She must have known. The tears begin to fall softly and I’m grateful. Let them come, because I know the power of liquid prayers. As I sift through the emotions and glance at the time. I know I should be sleeping and bear-hugging a pillow instead of staring at my husbands dated laptop. I smile, it’s the best of both worlds: the dated laptop and my iMac in the room where he sleeps peacefully. The state of gratitude that I feel and the war of frustration I feel when I think about want verses need. I don’t want to get it, because she raised me better than that.
Sometimes Mother really does know best.
I can honestly say I don’t know what it’s like to be truly hungry, but I know for certain that in my childhood we had less, although dirt-poor could not be an accurate description. I didn’t walk uphill in the snow both ways to school. I had nice things and clothes; clean long hair while my sister sported the girl mullet. (It was the 80’s and apparently that was in.) Honestly, if we flipped through some old family photographs my sisters horribly wrong hair cut would be the only indicator that we were “poor.”
I had nice things because I had a mother that sacrificed so much. What she couldn’t give me in material things, she taught me by telling me the classic one-liner. Money doesn’t grown on trees. Heaven help me, I’ll probably say the same thing to my daughters as I teach them not to covet and do my best to instill the fine art of being thankful for what they have.
I’m trying to make my grown-up Christmas list and I’m wrecked. This once impulsive buyer looks at things through different eyes and it clicks.
God was faithful to speak to my mother’s heart and whisper words that would help her let go of a little girl who was called to a different life. Mom told me when I was in Junior High that she knew I was called into ministry. I was ironing; I hate ironing. I was frustrated, trying to communicate what she already knew…that I was different. Somehow I hoped that my future wouldn’t include a domestic, tied to the kitchen life. I was trying to explain to her that I didn’t want a normal life; I wanted to be in ministry full-time. No one enters ministry thinking that they are going to be rich, unless they are crazy. So, thanks Mom. Somehow I don’t think either of us imaged the call of God would look quite like this.
What I didn’t know then was that the call of God looks like so many things. It looks like a stay-at-home mom. It looks like a working single mom trying to juggle life and kids, wants verses need. It looks like a missionary in the heart of Africa with battle scars and a love that makes him release his grip on comforts for souls and empty eyes that light up when they hear the good news. The call of God takes on many shapes, chiseled by different seasons of life. We do the same things with callings, titles, and positions of authority. We covet, looking down our noses at the role that God has blessed us with, counting talents, burying them, wasting them.
Want verses need. Gratitude verses covetousness. My grownup Christmas list? I might give you a few hints later, maybe a teaser, but brace yourself…it’s not normal.