Missional Motherhood

Apartment living when you’re a family of four can be a challenge, especially when you live on the second floor and you have two toddlers. Every day is a regular chorus of “Shhh! People are sleeping!” and “Don’t put that in your mouth!” as we walk to and from the car. Apartment living also means you regularly encounter people whose lives and families are different from your own. We share a building with three other tenants, and we regularly run into them in the stairwell or parking lot. It gives us a unique opportunity to be salt and light in a world in desperate need for the light of Christ, and when we moved into the building, we prayed that God would use us to minister to our neighbors.

The woman who lives below us is a single mother of two, and her youngest is an infant. As you can imagine, her hands are literally full. Every time I see her, she’s juggling the car seat while carrying in groceries and keeping an eye on her little boy. God has placed this woman on my heart since we moved in, and I’ve prayed that He would provide opportunities for me to build a relationship with her so I could share Christ’s love with her.

Well, God is faithful to answer these kinds of prayers. The other day, as we were cleaning out some baby gear we no longer needed, God immediately spoke to my heart to offer it to our neighbor. Now, knocking on a door unannounced is way out of this introverted momma’s comfort zone. However, I knew the Lord wanted me to bless this family.

So, with a little courage and a lot of prayer, I went to my neighbor’s door to offer her this gently-used baby gear. I could hear my heart thumping as I waited for her to open the door. As I offered it to her, joy and thankfulness beamed from her face. She was so grateful, and this little act of generosity allowed me an opportunity to get to know her a little more, as she welcomed me into her home to receive the gifts.

Building relationships with our neighbors isn’t easy. If you’re like me, it will stretch you out of your comfort zone. But, Christ never promised that following Him would be easy. In fact, didn’t Jesus say, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV)? To reach our neighbors with the gospel will involve sacrifice—time, comfort, and/or resources. Is anything more worth it, though?

Motherhood provides a unique avenue for reaching out with grace. This week, look for ways to bless your neighbors and pray that God would provide those opportunities.

Rachel is a 30-something working mom of two. Though she’s an event planner and office manager by day, she’s truly a logophile. She loves words and creating with them. When she’s not chasing her toddlers, you can find her nose stuck in a book. She also writes about the “coffee stains and growing pains” of motherhood at www.rachelforrest.me.

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