It frequently grabs my attention how God works. About a month ago I cam across several quotes by the Blessed Mother Teresa. I love quotes and am a sucker for any page of them. Several of her’s spoke to me that day and I saved them here and began loosely drafting a blog post (this post) around them; asking myself what did she have to say to me, a mom in the middle of the US in the middle of a field trying to keep two little boys alive, fed and educated too. I was not in any hurry just jotting down thoughts as they came to me. Now I realize, thanks to a wonderful friend’s reminder, that we are approaching the anniversary of her death AND then learn that she would have been 100 this month also. I felt obliged to finish off this post and get it posted; but it is interesting to me that this writing started a month before I was reminded of the anniversary.
It seems incredible to me that we lost this gem 13 years ago; she would have been 100 this August 26th. The Blessed Mother Teresa is a role model to us all, a stunning example of deep personal faith and the amazing amount God can accomplish though any of us that are willing to give ourselves, and our efforts over to Him. She was a living breathing example, blasted on the nightly news, of the effectiveness of faith. She spoke to a generation.
One of the Blessed Mother Teresa’s most famous quotes is: Let’s do something beautiful for God.
What could be more beautiful than raising our children, and managing our home for His glory? Our children, what more could we ever dream to do for our Father, for the world in general? We are not all called to mission to the world at large, maybe we quietly raise the next great man or woman of God now? There is a mission field in your living room.
I am certainly not blogging on Biblical interpretations, I am no where near that smart, learned, or educated. I have no education or credential to allow me to speak with standing on anything Biblical.
Nevertheless I think our faith and the Bible warrants application to our lives, mandates it. The day to day application of our faith to our lives is a subject I feel is open to us all to consider and expound on. I think that as a community, many of us mother’s (not all and we love you who aren’t) we have a right to discuss the Bible, the teaching and our lives in light of them.
We are called to encourage each other, to challenge and lead one another, to be accountable to one another. Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
So come with me just a mom and believer to talk about, think about, the Bible some more and how we can apply commandments directly to lives of sippy cups and picture books that we live in this season.
Today are you enjoying or enduring: are you merely surviving or thriving in the place God has planted you? More importantly if you are surviving and enduring, why are you not thriving and enjoying? You are where are, I am where I am for a reason.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; time to mourn, and a time to dance…9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Our tasks, our chores, or challenges are a gift from God. Ok I’d rather have a pony too, but that does put them in a whole new light, doesn’t it? Our families, and their care, are our blessings to enjoy, not hardships to endure. In Psalm 16:11 it says, “in His presence is fullness of joy”. So there is fullness of joy in that sink of dishes, that basket of dirty laundry. You are where you are because God wants you there; He has a reason, a mission a need for you. I need this reminder right now as much, or more, than the next of you. Read this as my reminder to myself, my call for you to join me.
what encouragement can the Blessed Mother, her life so different than mine (and I bet your’s) on a day to day life can offer us, mentoring us even today as we approach the 13th anniversary of her death.
There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in — that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible. — the Blessed Mother Teresa
I mother two blessing today. My friend mothers nine, another friend who is mothering seven. Michelle Duggaer mothers 19. How many did the Blessed Mother Teresa mother? We must remember we are in this place in, in this time in our lives because it severs God, and we have ample opportunity to love and Serve now, here, today. All work can be for God. Mopping, reading bed-time stores, fixing another snack; God is there. Invite the ‘glorious into the mundane’ to turn the mundane tasks of running a household in to acts of service to not only our family but our Lord.
Seek to find God in the details of life, the muddy foot prints, the smashed dandelions pressed into your hand by a smiling and grubby two year old; jelly covered faces. Can there be a better example than The Blessed Mother Teresa for the challenge of seeking God and service in the unglamorous, daily, never ends task of caring for others (some of whom can not care for themselves, some of whom we are the entire world to?). We need to deepen our call to love and serve God in ourselves, our neighbors and in all of creation.
How do we pray in a world that seems to be moving in fast-forward? How do we grow in the contemplative dimension of our Christian life in a culture in that is constantly moving? Look back: “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). How amazing could your prayer life be, if as you fill the sink to wash up after dinner you prayed “Thanks be to You Father for this family, this home and all your previsions given so freely to us”?
STOP and see God. The toddler covered head to toe in mud and GRINNING TO EAR; the baby trying to feed himself with blueberries in his hair. These are our daily opportunities to see God. So is the pile of dishes, for that says “Thank you God that I was able to feed my family their fill today”; the pile of dirty laundry that says “thank you God that my children, my family, have clothes enough to change”.
There is no trick or magic blessing to convert these raw materials of daily living into a life of contemplative ease. All we have to do is downshift our frenetic pace and begin to live with mindfulness, the prayerful awareness that all that is contains the fullness of God’s glory. Before you get out of bed each day ask God to show himself to you, He will be faithful to do so. Each of us can be contemplative; it is a skill to learn, a habit to develop, a life skill to teach our children. I am confident the Blessed Mother Teresa did more practical work any day that I do in my “best” day. She served her God in the place He put her for the time He put her there.
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.the Blessed Mother Teresa
Try to feel the need for prayer often during the day and take the trouble to pray. Prayer make the heart large enough until it can contain God’s gift of Himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive Him and keep Him as your own. the Blessed Mother Teresa
To learn more about the amazing woman, tool of God, born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and known to us as the Blessed Mother Teresa please see http://www.ewtn.com/motherteresa/ or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa.