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The Calling
by Lisa Pennings
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The Calling

It was a lovely day in July…but I didn’t care.

All I could see was the shocking piece of evidence gripped tightly in my trembling hands. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Lord, help me! This can’t be true!

Carefully, I reread the piece of paper in front of me. “If one line appears in the window, you are probably not pregnant. If two lines appear in the window, you probably are pregnant.”

There were two lines in the window.

With a sigh, I stuffed the evidence into my pocket, and hurried outside to where Albert was busy, whistling cheerily on the lawnmower. Poor Albert, I mused, What is he going to say? Then suddenly, without warning, a ripple of excitement bubbled inside me. A baby! This just might be a lot of fun!

We were already blessed with four lovely children—two boys, two girls. Renee, our youngest was five at the time. I was just beginning to enjoy a freedom I had never experienced during those busy years of raising young children. Aaron, then 12, was responsible enough to look after his younger siblings while I needed to run errands. No more diapers or potty-training. No more lifting… zipping up coats, or continually watching a little toddler.

However, along with my new freedom came a restlessness; an inexplicable sense of purposelessness. I wanted to pursue something—to do something meaningful with my life.

Actually, that unsettled feeling had always been there, and had come to expression in the vast and varied hobbies and projects I had attempted over the years. The first thing I started shortly after our marriage and with the birth of our first son was sewing. I thought I enjoyed it at first, but eventually I developed a distaste for the many pattern pieces, and complicated instructions.

After sewing came paper tole. I dreamed of starting a business. I actually did have orders for pictures, which allowed me to pay my way while taking paper tole classes. However, this too, fell along the wayside. After paper tole came tole painting; after tole painting came scrapbooking. Finally, I tried music.

Well, the remains of each hobby now lie in my basement, encased in their cardboard casket, awaiting some sort of resurrection. Their epitaphs are as follows:
“Sewing Stuff” 1993-1995
“Paper Tole” 1996-1998
“Tole Painting” 2000-2001
“Scrapbooking” 2002-2005
“Music Books” 2003-2006

And this brings us right up to that lovely day in July of 2006—The day God tugged at my heart with two little pink lines in a window.

Over the next few months, as my belly expanded, so did my conviction that I had to give myself one hundred per cent to my family. The almost inaudible whispers of “motherhood”, “Godly home”, “Godly children”, became louder and more intense. Everywhere I looked, circumstances seemed to be calling out to me, “Be a keeper of your home!” “Put everything you’ve got into your family” “Find your fulfillment in nurturing your children.” “Love and serve your husband.”

Could it be possible that I, a stay-at-home mom for twelve years, had never really understood that true fulfillment is found in obedience to God’s call to be a keeper of the home? To be sure, I had thought I was being obedient. After all, I was home with my children ninety-five percent of the time. I had gone through all the motions. I truly looked and acted like a good wife and mother should! But all the while, something was holding me back from throwing myself entirely into my calling. I always had a distraction on the go, and at times, the needs of my children became an inconvenience, as I sought to pursue my own ambitions.

By the time I was seven months pregnant, my convictions drove me to action. I began to throw myself into my calling as a wife and mother with more urgency then ever before. Seven months into my pregnancy, I experienced a fresh vigor and unexpected energy which I never had in any of my other pregnancies. The Lord laid on my heart in a new way, the needs of my family. I began to rise each morning, pleading with the Lord to show me the right way to reach the hearts of the children. Each evening, I began to organize the next day in a handy notebook. It seemed there was so much to be done, and I had to learn to prioritize.

There’s so much more I could write: How the Lord filled my mind with creative ideas on how to organize my house; how to gain control of our finances; how to order my time; how to plan ahead; how to homeschool our children more effectively; How to communicate more openly with them and with Albert; how to create a peaceful atmosphere for my husband to come home to; how to share the burdens and responsibilities of a family with him.

Not that I have attained all that, of course! However, it has been a most exciting journey. The favor, and blessing of God has rested upon it. There is joy in knowing that I am living in obedience to the Lord, doing the tasks He has chosen me for, and in this way I have become a labouror in His kingdom. And yes, there is fulfillment in being just a simple ‘housewife’.

Well, this brings me to the conclusion of my discourse, which is this: If the blessing of motherhood has somehow fallen upon you, and you find yourself with the responsibility of children, please do not waste any time at all in being distracted from your calling. You have been called to be a keeper of the home. Do it then, with vigor, and enthusiasm. God has placed you in your position, because He has a mission for you to accomplish in the hearts of your children. Make this mission your priority, and you will experience the richest blessing of the Lord.

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