For a long time I searched for a ministry of my own. At first I thought it was through teaching. And in a way, it was. I met so many young people and felt I had the opportunity to spread joy to them through learning.
When I quit teaching in schools and began a new phase of life as a stay at home mom, I wondered how I would have the opportunity to share my joy with others. Soon I had two children under two. I felt like I was a living sacrifice. Having no relatives in town and no friends with children of their own I felt completely isolated and removed from ministry of any kind. Attending church services with two active babies became a dreaded endeavor. Our church was huge but had no moms groups or women's outreach.
I was a new Catholic and Mary still seemed more of a statue to me than a presence in my life. Then we moved to a new state. I prayed fervently to find a friend who would help me feel less alone.
The first person I met invited me to a rosary prayer group. I had never even prayed a rosary despite having gone through RCIA.
I went and felt as if the very hand of God had led me there. Every week in someone's living room we gathered, some moms of six, some of one, some Grandmothers and some empty nesters. We prayed the rosary together. We shared food and feelings and faith. The children played all around us as we prayed. Sometimes they even joined in, delighted to be leading a decade all by themselves. Mary was becoming real to me.
Through this group I wound up attending a weekend seminar about Mary. The name of the group was MOMS: Ministry of Mothers Sharing. I cried through the entire day long conference. Mothering. Is. A. Ministry. I was blown away by the simple beauty of this realization. Had I truly been so wrapped up in the world's definition of what a woman should do that I had failed to realize that simply being the best mother I could be was my real job?
From that day on my world view was changed. No longer did I need to be volunteering and serving outside my home as a primary means of serving God. The rock of pressure I had placed on my own shoulders dissolved and fell away like grains of sand. Suddenly every dirty diaper changed became an act of service. Every meal prepared, story read and spill mopped up became less of a distraction keeping me from getting around to doing the real work God wanted me to do. It became simply the most important work God wanted me to do.
Linking with Elizabeth in exploring sacrifice.