Wiping Noses for Jesus Is Legit

wiping noses for Jesus is legit

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Wiping Noses for Jesus is Legit | Mom EncouragementPhoto by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

“I don’t know if I can do this EVERY DAY. This just feels like too much.”

I stared out the window and uttered these words silently, trying to push back the tears. For probably the millionth time.

My kids, clueless, continued to argue over whose turn it was to play with the thing or who had claim to the last cookie in the pantry. It was our first day of homeschooling, and it was disastrous. I had visions of happy kids, excited to set our academic year off right.

Nice thought.

No more than a few minutes in, I started having serious doubts about my life decisions.

I’ve sacrificed a lot. I left my career and other meaningful pursuits with my life. Now my personal ambitions move forward at a snail’s pace, if at all (if not backwards). Like many of you, I look back on some days when the house is a disaster and wonder, what did I even do today?

I remember what it used to feel like to have extra income that didn’t get sucked into feeding tiny bottomless pits and supplying them with bunk beds and soccer cleats. We used to go out to eat a lot more. We used to give a lot more away.

Before kids, I thrived in ministry work. My husband Marc and I moved to Alaska and helped launch a campus ministry; we met with people multiple times a week just to talk about the Bible. They changed their lives; we continued to serve; we engaged in the community and gave people hope. It wasn’t always easy, but it seemed obvious that what we were doing was important. We could see the results. The people we built that community with back then are still dear friends today.

I said goodbye to that lifestyle prayerfully and with my eyes wide open. I knew that for me, leaving the workforce and the ministry we had been a part of was what would be best for our kids. Not everyone understood our decisions, but we plunged ahead.

Years later, I drive by the local elementary school where my kids could be attending if we didn’t homeschool and wonder…maybe I need more of a break. I see the professional attire that I don’t need on sale at the mall and muse…it would feel good to wear that. I see the needs at church and in my community and think…I would love to be able to do more.

Of course, I love my kids and I love my life. If you’re in this season with me, you feel me on this. I don’t wrestle so much with my love and dedication to them…but I wrestle with a nagging feeling. It lingers on days when I’m wiping noses, changing diapers, dusting curtains and fixing broken toys. It pesters me when I’m saying no to commitments and stepping down from responsibilities I can no longer handle.

The Lie…and the Truth

Somewhere along this journey, I internalized a false message. It goes something like this: I’m in a season (that part’s true). But it’s a less important season than the other seasons when I can serve more, give more, be more. In other words, my life and my purpose get put on hold when my kids are at home.

Insert record scratch sound here.

What a horrible lie. Left unrecognized it could derail my calling as a mother.

I heard a sermon recently that left me in tears because it exposed this lie at its core. The message was about God’s plan to reach the world. I was expecting to hear a lot about the call to serve the poor, to invite our neighbors to church, to preach the good news and make disciples of all nations. I’ve heard all of that before, quite a bit.

I prepared to start feeling a little guilty. Because you know, kids get in the way of all of that.

Instead, we looked through multiple passages throughout the Old and New Testaments about what the speaker called “generational evangelism.” From the time of the Israelites to the time of the apostles, the instructions were pretty clear:

It started with one couple, Abraham and Sarah:

I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.
—Genesis 12:2

Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.
—Genesis 18:18–19

And God worked through their descendants, calling them out of Egypt and reminding them not to forget their purpose:

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
—Deuteronomy 4:9

While again and again God’s people fell short and rebelled, God’s plan remained. The call was still clear:

One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

It was central to the message up to the last prophet of the Old Testament, pointing towards the coming of the Messiah:

See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents
—Malachi 4:5–6

The Messiah came. The Gospels open with the story of the generations that led to his coming. Jesus loved children and said that we must become more like them. Even though he never married or had his own physical family, he saw the great plan for God’s family.

And the message continued with his followers:

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.
—Acts 2:38–39

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
—Ephesians 6:4

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
—2 Timothy 3:14–15

These are just a few passages of a theme that saturates the Scriptures.

My whole mindset about my choices over the past several years has shifted.

Wiping Noses for Jesus is Legit

Raising my kids isn’t a burden to the gospel. Raising a faithful family is a central part of it.

I think I had known this in my heart, but hearing it preached to a crowd and outlined so clearly felt validating. Before, I felt like I had to make excuses—mostly to myself—why I couldn’t do x, y, z. Now, I can justify—mostly to myself—that wiping noses for Jesus is legit.

At the time I’m writing this, there are overwhelmingly heavy burdens that we hear about every day in the world around us. Racism and violence in our own country; terrorism and poverty and refugees abroad. I think a lot of us at home wish we could do more, but we forget: by investing in our families, we are investing in the future.

Some of us are called to go out into the world, to be boots on the ground, to love and serve those who need it most.

Others of us are called to raise those who will have the heart to do it tomorrow. I can send one of me. Or I can send three of my “mini-mes” later.

Furthermore, who better than a parent to invest every spare second I have to teach my kids what it means to love, to reject bigotry and hatred, to show compassion and to embrace what is true? Yes, on many days it’s hard to see the value in the mundane everyday tasks that take up so much time and energy. But it’s within this boring soil that the meaningful moments are cultivated: conversations, life lessons and love.

Moms (and dads) out there, maybe you feel like I do. You question the value of your day-to-day; you wonder if it matters, if you could do more.

My encouragement to you is this: name that lie for what it is. Remember that your family is your first ministry and that the everyday stuff matters more than you know.

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Hey, I'm Gina!

I’m a wife and mom of five, with kids ages toddler to teenager. I’m created in the image of God, made whole in Jesus. In this online space, I help others overcome the overwhelm all of us face when navigating this messy, beautiful journey we call life. Want to join us?

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16 Comments

  1. Shari Robertshaw

    I’m not even a mother yet but as we consider kids in the future I know that I would struggle with this lie. Thank you for writing this Gina!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      🙂 Wish I’d figured it out sooner

      Reply
  2. Elizabeth Giger

    Such truth. THIS is the most important thing we can be doing right now. Raising heroes and heroines for God’s kingdom. Shepherding eternal souls. What could be more worthy?!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I love it: raising our heroes and heroines 🙂

      Reply
  3. Michelle Hock

    Gina,
    Thank you for this read. I am a mom of one, currently struggling with getting on the right path. I have had a Christ based life most of my life, but until I had my daughter, 2 and a half years ago, it hadn’t meant as much to me as it does now. Watching her, loving her, makes me want to protect her every way I can. Especially through Christ. I have put my daughter and family before everything else, and this allows me to stop second guessing myself weather or not I am doing the right thing.

    I will definitely be reading more!

    Michelle

    Reply
  4. Fran

    Beautiful words! I just found your blog; your post is exactly what I needed to hear today! Thank you for investing in the lives of other struggling mothers! As a homeschooling mom to three wild and fun boys I needed this reminder. May God richly bless you and your ministries!

    Reply
  5. Danielle

    I am currently battling this right now! Within my own self and with in church culture. Often having to have my kids with me all the time everywhere I go, wears me down but apparently does the same to others within the church. The looks, the “talks”, and some abandoning. Sometimes it just entices the lie even more. This is not always the situation tho. It’s such a great truth to cling to and reminder that the God I serve is here with me. He is not far and just like eve was not far. We have to consciously choose him in every moment. That’s hard when your “precious” child is showing his/her sin nature right in front of everyone. But all the more of how God works in those who don’t stare and comment of such disruption but instead smile and offer a helping hand. But even more Christ is there showing compassion to my child and me. Motherhood is definitely not easy and for me it’s having to put off the expected “motherness” and put on Christ. Acting in response to how He treats and teaches me and not reacting with the same sinful nature my children are showing that we all have. Learning self control….continuing on…yes we are!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      Awesome insights, Danielle! It takes maturity to be able to brush off the insensitive comments and stares and knowing that God is working. Ultimately as it says in 2 Corinthians 12, God’s power shines through our weaknesses, and our kids’! 🙂

      Reply
  6. natashapalmer

    Just what I needed to be reminded of today! Thanks for this post!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      You’re welcome ? Thanks for the comment

      Reply
  7. lauraradniecki

    This is the perfect post for me to read tonight. I agree wholeheartedly and often find myself battling the lie too. Sometimes I feel disappointed in everything I CAN’T do or CAN’T take on in this season, but then I realize that a time will come (all too fast I know), when my time is once again freed up. And I will miss this current season fiercely. So for now, I try to do what I can, when I can (work on my projects at night and during naps if I’m not too tired haha), and pour myself into raising my son. And I know (and people remind me), that a season of more time and more independence will come. Thank you for beautifully articulating what’s been on my heart, Gina!

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      Thank you, I’m so glad it spoke to you

      Reply
  8. Nomfundo

    Absolutely amazing, just what I needed to hear, absorb and understand because that lie catches me everyday especially on weekends. I find myself thinking of all the things I could be doing if I wasn’t so busy raising my two boys. Phew! It is a journey, and it helps to connect with other moms who are in the same season. Indeed God is our strength and He knows and sees how we pour ourselves to our families, which is why we must remember that in all we do we must worship him.

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      This lie still catches me! I’m glad it was what you needed too

      Reply
  9. Serene

    “Remember that your family is your first ministry and that the everyday stuff matters more than you know.”

    I wish Churches would preach this. Instead they also add to the burden of mothers who are already struggling with this lie.

    Reply
    • Gina Poirier

      I agree! Thanks Serene!

      Reply

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