking me from a deep sleep. My daughter is waiting to snuggle, which is a joy, but also slightly cringe-worthy at 5:30 a.m.
All the parenting experts, podcasts, and blogs suggest waking up before your kids in order to start your day in a peaceful and calm manner, ready to serve them as they wake up. But this has never been a remote possibility for me. No matter how early or how late bedtime is, my daughter inevitably rises early. For so long, I resisted and fought against the reality of my little girl standing in front of me each morning, too bright and too early. Many mornings were spent urging and pleading for my girl to go back to sleep. Many more mornings were spent uttering curt words in a less than kind tone. Once I gave up the idea of her sleeping in, we fought to at least keep her in her room until a ‘proper’ hour.
I prayed and prayed that God would change these early morning wake-ups. Simultaneously, I was praying for God to show me His calling in this season of motherhood. I was certain there should be something more to it than the early morning wake-ups and long days of staying home with my little ones. Was I supposed to carry on with my teaching career or turn my writing into a job? Did He want me to be more involved in church programs or ministry in some way? What ‘else’ was God calling me to—right now?
As I lived out my days with a restless heart full of complaints, I realized I was missing the obvious calling that God had placed in front of me—to be a mother to the three beautiful children He had blessed me with. But how exactly I was supposed to carry out this calling of motherhood was less obvious. The decision to work outside our home or not was a constant battle in my heart and mind. I could never seem to stop myself questioning whether I was doing enough for Christ. All this searching and questioning, wondering and looking beyond the role of motherhood had me focused on the wrong thing. I was focused on what else instead of what HERE.
The truth is, my calling begins every morning at 5:30 a.m. Embracing my calling is doing my morning Bible reading while my kids play at my feet, and it’s carried out through the daily task of picking up cheerios. My calling is lived out in learning my neighbor’s name, and dropping off a meal for a new mama. My calling is found in my church community, at my child’s school drop-off, in my neighborhood, and within the walls of my own home.
My calling is to say yes to the people and opportunities God places right in front of me, instead of seeing it all as not enough. It is to see that this life here is my calling instead of waiting and pushing for something more.
Jesus stated in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (NIV). He has chosen me here and now to bear fruit for Him.
He gives me enough. He leads me to enough. He calls me to enough. Right here.
The danger doesn’t lie in missing my future calling. The danger lies in missing my calling right here and right now. Living a life for Jesus means we have a calling each and every day. In 2 Timothy 1:9, Timothy wrote, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (NIV). We are called to live this holy life in the space and time we are currently in, right here and right now.
Our calling is as simple as loving Him and loving others, which in turn means serving Him and serving others. Such a calling is done exactly where we are, when we are there. It includes every single person He puts in our path, including our own children and our neighbor down the street. God has made us specifically for a purpose, and those works are already prepared for us to carry out. We respond in faith and trust that His plan for us is made perfect through Christ (see Ephesians 2:8-10).
The real question isn’t “What is my calling?” The real question is, “How can I live for Jesus today?” He hasn’t put us here or brought us to this point by mistake. He has done so with immense purpose. 1 Peter 2:9 states: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (NIV). It is our job to respond to this in service to Him, with the gifts He has given us, and therefore fulfill our calling. For each of us, this will be unique to our own season and circumstance. For me, it looks like embracing those early morning snuggles with gratefulness for this exact season.
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