Do you ever look at the non-stop laundry and dishes, trip over toys for 58th time this week, and sigh, wondering how this mess is bringing you closer to God, or how by living these days you are able to participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church?
Moms, this *is* your mission field. Your people are your husband and children, and you *are* playing a great and irreplaceable role in the Church’s mission by loving them.
For a time, I longed to still be doing something productive for the Church. In college, I was part of the university ministry team, planned liturgies, taught Totus Tuus during the summers. When Fence and I were newly weds, I taught the 8th graders Religious Ed program, then I took the R.E. Director job for a year, and worked through pregnancy and after. My 6 week old came to the office with me, was affectionately nicknamed “Chapel Baby”, and it worked out great…until it didn’t.
We moved and changed parishes when she was 6-7 months old, and there didn’t seem to be a good fit in minisry for me anymore. Then more babies came, and I was up to my elbows in diapers and laundry with 3 children under 4. Within a year, we grew to be a family of 6, with 4 children 5 and under. How on earth could I even begin to think about volunteering for anything?! I could barely think on some days, I was so tired from being up with babies and toddlers and doing school drop-off and pick-up.
My world changed when I read some wisdom in the words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Long has she been a favorite of mine; my favorite quote from high school days is in her words,
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness, kindness in your face, eyes and in your smile.”
This time, I read,
“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”
It was so simple, so obvious, so true, that it was nearly mind-blowing. Here, from the mouth of one of the greatest missionaries of all time, were the words to love family, and not only to love family, but “love begins at home”.
Maybe it was around that time (5 or so years ago) that I also really started to understand and embrace the idea of “domestic church”. My home isn’t just a house filled with diapers and toys and buckets of clothes. It isn’t just where we eat and sleep. My home is a tiny domestic church, where my husband and I raise our children with love and laughter, where we gather to pray, where we learn to forgive.
It is where we gather around the table to literally break bread together, and learn to see Christ in each other. It is where I serve, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and tend to the sick, 24/7.
My home *is* my mission field. My life is a constant opportunity to serve and love Christ in my neighbor, those who God chose specifically for me to love and help to know His love.
Linking up with Blessed Is She, for the weekly theme #mission.