When babies come into your life, a lot of things get clarified. Purpose, priorities, and the point of it all are among the top AHA moments we experience with a childbirth in the family. I have strong memories of running along the San Diego Bay four years ago when my first grandchild was born. I felt my mother-in-law’s spirit infused in every moment. “Nana” loved Coronado, and she would have loved being there to greet her oldest grandchild’s first child. I also felt keenly aware of my own mother in those early days. “Grandmere” loved her daughters and her granddaughters. These two matriarchs watch from heaven now, and as the new matriarch in the family, they both send their love from heaven straight to my heart.
The clarity that came with their spirits was about my own priorities. I had too often put work before family in my life, and these two women and the way they loved their families made me realize that the time had come to re-adjust.
In short, I was able to make an arrangement with my bishop and my church to be appointed in an “appointment without pay” so that I could have more flexibility in my schedule and not be as confined to the church’s calendar as I had been for twenty-plus years. I still serve the church, but I have more time to be present with my family. Not everyone can do this. I am blessed beyond measure, and this decision brought me to a place of peace I have not experienced in decades. Finally, I have balance.
Babies are a true “labor of love.” It takes a village of family and friends surrounding the new parents to make life work in the first few months. Housework, feeding, grocery shopping, meal prep, etc. all require a team effort so that mother, father and baby can do the important thing: thrive! Or at least survive!
Did you ever think about the fact that YOU are a labor of love, too? You are God’s labor of love:
John 3:16 The Message (MSG)
16 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.
God’s labor of love was born in a manger and died on the cross so that you might live. His agony was your victory. His suffering assures you everything you need to thrive in this world, and in the world to come. Jesus labored so that you can have the blessed assurance of peace and hope.
And those who believe can be provide a labor of love to the world:
Hebrews 6:10-12 The Message (MSG)
9-12 I’m sure that won’t happen to you, friends. I have better things in mind for you—salvation things! God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well the labor of love you’ve shown him by helping needy Christians, and that you keep at it. And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish.
Where is God calling you to provide a labor of love to someone today?
After 33 hours of laboring in love, my fourth grandchild has arrived. He is a small and tiny blessing, and reminds me once again of my purpose in life: to labor in love (I am so much in love with this wee boy!) and to extend this intensity toward a full-bodied hope until the day my labors are over.
How about you? May we labor in love until his Kingdom comes.