February 5, 2013

Ministry *Seasons*

Just as there are *seasons* in life,
so, too, there are *seasons* in ministry.
It's easy to read through the account of the life
of one of God's people in a sitting.
However, that life took decades to be lived out.

Have you ever wondered in amazement at all that happened
in the life of Joseph, for example?
Sold into slavery at 17,
wrongly accused, and put into prison for three years,
and, finally, remembered and placed in authority
by Pharaoh at the age of 30.

What about Noah?

It took him 100 years to build the ark!
He did what the Lord required of him ~ patiently, year after year.
Interesting, isn't it, when we stop to consider?


Are you newly married, or living the single life?
Are you a Mum with little ones at your feet or in your lap?
Are you in the *sandwich years* with teens in the home
and elderly parents needing care?
Are you a Grandma with the joys and struggles that come with age?

Whatever season we find ourselves in ~
we ought to rejoice in the LORD!

We can seek Him for wisdom to know what
He would have us do at this time.
His will is revealed in His Word ~ many things are made very clear.
We as women are called, among other things,
  to love our families and to keep our homes.
At certain times, that is all that can reasonably be managed.

I recall my Mum-in-Love telling me of her experience

with a need that presented itself to her.
She was a young believer and was in a church that had a girls' program.
This particular program was run one evening during the week.
My Mum-in-Love was approached by another woman in the church
who requested that she become one of the volunteers to help out.
When Mum mentioned that she had two young boys at home,
the lady told her that she could get a sitter to watch them.
After all, wasn't service to the Lord worth sacrificing for?

This troubled my Mum-in-Love.

Perhaps it was something she should be doing?
But, she was torn.

An older, wise woman gave counsel to my Mum.

She told her that her calling was to her family,
and that she ought not to neglect them in order to *serve*.
She was serving the Lord in her own home!
Perhaps, if her boys had been girls,
and they were attending the program, 
the outcome may have been different.
But, those were not the circumstances my Mum found herself in.

Yes, indeed...there are *seasons*.

Perhaps, it's time to rest and reflect.
Maybe your ministry will be prayer.
Maybe your ministry will be a quiet one behind the scenes ~
changing diapers and wiping noses!
Even during these busy times of life, hospitality can be extended.
A meal or two can be made for another family in need.
In every season of life, there are ways we can minister to others.

Very often, the things we do will be behind the scenes ~

Quietly, for the Lord alone.

Nothing is too small a task to be offered up to Him.
Service to our Great God comes in varying forms.
Over a lifetime, things will change ~ ebb and flow.
He is pleased when our hearts are surrendered to Him.

So, that is where we must begin.
Surrendering our hearts and living our lives for Him.
Seeking Him as to what He would have us do in 
whatever situation we find ourselves.
Praying that He would grant wisdom to discern what those things
are throughout the seasons of our lives.
And, then to do it all in His strength, by His grace ~
For His glory.  Alone.

Many Blessings,
Camille


**Praying Hands ~ pencil drawing by my Dad, 1964.

13 comments:

~marci~ said...

Great thoughts. I have been adjusting to this new season of life I am finding myself~on the edge of being an empty~nester~ yet being needed...and pondering my ministry.

Patty said...

How true. How I struggle sometimes with knowing which way to turn. Ministry in the home and outside. Although my children are now grown and we only have our youngest at home I still feel pulled in many directions. I may need to let go of some things soon so that I can better minister to my family. Pray for wisdom and understanding of God's will. Alas, I am not superwoman BUT I do have the power of God to do all He calls me to in His strength. Have a wonderful day in the Lord, Camille.

little sis said...

YES! That is why I do not feel guilty when I stay home and take a day of rest on a Sunday. Thank you.

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh my friend! This is SO true!!! A wiser woman once counseled me that just because there is a need doesn't mean I am the one called. That was hugely helpful. Over the years I have learned to say, "no" without feelings of guilt or that I have somehow failed. I loved this post. Such wise words. Thanks, Camille!

Camille said...

Dear Marci ~ The Lord is faithful and He will give you wisdom as you seek Him for it! What a blessing to know that our times are in His hands!! :)

Dear Patty ~ Yes, it's a wonderful Truth that whatever HE calls us to, He will give the grace and strength to accomplish! How precious it is to belong to HIM! :)

Dear Little Sis ~ The Lord's Day is a wonderful day set aside for rest and worship. Even during the seasons of refraining from formal *ministry*, it is such a blessing to gather together with God's people to worship Him! May the Lord help us all to glorify Him always....He alone is worthy! And, He is so good to give us a reprieve from the cares of the world one day per week. :)

Dear Jennifer ~ Thank you for your sweet encouragement my friend. Ah, yes...how true it is...the need does not necessarily mean the call! What a blessing that you had one of those wise older ladies come alongside to encourage you! God is Good! :)

With Love,
Camille

Sun Valley Homestead said...

Boy Camille, was that a post I needed to read. Thank you.

And 100 years to build the ark...yikes and I'm complaining cause I've been waiting and waiting for news...it's definitely not been 100 years LOL.

Thanks for the incredible post.

Blessings,
Connie

Camille said...

Dear Connie ~ How encouraging to my heart to read how YOU have been encouraged! Yes, the LORD does all things well...always. Hang in there! :)

Love to you!
Camille

Taylor Wise said...

It is so hard when you have little ones at home to figure out how to do this. But the Lord has definitely been showing me the last year what my purpose it. To pray for my kids and encourage other moms to pray for theirs!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

We attend a small church that always needs volunteers for everything. I have felt so torn of wanting to help (that is in my nature) and being home to serve my family. I have only accepted things that I don't have to sacrifice time with my family. Like teaching Sunday school to my children's age. I have felt that pull, and praise God I have resisted it. I know that my ministry to my family is more important!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

You said this so well, Camille! There is freedom in this post to say "no" when we need to. I do not feel bad for not volunteering in the nursery at church at this stage in my life. When my kids are grown, then I know that being around little ones will be a treat. God calls us to do different things at different times in our lives and we shouldn't feel guilty about it. Great post!

Camille said...

Dear Taylor ~ Yes, indeed...prayer is such a HUGE part of raising up our children! May the LORD do mighty things in their lives!! Ministry is so all-encompassing when we have children, don't you think? The Lord will give wisdom at each stage of life...continue to look to Him, my friend! :)

Dear Stacie ~ What a blessing that the LORD is helping you to find that right balance my friend! Yes, HIS timing is perfect...and our lives are always in a state of ebb and flow...HE is faithful to guide us at each step of the way! How precious it is to belong to HIM! :)

Many Blessings,
Camille

Patrina's Pencil said...

Camille,

love love love your dad's pencil drawing. What a treasure to behold. My dad's favorite words to us when we were growing up...."a family that prays together...stays together" He loved these praying hands.. which gives me the idea... of taking a photo of his own praying hands... when I go to visit him next week in His care home. My profile icon is his hand...but you have sparked the desire to capture his praying hands... as he prayed with each of me and my siblings...all the way through HS. Yes he did!

Talk about SEASONS... I miss those prayers! But the experience taught me that I wanted to pass that part of my heritage onto my own children... and I did!

I miss that season as well. But I am gifted the same opportunity ...in this new season...to continue this heritage...by praying with my grandchildren at every opportunity! Yes I do!

Thank you for your encouraging words...as always..
blessings and favor, Camille

patrina <")>><

Camille said...

Dear Jackie ~ Sorry I missed you on that last batch of comments! I was leaving my note as you left yours! :) Yes, indeed...we are blessed to rest in the seasons the LORD gives us, and embrace them!! HE does all things well and calls us to different things at different times. So true, my friend. :)

Dear Patrina ~ How lovely to think of your Dad's hands folded in prayer...what a rich heritage, indeed! The LORD truly is Good, isn't HE? How beautiful it is that you are instilling that habit of prayer in your grandchildren, too...so precious!! May the LORD bless you in these days of ministry among your family! :)

With Love,
Camille