sometimes the pull between the world and life of a missionary and that of a housewife and mama is really frustrating. on days like today, when the last thing i want to do is go to my japanese lesson and say — again — that i wasn’t able to finish all of my homework. i can never follow that with, “but i did bake bread! and i reorganized the closet! and i played puzzles about fifty times over! and i made a grocery list! and went to the veggie stand! and fed my family and did all the dishes! do i still get a gold star in class???? please, oh please, oh please..”
i imagine this is a similar frustration for women who are endeavoring to complete a degree or run a side business while desiring to give their efforts full-time in the home. when i’m studying or when i’m in my lesson, i generally enjoy it. (there are those days where my brain just won’t work, and that is not so enjoyable.) its stimulating and interesting, especially on the days when i don’t feel dumb. (really, there are few things that humble your mind so quickly as learning another language.) but i can’t.. no, i won’t give the best of my attention and focus to language study. i feel convicted that the best of my efforts are to be in the realms of motherhood and keeping our home. but it is so very frustrating to do something and be incapacitated to do it really well. i can do it well enough with what time i’ve been given, but that hardly holds a candle to how the job begs to be done.
my husband and my tutor are amazing, godly people. neither of them have ever put standards or pressures on me to be or do more than i am able. both of them have encouraged me that my efforts in the home come first and i am to give what’s available to study. they praise my forward movement in japanese and help calm me after crying fits. (that very last thing always always falls on bryan’s shoulders.. i love you, bryan.)
i find that i’m eager for the day when language study will finish, when i will be able to forget about lessons and books and homework and how much i haven’t been able to finish. (though i know i can never fully forget any of it whilst still living on japanese soil, the need for the language is a bit too pressing when diving into life here.) i’m struggling to persevere to the finish of our planned two-year study term, especially with prep for baby #2 approaching. these verses came to mind this morning as i pondered these things and the desire to finish well.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. Philippians 2:14-16
it is good for me to remember that i am not toiling to learn japanese simply so i can run errands by myself, but so that i might show humility, servitude, and love to a people who know nothing of my God and my Savior. even if i can never communicate the finer points of theology or the details of the Gospel to japanese people, the simple act of toiling on their behalf in my study of japanese is enough. obedience is all God requires.