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Giving up Control

“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26

“I just stay home with my kids.” Looking back I can’t believe those words ever came out of my mouth when asked what I do for a living. I had just come out of a male dominated industry and felt that becoming a stay-at-home mother was a less than meaningful job. In fact, that attitude had permeated my childhood and young adult years as I had a mother who stayed home with my sister and I while we were growing up. Unfortunately I saw her as “weak” and “unimportant” and therefore, I wanted the opposite for my life. I studied business in college and made sure I would have a job which made me feel important.

I believe the Lord has a sense of humor. Who would have thought I would not only be a stay-at-home mother but also someday homeschool my kids? He is so good and faithful and knows exactly what we need to be the person He created us to be when we actually listen to Him versus the all the loud voices of the world or Satan’s lies.

It all boiled down to a matter of control for me. I thought I had complete control of my life and was certainly capable of making good decisions for myself. The Lord got a hold of my heart, and, while I am still a work in process, there were a couple of pivotal moments in my journey.

Even though I wanted to be home with our first-born son for part of the time, I thought I would still continue working at my career part time. Nothing panned out part time and we knew the Lord was asking us to take a leap of faith financially. However, I had no idea what a leap of faith this would be for me personally. I went from having stimulating conversations to enjoying my baby but feeling like I might go crazy because of the monotony of the day to day. As I spent more time in God’s word, He did a work on my heart and I began to see the beauty in simplicity and experience true joy in my new role. Truly, it was through prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit that changed my heart and mind.

Fast forward a few years later when the Lord knew I needed to fully trust Him. I had 4 children by this time, children that we knew were blessings from God but we had “planned” according to our timing and convenience. I was having some quiet time alone with the Lord and I heard Him say to me, “Do you trust me?” I answered Him, “Yes, of course I do!” He proceeded to ask me again, this time including the words, “in everything?” I honestly thought I had given him control of everything. But then, when He specifically asked me if I trusted Him in the number of children we should have, I broke down. I had to repent and admit that I had really never even considered Him in this area of my life. Oh how heart-breaking now, looking back. Not that submitting to the Lord’s plan for our family to have 9 children was easy, especially with all the questions and disapproval from people, even people within the church. Again, who would I listen to – the Lord or them?

A few years after He got our attention with His plan to trust Him, the Lord led me to people, websites, and information, stirring up within me a heart to homeschool my children. I did not have any training in childhood education. My confidence came only from the Lord. He was, and continues to be, with me every step of the way.

Early on as a stay-at-home mom, I would often waiver and doubts would creep in, tempting me to give in to the lies that maybe I am not doing enough for the Kingdom of the Lord or even for the world. My mind would go back and forth between loving my new role, yet thinking I needed to be or do more. Now, however, I can honestly say that I have never, in all my life, felt more satisfied or fulfilled than I do right now. I know, as a stay-at-home mother, that I am living the fullest life that God has for me. I am making a difference for His kingdom because I am being obedient to His plan. I find deep joy that cannot be attributed to anything other than remembering where I came from and who God is making me into. How can I not worship him through the laundry folding, the cooking, the book reading, the managing of a household? He certainly knows what I need and I will continue to trust Him in everything, even the things that my humanness may want to control.

This is not to say that there are still not difficult days or seasons in my life. But, living a life humbled by the fact that the Lord saw me fit for this job helps me to overcome these challenging moments. He has, and will continue, to give me just what I need, just when I need it. I know that it is pointless to fret over the future, for my life or my kids’ lives. His faithfulness and daily provisions sustain me and cause me to live a life of gratefulness to my King who is so trustworthy!

Cheryl Hamilton

Living on Mission - Post College

I graduated from college about eight months ago. Since that time, I have never felt more of an urgency to share the Gospel….or as loud of a fear to speak up.

I am constantly surrounded by hurting, broken people in need of a Savior, and I myself am chief among them. I feel inadequate to share Jesus when I struggle with understanding his grace and mercy and sacrifice in my own life. Through this season of transition, I have been reminded of a passage in Romans…

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’” (Romans 10:14-15)

We are talking about a relationship…a relationship built solely on faith in the God who created everything and yet holds the sparrows in his hands. And our relationship is built on a belief in Him who is Lord of all (Romans 10:12).

But how will they call on him if the ones who are claimed by him fail to tell them?

Those co-workers who choose to speak about things that make us cringe, things that break our hearts. How will they come to know Him if we fail to tell them?

That friend who battles depression and turns to other means of fulfillment to numb the pain. How will they know unless we tell them?

The family member who desires to be whole, to have joy and be godly, but continues to pursue things that break God’s heart. How will they hear without someone preaching it to them? With our words- our attitude- our lifestyle.

Paul’s famous words in the book of Romans, ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ is actually based off a passage in Isaiah 52:7. It talks about ‘how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news…who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

The feet were dirty. They were messy. They were hurting and sore and scraped up from the walk, but they still went. And they were beautiful.

That’s been my mission in this season of transition. I feel inadequate in my pursuit, but I long to have the “beautiful feet” of Romans 10:12. My prayer is to go even when it’s terrifying and to speak even when it’s uncomfortable. 

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:13

-Shelby Lamb

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