One of God’s main words for me the last 12 months have been: “it starts at home“.
First and foremost this has meant putting Him first in the home environment. We cannot minister to others if He has not ministered to us. We cannot introduce the Holy Spirit to others if He is not evident in our lives.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7
As we set up home there is always something to do – planting an orchard, establishing the garden, planting vegetables and herbs, looking after animals, and renovating the house – it has been a challenge to lay aside the busyness of the day to start and end it with God. When I focus in on Him at the start, I am more aware of Him throughout the day and can work with a heart of worship. When I rush into the work, I often become grumpy and easily frustrated.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. Luke 5:15-16
Secondly, this has been lived out through learning to put Glenn second only to God. It isn’t so hard to put him before others, but it can be very hard to put him before myself some days. We’ve been sharpening one another as Proverbs says:
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 12:17
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. Proverbs 31:10-11
Thirdly, He has begun to prepare my heart for motherhood. A large part of this has been learning to be okay “accomplishing less” in a work sense, in order to meet the new demands of my body. I know that this is just the lead up to greater sacrifices of time and energy once our first precious gift arrives. It has also meant rewiring my thinking to see ministry as a family call, not an individual one. And, of course, a large part of this will be keeping my family as my first ministry.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments . . . Psalm 78:4-7
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
An excellent wife who can find? . . . She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10a, 27-28