Cinderella Val Princep around 1880
"He who is faithful in small things is faithful in much."
Though Cinderella, worked faithfully and patiently, with no one to notice, there was yet a princess residing inside of her, and in time, she lived into her real heritage--becoming royalty for the rest of her life.
Even fairy tales often reflect the truth of of Life.
Often, as we raise our little ones, our lives are filled with myriad tasks of nursing and rocking our children to sleep with sweet lullabies. Then there are the dirty diapers to deal with, the cries of our precious ones in the middle of the night.
Toddlers resist and we gently train them over and over again. Siblings quarrel and we teach them the ways of love, forgiveness, patience, kind words. Then there are the teen years when young adults strain to become independent and mamas have to choose to be long-suffering and pursue in love.
Year after weary year, we teach them about God's ways, His love. We subdue our homes again and again to make them a haven for life--filled with color, beauty, interest, traditions, even as God created the Garden, gave His children instruction through the Law, provided them with a land, gaven them food and protection against an army.
We labor day after day, month upon month, seeking Him to give more wisdom, renewed strength when we feel to weary to keep going. But somehow, His spirit shapes us as we shape a generation for His glory. And we are able to take one more step of obedience and pour out His unconditional love and wisdom to children who are not always aware of our sacrifice, until they are older. Yet, the seeking to give wisdom, excellence and holiness to our children builds our own souls, one day, one moment at a time. Our holiness matures and our hearts become flavored with His beauty, graciousness through each act of our own obedience given in the quiet and seclusion of our own home.
Often, we think that no one sees us, no one notices. How could it matter if we are invisible?
But, God is watching. God is building an invisible heritage that will indeed outlast our lives.
God painted the picture of patience, waiting, faithfulness through all of our years colorfully through the stories of so many in scripture:
Joseph had a dream of leading his brothers where they bowed down to him. But the training grounds of his becoming the head over all of Egypt was hard labor for a land owner, where he was accused wrongly of adultery. Then 10 more years being faithful in prison.
David was anointed to become the king of all Israel, but did not become king over both kingdoms for around 20 years of wondering in the wilderness, running away in battle after battle.
Abraham was called the Father of all Israel and promised countless generations would come from his own son, but had to wait until he was old before He became a Father of a son, who would make him the Father of the Nation Israel.
Paul was confronted by Christ on the road to Damascus, but he was secluded away for 15 years before he had a public ministry.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was called and then lived faithfully for many, many years, only to watch her son be crucified, but then resurrected.
When I was asked to speak in China, a number of years ago, because Mission of Motherhood had been translated into the two Chinese languages, I gladly accepted. Picturing speaking in a small underground church of some sort, I prepared messages to speak to a small group of faithful believers. However, the first place I was taken by my Chinese hosts was to an auditorium of 500, packed to the gills, at the University of Beijing.
As I looked around, I realized that all of my Chinese cohorts on stage had graduated from either Harvard or MIT. In fear, I pondered in my heart, "What am I doing here? Do they know I am just an ordinary person, a mom who has homeschooled, raised her children as best I could for His glory, and cared for my children in my home for the past 26 years."
God whispered into my heart. "I was building your message and integrity and conviction in the hidden places of your home while you raised your children. Your integrity was built in the hidden years. Now, you are qualified to speak on family, the importance of motherhood, building character, because your messages were built before me when no one else saw, but I was there."
"I planned China before you even became a mom."
"China needs someone to tell them how to value families, children, the shaping of morality, the foundations of wisdom and greatness that must be built one day at a time. Who better to train them than a mother who has raised her family on faith, Biblical wisdom and love. You are qualified because I have called you and you obeyed, by raising your children faithfully when it seemed no one was watching."
My messages and life-conviction and wisdom was built in the hidden years.
And so, who you are, the choices of faith and faithfulness you make,when no one is looking, is a picture of your integrity.
The choices of faith and love in the midst of the whirlwind of life, is shaping your story, moment by moment, day by day. Never despise the day of small things because it is the shaping of your life story that will be told for generations to come.
The value of the hidden years is priceless. Now, this moment, is the day of your potential glory, if you practice being faithful and worship Him through each tiny service of loving and raising your precious ones for the sake of His glory.
May God give you the grace to see His fingerprints in your life, the shadow of His presence in every minute of your eternal work in your home. For today is the day you are writing your story, that your children will read for many years to come.