Motherhood as a Mission Field

Desiring God Ministries invited Rachel to be a guest blogger, and I know you will all want to go over there to read this piece she wrote about  the most important mission field for moms.

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30 Responses to “Motherhood as a Mission Field”


  • Thank you Rachel, for this wonderful piece! I was tremendously convicted and blessed.

  • Great article and so true. Even half way around the world can become very “normal”. I still have to do dishes, after all. It’s just as easy to dream the other way around.

  • I really need to read this, especially after the day I had yesterday! Thank you for sharing!

  • Really really needed this reminder today! As a mom of three, ages 4, 3, & 1, on “bedrest” (ha ha!) with #4 due at the end of July, I have found myself discouraged this week.
    I had a particularly discouraging (perspective-setting?) conversation with my 4-year-old daughter today, and this article was a blessing for the end of the day. Convicting as well–these are my little disciples! What kind of “God” do they see through my life and testimony? Thank you.

  • That was simply beautiful and fed my soul when I really needed it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us, encouraging us along this journey of motherhood.

  • Thank you!!! This is a much needed message!!!

    I have two grown children and a 10 year old daughter still at home. When my older children were babies it seemed like my church and friends had an unspoken rule that a stay at home mom was the one to call when there was any kind of need. Thinking that it was my ministry to fall into step with every ministry need that was presented to me I quickly got frustrated and burned out.

    Once I began to view my husband and children as my mission field I was able to find joy in the mundane tasks at home. And I was able to freely choose ministry that allowed my family to come first instead of last. Afterall, Scripture tells us that the older women are to teach the younger women to love their husband and children. I love them by caring for them and making sacrifices that are often unseen. Humbling yes, but oh so satisfying.

  • Splendid! I shared the link on my fb page b/c I was so struck by the line “You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time.”

  • This subject is one of my passions, and nobody could have written such an encouraging & convicting essay on it better than Rachel. God is kind.

  • Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the pants, and this article was just the boot God used. How easily I forget words like “ministry” and “gospel” when I’m surrounded by arguing children, a week’s worth of cleaning tasks I can’t find the time to do,  and piles of laundry that needed washed yesterday.

    To think that God can take my inadequate efforts and make them sufficient (with leftovers!) is an encouragement. And to consider that God expects me to lay down my life daily for Him and the people He has so graciously placed in my life is a truth I need reminded of often. I have already read this article several times today, and I’m sure I’ll need to read it over and over again in the future.

  • This link was posted by three different FB friends (who aren’t connected with one another). The world is getting smaller!

  • What an excellent article. I appreciate Rachel’s gracious encouragement to those of us who are tempted to become discontent with the sacrifices of motherhood when before us is the sheen of a more glorious work. Motherhood is missions in its most basic sense, yet if we define everywhere as a mission field, then we can point to no mission fields.
    The “either/or” fallacy set up when we say, “I will either be an unglamorous mother or a glamorous Christian missionary” could also be countered without redefining terms. Christian motherhood can be lived out in the context of a not-so-glamorous calling to unreached nations where the gospel sits on the clay but has yet to trickle down and soak society as it has in the West in the last two millennia of Christian history. I smile as I imagine the inquisitive stares at a woman with the wisdom and purity which Rachel exudes in her article as she quietly and joyfully wipes those noses, makes those sandwiches, and disciples those young minds while she lives among the Uyghur women of Urumqi, China, or the Sikhs of Jakarta, Indonesia, or the Algerians of Marseilles, France. (Bekah likely got those stares among the tribes of her sojourn abroad.) But then wide eyes of incredulity might focus in intent observation. She likely would be the subject of furtive neighborhood gossip, and her motives would be questioned. But I foresee a day coming when one bold or desperate among them would openly ask her, and she would tell her story as best she could. She would praise her God and Savior who is her strength. And now, behold, a Titus 2 woman and a Matthew 28 woman in one package!

  • This really touched me and where I’m at and have been at off and on for over a year now. Thanks so much for the encouragement that I am in my mission field right now. It’s not out there somewhere.

  • Anna, I’m sure that if God called Luke to one of those distant lands, Rachel would be stellar in the role you describe. But of course He doesn’t call all men to foreign missions, and therefore He doesn’t call all of their wives to foreign missions. Rachel’s article was aimed at those whose call is to be in Idaho. But that doesn’t mean she’s not a Matthew 28 woman or encouraging other North American moms not to be Matthew 28 women. While the church is called to take the gospel to Jerusalem, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, not every individual has to leave home to take part in fulfilling it. Besides, Moscow is 6,750 miles away from Jerusalem, and I think that’s far enough to count as the ends of the earth! ;-)

  • I shared this with my wife. I particularly liked the bit about the feeding of the five thousand, which is instructive for us all. It’s not the size of our offering which counts, but what Christ does with it (after all, the glory should not be for us, but for him).

  • Perhaps 6,750 from the Old, but could you measure a mile from Moscow to the New? :) Scribere est agere — your community indeed anoints the nations. Next month I will share Fruit of Her Hands before women who just this year received the completed Scriptures in their language. God transformed me through Nancy’s writing, and God knows she partakes in any fruit that comes from the opportunities God gives me with women. Please don’t shake your dust off at Idaho’s doorstep yet. It is simply difficult to restrain myself from imagining many of you in distant agoras.

  • Anna, sounds like you’re excited about the opportunities you have and just wish more others could share in the fun. ;-) Hearing of people who’ve just received the Bible in their own language always gives me goosebumps. Where are you working? And are you translating the concepts of Nancy’s book in your teaching or have you translated the whole book?

  • What a tremendous blessing this post was to my life!!!!!!! I am a mommy to two girls and a baby on the way in October! This was such an life changing post!

  • Yes, we are inviting you to the fun. If you asked me in a letter, I could tell you where. Forgive me for my letters to Eleanor when my inquiries are more directed to Franklin, but my curiosity is killing me. It is my guess that you Muscovite philosophers are up to something big. The article that was written in the New York Times about the Wilsons mentioned that Doug’s father had a strategy in choosing and moving to Moscow, and that Doug gave away the game plan as he ran with it. But he doesn’t seem to be giving away many thoughts on this one. Ever since Doug’s blog on “dashers” to the mission field several years ago, we have known he thinks about this. We come across the overseas push of others (James Jordan, George Grant, John Piper, etc.), so we are left guessing at why you are less visible on the international scene. Maybe as others push on the front door, you Idahoans are sneaking in the back. Or maybe you are filling your quivers with arrows and grand-arrows and great-grand arrows before moving out. Or maybe you are waiting to see the whites of their eyes. Or maybe like the federal vision, there is some comprehensive understanding of the Great Commission that you feel has been missed. We ask ourselves if the problem you see is modern methodology or theology or both. It is bound to be an intensely interesting read when it comes.

  • Understood about the silence re location. Just in case there was confusion, I’m not a Muscovite, I’m a Baltimoron…just a hanger-on of the Idaho gang. For Doug’s perspective on the Great Commission, watch the video I linked to in my first comment to you.

    And for my perspective, I really did mean it about Idaho being the ends of the earth. I think we tend to overspiritualize Jerusalem, Samaria, and the ends of the earth always internally translating them to your city, your country, and the ends of the earth. But I don’t think the text requires us to do that. And the commission doesn’t call us just to make converts, or just to make sure everybody hears the gospel. It calls us to disciple the nations, and Doug & Co. are doing a bang-up job in the “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” department.

  • (Reposting with corrected code.)

    Understood about the silence re location. Just in case there was confusion, I’m not a Muscovite, I’m a Baltimoron…just a hanger-on of the Idaho gang. For Doug’s perspective on the Great Commission, watch the video I linked to in my first comment to you.

    And for my perspective, I really did mean it about Idaho being the ends of the earth. I think we tend to overspiritualize Jerusalem, Samaria, and the ends of the earth always internally translating them to your city, your country, and the ends of the earth. But I don’t think the text requires us to do that. And the commission doesn’t call us just to make converts, or just to make sure everybody hears the gospel. It calls us to disciple the nations, and Doug & Co. are doing a bang-up job in the “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” department.

  • Rachel’s article is excellent!

  • Valerie, Thank you so much for your replies. As you can tell, I am neither an insider nor a blogger — it’s the noses and PB&Js that Rachel so engagingly wrote about. I will write Nancy and ask her for your email address. In the meantime, I didn’t realize you had given me a link, and I see two other videos that might help. By the way, I am an unabashed Marylander, and we will be there in the fall to put Son #1 into college. What about a coffee at Inner Harbor … or better yet, hardshells?

  • I’d love to meet when you’re in town!

  • Okay, I watched and I would agree that not every individual must go. I don’t necessarily agree that Moscow is the ends of the earth — Paul made it his ambition to preach the gospel where Christ had not been preached. I don’t think the Great Commission is only or even primarily about geography. I also understand and agree that there is a call. I wouldn’t anticipate an exodus from Idaho, but what about a few choice morsels making their way under the table even as the rest of you go on making the world envious with your feasting? It may double the merriment in Moscow, and you certainly do make even those of us at table jealous with all the good fun you have in your corner (including and especially Freebird and beer bottles). Or to put it another way, what if the exuberance of your feasting caused a few of you to fall off your stools. (Let’s say seven parish families — 5+2, not as a rule, but since we are on the food theme.) Even as one daughter parish you put your linguistic skills to good use (trained in dead languages to empower living ones) and began to preach the beauty, goodness, and truth of Christ, sing the psalms, and love your families deeply and sacrificially, looking in faith to God to do great things through you — all the same things you do at Christ’s Church. What could that mean not only to the ravenous under the table, but to your fellow feasters, even to those of us under the table with you and watching you?

  • Such a good post, shared it with everybody. :)

  • Rachel, amazing article. I also recently finished your book. Thank you for your wise and practical words. I’m not able to find a way to privately contact you, so I guess I’ll ask you here and risk a public ‘no’. :)

    May I please quote you on Quotes For A Mother’s Heart?
    http://quotesforamothersheart.blogspot.com

    Your book has many little gems of wisdom that would really bless my readers. Each quote is properly attributed along with the book or link to blog post.

    Either way, you have a faithful new fan and reader here. I am inspired!

  • Rachel, I just want to thank you for your article “Motherhood as a Mission Field” is was shared with me almost a year ago. It has helped me regain my focus as a mom of 5 many times. I hung it on my fridge for almost a year and I just took it down a couple weeks ago. Well it went back up this past weekend. I am just beginning to blog and your article has impacted at least two of my posts. My very first http://www.scratchpaperessays.com/2012/11/what-do-i-want-to-be-when-i-grow-up.html and todays
    http://www.scratchpaperessays.com/2013/10/bible-study-drop-out.html THANK YOU!

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