Vocation Spotlight: from Jen in a Season of Parenting Younger Children
As a follower of Jesus, and with a general calling to love God and others, I believe God has instilled in me a heart to listen, guide, and teach. After many years of wondering why I didn’t have a calling to serve overseas, or do “more” than be a mom, I am understanding that my calling as a disciple-maker to my children is, for this season of life, walking in the way of the Lord.
In this season of raising our three kids, participating in God’s mission plays out mostly through teaching them, trying to lead by example, and exploring ways to love God and others together as a family. Some of our rhythms include praying both regularly and spontaneously in gratitude and intercession for others. We read Scripture and wrestle through what God’s truth means. We persevere through our health challenges and pray for the suffering of the world. We support children and missionaries around the world and pray for them together. We volunteer from time to time in the community by sorting diaper donations and making Valentine’s cards for healthcare workers.
Seeking to live out this calling beyond my family, God has also led me to guide and teach a teen girl in foster care through weekly tutoring. I serve on the missions team at Christ Church, participate in an advisory board for a local ministry team in Kyrgyzstan, and help at our kids’ school.
A Prayer for the Sacred Vocation of Parenting
We lift up the work of parenting and raising children to you, O God. The depth and complexity of this work often goes unseen in our communities, but you see it Lord. You witness every moment of feeding, of changing diapers and clothes, of cleaning up after our children, of discipline, of waiting up for a missed curfew, of stressing over school performance, of teaching, of nurturing and of letting go. You see all of these moments, and you know that they are a form of worship—of a parent trying to bring order out of the chaos of a child’s life in the same way you brought order out of chaos in your creation. You know that every moment a parent invests in a child is an act of worship towards our Creator and an act of stewardship to shape the dignity and spirit of our children as being made in your image.
Holy Spirit, this work requires so much, and we ask that you sustain our parents and grant them what they need. We pray you give our parents patience through the struggles and monotony of parenting. We pray you give them wisdom when they are making small decisions that will impact a child’s day and when they are making large decisions that will impact the trajectory of a child’s life. We pray that parents do not make their children, their accomplishments and their happiness into their gods or be tempted to turn the gift of children into an ultimate idol replacing an identity in Christ. May they rest in your sovereignty and grace as they discern the best ways to love their child.
Lord Jesus, we pray you will bring our parents a deep soul rest that can come only from you, even in moments when they are physically or emotionally strained by what the job of parenting requires. And finally, God, we pray that parents will have a deep and abiding sense of your grace. May every parent know that their identity does not rest in their child nor in their status as a mother or father, as you, Father God, are the only perfect parent to ever exist.
May the foundation of every parent in our midst rest in the saving grace of Christ and the love and sustenance he offers even on our most difficult parenting days.