My husband and I went to a conference in December. We listened to a speaker named Banning Liebscher, who had some really insightful things to say about John 15:16 where Jesus says, "I appointed you to bear fruit that will last." Fruit that will last. That kind of fruit, as Mr. Liebscher pointed out, can only come about from a good root system. Fruit is seen, but roots . . . well, they only grow in the dark, hidden places. And thus his insight that has stayed with me: "We want God to develop our life on stage. God develops us in the hidden, secret place."
I've thought about that quote many times over the last two months. And the coinciding realization that has come to me is this: motherhood is my secret place.
It seems easier to have your character developed when you have some glory to go along with the guts. Like a title or at least a few glowing reviews. But this season of my life as a stay-at-home mom has felt like a lot of guts and relatively no glory. It requires more of a personal investment than any paid job I've ever had. And it can get mundane and ordinary very quickly if I don't inject some life into it and remember that this is want I want to be doing. The environment is, without question, an ideal place to develop my root system. No one knows what goes on at home all day between me and my two children. And when it's just me, I find it easy to justify my impatience and unkindness and lack of self control. Sometimes I don't remember that they are only 3 and 1 and finding their way just like me. However, in those moments a really good thing has been happening. In those moments, a little prick of conscience is reminding me of my root system. That what comes out of me in secret in the privacy of my small surroundings is what will come out of me on stage when my children are older and my circle is wider than the confines of my home.
It humbles me.
So right now I'm making a concerted effort to put down good roots and bear lasting fruit on my little plot of ground called home.