This past weekend, I heard a really great sermon about Nehemiah. The pastor was talking about having a vision, a purpose, and staying with it.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I [am] doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
The pastor encouraged his congregation to repeat, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down." It made me ponder - what's God vision for me? He's told me before, but I should be careful to keep it at the front of my mind so that when tempted, I can repeat to myself, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down."
As I've been reading Created to be His Help Meet I've seen the vision God has burdened my heart with taking more specific shape. Through this book, I've been able to identify my husband as a Mr. Steady. DP reminds her readers that man was created in the image of God. Well since the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all God, then it makes sense that there are three types of men - Mr. Command who is in the image of the Father, Mr. Visionary in the image of the Spirit, and Mr. Steady - in the image of Jesus. My man is Mr. Steady - quiet, dependable, loving, the servant. DP has then expressed the importance of a doer wife - to strive to really be the P31 woman.
American Standard Prov. 31:10-31
10 A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain.
12 She doeth him good and not evil All the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool and flax, And worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant-ships; She bringeth her bread from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, And giveth food to her household, And their task to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it; With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, And maketh strong her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is profitable: Her lamp goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, And her hands hold the spindle.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; Yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them, And delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; And she laugheth at the time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, And eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praiseth her, saying:
29 Many daughters have done worthily, But thou excellest them all.
30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; But a woman that feareth Jehovah, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; And let her works praise her in the gates.
I don't know about you, but for me that's A LOT. But I continue hearing the message, "Your first ministry is your family." Not over-volunteering in your community, not over-volunteering in your church, not having a Better Homes and Garden home.
The vision God has burdened my heart with is going straight back to my roots - open doors to welcome anyone, teaching my children every day, pouring myself into the next generation, and becoming God dependent - not ME dependent. I've slowly taken away distractions in my life - which I really didn't want to do because I worry. A little while ago I settled for no more babysitting (occasionally I still do, but not anything like before) and then this past weekend I gave up my night job as well - I am hoping that I do not have to go find a day job, but right now, I am fully 100% at home.
And during this past week fully at home - I've noticed my mind shift from making it from one day to the next - but the passion and desire to host and to be a mother to my children. We've been having highs and lows as we readjust to this new schedule, but we've been enjoying one another, learning together, and embarking on each day as an adventure (and of course with two toddlers it is). Before we moved to this house, I always had my doors open and inviting people over. And at that time, we had no backyard and a small two bedroom apartment. Granted, I think in my head that my home has to be perfect to have people over - something I'm sure God will refine me on, but I am itching to minster to my family and with my family and in my home.
A friend once told me, "Hospitality is the catalyst for the miraculous." DP writes, "Your home should be clean and orderly so that his friends and buisness contacts will be impressed and at ease... At the end of the day, Mr. Steady will enjoy weighing what he has accomplished with what you have accomplished and will rejoice in the value of having a worthy partner in the grace of life." (p. 90) Not just for Mr. Steady but for me, and the vision God has put on my heart - I need to make sure that my home is orderly (not perfect, not white glove clean - just orderly) and welcoming to any who wish to enter.
God has put such a burning vision on my heart, that I feel almost overwhelmed with it:
1. To train up my children - as they are the next generation and they are my responsibility. And most importantly, for their protection from a seductive world that doesn't care about their eternal spiritual well being.
2. To create a haven inside my home. To borrow from a non-biblical but still wise source, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" (D&C 88:119) Not bad advice from Joseph Smith.
3. To create a welcoming environment for ANYONE who wants to drop by my home and spend some time. :)
4. To spend time with God everyday and keep my focus on Him. This one seems so simple - yet at the same time can be the most challenging. And without that relationship to come back to, then the vision just won't work.
5. To submit to, honor, and respect my husband. Especially when I don't agree with him.
And when something comes up there is only one question, "Does it support this vision?" And if not, then I must remember the words of Nehemiah, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down."
God, help me today to keep You in my focus and the burden you have given me in mind. Help me to remember that I am doing a great work and that I cannot come down to do another work. God, Your Word says that we are not to become weary of doing good, so Father I pray that when I become weary that Your strength will lift me up and help me to go on.
Home Sweet Home: The Center of Evangelism
Home Sweet Home: The Center of Evangelism