By: Tara Garner Imagine with me a house packed full of women and babies. One of the women is hosting the evening, and a group of moms busily prepares the meal, filling her kitchen with wonderful aromas and happy chatter. They share a delicious meal, intermittently tending to the needs of their children as they arise. After tidying up, they enter into an informal yet sacred time of prayer focusing on one another’s needs and the needs of their loved ones serving abroad. The atmosphere of the home is filled with life, love, service, and vulnerability, as moms share and help carry one another’s burdens. Such gatherings transpire several times a week during a summer in the G.O.D. community, and in this way, the mothers are not alone, even while their husbands serve around the world. Rather, they find themselves encouraged and empowered by each other.
Now imagine a woman whose womb is large with life, her summer baby’s arrival imminent. Her husband is also due to arrive home from his time spent serving the people of India. She places her whole trust in the God her family is committed to serve, knowing that God will bring the baby and the father home in his perfect timing, and that God will be with all three of them. Faith holds the little family together as the unknown unfolds, and a little baby boy is born into the loving arms of both his parents days later. All are renewed by God’s faithfulness and blessing upon them.
A community dedicated to serve the needs of the world learns to do so by tending to the needs of each other. A mom of two, who has freshly just become a mother of three, is in need of support when daddy leaves to serve the people of Africa, entrusting his growing family into the hands of God and the care of a committed community of people. They live their faith, and she receives cooked meals every day, gets her laundry washed, dried, and folded, gets her bathroom floors scrubbed, toilets cleaned, fridge organized, and older two children cared for until she has fully recovered from the birth of her third baby. Amidst the nagging absence of husband and daddy, mom feels enveloped in love - a love so sustaining that it can only come from a people that know the living God.
The summer months for mothers in our community are always seasons of change, challenge, and growth. We are challenged to sacrifice, give, serve, and trust what seems sometimes impossible to balance.
We are faithfully maintaining “home base,” caring for our families, each other, and preparing for the academic year ahead. Amidst the greatest work of all – mothering - we are also investing ourselves into other important tasks such as studying languages, studying the Bible together, meeting together for prayer and accountability, developing curriculums together, attending educational training workshops, editing and writing various articles for the website and simultaneously reading books on potty training and the sex slave industry.
We are wives and moms, and we are also students. We are students of God’s word, our husbands and one another. We are aching to learn and become all that we can in order to correctly image our Father to a broken world. We want to raise families that know God and will partner with Him in living as and growing the family He desires, and deserves.
With all our hearts, we seek to balance our God-given maternal and domestic responsibilities with our obligation to care for the widow and orphan. We want to grow and learn so we can serve and give even more. The greatest lesson offered by the summer season to the community mothers is this: there is no such thing as “balance.” There is just God’s presence while we learn to hear His voice and obey.