Have you read the parable of the talents in Luke 19?
Can I do a horrible paraphrase for you?
Jesus tells a story about a businessman who sends out ten workers, with ten minas (talents, pieces of currency) to go do business. One of the men takes his ten minas and makes ten more minas with it. One man takes his minas and makes five more minas. One of the fellows basically buries his, to keep it safe, because he's heard his boss is a strict man and he doesn't want to risk it. When it comes time to report to the boss, he blesses everyone according to what they've reaped - ten extra minas to the man who made ten extra. Five extra to the man who made five extra. But the guy who hid his and didn't make any money, he takes his away and gives it to another worker because his boss believes he should've invested it.
I read this a few weeks ago, and couldn't move forward for days.
A friend of mine out west used to always say, "We all only have twenty four hours in a day, no more - no less. Everyone just chooses to do something different with their twenty-four hours". My sister and I had a similar conversation this past weekend as she talked about adding a fourth baby to their life and she told me she was finding something has to give. Always, right? You add a baby, what do you subtract? Shoot - I added three and subtracted most of my actual sanity and daily hygiene for a few years. I'm working on that now.
Anyhow, I've been holding this hands up to the Lord most mornings asking my Father what He wants to fill them with. What are my minas? What are the talents that I need to heartily invest in? I think I've hid from them, too scared to mess them up or lose them or forget about them like a burned dinner in the oven. It's time to take a look again. The burdens, the blessings, the gifts, the people who I could pour myself out for to reap an eternal reward - not just for myself, but in an effort to grow the Kingdom of God.
Because, right, if it's just not about that - I just don't want to do it.
Even when I think I do.
So here's what I've come up with. Here are my talents, my coins to invest, my minas.
For sure one of the biggest blessings in my life, I want to make an investment in his. I want to serve him in a way that helps him know Christ better and encourage him in a way that makes him feel loved not just by me, but by the Lord as well. I want to send him out of my home each morning physically nourished and spiritually ready - not dragged down by the weight of his wife or family, but spurred on to provide for us - for the glory of God. I want to fan the flame of the Spirit's drive in Him as a pastor and be a submissive and meek tool of sharpening for His heart. I want to leave him better than I found him each day.
I want to love and teach my eldest son in a way that makes him want to be just like his father and His Father. I want to invest in His gifts and build up His talents. I want to play paper airplanes with him and be a good wife in front of him so that He'll know how to spot one later on. I want to broaden his horizons on the food front and teach him how to love smoothies and I want to encourage his love for relaxing, even when I want him to get off the ever-loving couch. I want to invest in him, every day.
My sweet precious, wild and crazy, beautiful and adorable lady mina. I want to just exhaust all I've got on you. I'm praying for the grace to love you, adore you, correct you, disciple you, laugh with you, chase you, paint your nails, cook with you, clean up after you, go shopping with you, read the Bible to you, tickle-fight with you, and discipline you until it hurts. As Glory's daddy likes to say - "this contact-lens represents you and my eye represents my eye and I've got my eye on you - Gloriana Eloise". I've got my eye on my girl and my aim is to just wear out all I've got loving and leading her. So she can love and lead the world too.
It's not hard to love a Benja. It will be hard to invest in a Benja in a way that allows me to know he might one day leave my arms, leave my lap, leave my house. But I will, little dude. I'll let you go. I'm going to try very hard to raise you up, just like the other two - and I promise, even if your Daddy has to ungrip my fingers from around your sweet little self, I'll let you go when the Lord calls you away. But I'm gonna make reaaaalllll nice with your wife so she'll bring you back every once in a while.
and I'm finding some other minas too.
this house of rest, and any one we move into in the future
Lord knows I'm not the most gifted homemaker in America, but I have to say, I love a vacuum. I love a houseguest or a dinner-guest and welcome baskets, and parting gifts and praying over the clean sheets I put on our bed when we're expecting company. As long as our family has a home, I pray the Lord will guide me in investing this mina well. To be a blessing to others and most importantly, His Kingdom.
A newfound piece of currency I'm finding in my paws is the fact that I'm an M.E.C. A mother of extraordinary circumstance. Yes, I made up this phrase. I've been a mama who's moved across country (twice), a mama of a husband in seminary, a mama of two children under two and a mama of three children under three. I've been a mama of a husband in ministry and a mama of a family in hard financial times, and a mama of a no-sleeper, and a mama of kids with MRSA and a mama with a thyroid disease. Trials, extraordinary circumstances, all of them - big or small... I'm done complaining about them and/or simply pretending they don't exist. I'm ready to use my M.E.C. status as a blessing for all you other M.E.C.'s out there. To pray for you as I do the dishes, to connect you with other ladies in your circumstance, to encourage you, to apply the gospel to our lives alongside of you. I'm still mulling this one over and it might take some time, but the Lord is doing something and I'm ready to use this mina.
And that's all I've got for today.
I've got some coins jingling in my pocket, some minas to invest.
What about you?
Jessi blogs at Naptime Diaries.