December 12, 2012

:the one where i'm not what i thought i'd be:

four children, fancy cars and a nice house. this was my dream. that and being a physician's assistant to support my envisioned expensive habits. we would drive away from our fancy house on sundays in our fancy car, to church. sit prim and proper in our row, taking in the message prepared for us. i would work and drop my children off at daycare, pick them up in the evenings and slap a healthy meal on the table for dinner. we would banter and laugh over mashed potatoes and always use our manners.

i'm not what i thought i'd be.

three children, sitting on how we will get to four. another pregnancy or adoption is all still up in the air. i gave up my dream of being a physician's assistant years ago and settled for a degree in biology which thrills me to pieces when thinking i am the third person in our entire family to graduate from college.  my degree gave me a ten year career in medical sales that opened my eyes to the greed of the corporate world and how easy it would be for me to get sucked into the more of it all.

we left the church of prim and proper when the first little one was born. we went in search of the down in the dirt, with the whores and homeless jesus. we found him at a small church, tucked away right in our little town. it's full of people that love jesus and love people regardless of their belief system or social status or sexual orientation. they just love.

they feed the poor and homeless. they love on the down trodden. they give the woman beaten and oppressed a place of refuge. they welcome all, judge none. they lavish our family with love and encourage us with emails and books and meals shared in blue jeans and t-shirts around our kitchen table.

after my maternity leave was nearly up with our first child i started checking out daycares. i found myself in a puddle of my own tears as i could not come to terms with someone else getting more hours of her day than me. when i remember the feeling of hot tears on my cheeks and white knuckles on the steering wheel, the days at home with three little ones are but a piece of cake.

actually days at home with three little ones is anything but a piece of cake but there is no amount of gold that would make me give up my place as a stay at home mom.

my heart bleeds for the less than. the sick, abandoned, beaten down, mistreated outcasts of this world. i long for change and seek ways to be a part, doing small things with great love teaching my children along the way. i  am challenged with how to love well while getting down and dirty with those in need and my children by my side. there is a fine line in a mama's heart between answering the call and keeping those precious babies safe.

i asked my friend one time how she ministered when her children were small. she said she let them wipe tables and serve in the shelter, always an eyeshot away. she went on to say the patrons would often respond more so to her children than any adult they encountered. still, i struggle. what is my place? what would you have me do lord? how do i practice the way of jesus in my small place in time?

i watched the movie Freedom Writers this week. it rocked my world and i cried big ugly cries over the truths and challenges found in that movie. after reading the Diary of Ann Frank, Miep Gies came to speak to their class. one student stood up and said you're my hero. she is a hero, brave and noble. yet she said to him,

i did what i had to do because it was the right thing to do. we are all ordinary people. who can within our own small ways turn on a small light in a dark room

so here i am, ordinary, in my own small ways working to turn on a small light in a dark room and teaching my children to do the same.


  1. I think the best way to minister when you have young children is to have them minister right along with you. My kids have done a Bible club n the public schools with me for the past 4 years. They are the only white kids there. It has opened their eyes and their hearts to kids of other cultures. It has given them the opportunity to share Jesus' love. It is putting feet to our faith, and showing them how to give, love and sacrifice. Good for you!

  2. i love your heart Melissa. you are precious:) xo

  3. I just love this. I find myself asking similar questions. I need him to mold me in those big decisions about soup kitchens and service projects, but also the small ways like you said. The grace in discipline and daily gratitude. I can so resonate with your heart here. Thank you.

  4. What we do as mothers can feel not productive, and it is lovely to hear your heart. Thank you

  5. such a beautiful and honest post!

  6. "doing small things with great love teaching my children along the way"...that is my heart and you put it into words...! This is wonderful and challenging and... thank you for sharing this.


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