Fulfilling the Great Commission As a Stay-At-Home Mom [ARTICLE – Grace Lande]

heartland-connect-article_-fulfilling-the-great-commission-as-a-stay-at-home-mom-grace-lande

I have no coworkers; I don’t clock in. I’m a stay-at-home mom–and I love it! My husband, John, and I have four children: ages 1, 2, 4, and 5. Our boys–Uriah, Luke, Jared, and Thomas–are a part of almost everything I do. They help me with laundry, cleaning, dishes, food prep, grocery shopping, we do school together, and the list goes on!

As Christians, we know the primary purpose of our lives is to be involved in the propagation of the gospel. How might this be accomplished, though, with little ones around you 24/7? At our church, I feel spoiled to get to be involved in the weekly organized visitation times while nursery is provided. Evangelism should be a way of life, though, not just a weekly calendar event. As a minister’s wife and mother of little ones, there are times I feel my involvement in world evangelism is so limited in comparison to that of my spouse. Looking back at this past year, though, I’m thankful for the opportunities God has given me just in the daily routine of life.

Going grocery shopping with four little boys isn’t convenient. To be honest, it’s pretty time consuming and tiring. It’s very rewarding, though! It is a great training opportunity, and we generally make friends everywhere we go. There is something about the presence of kids that just draws people! I hardly ever leave the store without having been stopped by at least one individual. It usually starts with “Wow! Four boys!” or “Boy, you sure have your hands full!” or “Where’s the girl?!” Stopping to hear lengthy stories about people’s children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren is often not necessarily what I desire, but I must remind myself “people” are to be at the top of my list each time I go to the store! As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I must make others a priority. I’m not saying I always do (God knows how often I fail), but that is my goal and desire. What better place to evangelize? Providing a listening ear, while trying to juggle grocery shopping and child-training, demands patience, but I’ve found it to be a great time to reach out to others!

It is through our boys that I have established friendships with several employees of different stores. Lalla, is a Moroccan Muslim lady, who works at our local Walmart bakery. We purposefully shop according to her work schedule, and stop by almost weekly. She always gives the kids a cookie, and that–of course–is their highlight of the trip! After establishing a friendship with her for about 2.5 years now, she recently came to church twice. What a joy to see her attend! She desires to come back but has been unable to so far because of her hours. We’ve developed a special relationship, and we text each other often. I pray the Lord will use our friendship to open her eyes to her need of salvation.

Many of Lalla’s co-workers in the bakery know us by now. You somehow stick out, as a tall redhead, who always wears skirts, and always brings her four boys! I wished I could say all have been invited to church, but that’s a work in progress! One of the senior employees, Becky, repeatedly greets the kids with “group hug!!!” after which they will run to her and hug her. She recently stopped me and shared that her husband now has cancer. She’s asked me to pray for him. She has not been open to coming to church yet, but we’re praying God uses these circumstances to see her need for Him.

Luna, from Bangladesh, is another lady at the bakery. She speaks very broken English and is Muslim, as well. Having a Dutch upbringing and nationality myself instantly gave me a connection with her. For quite some time I prayed I would be able to catch her at the bakery on her own so I could talk to her. I am so thankful I recently had opportunity do so! We talked for about 10 minutes with no distractions around at all, and I was able to clearly explain Christ’s love for her, and how salvation comes through Him alone. She seems eager to learn more.

Another lady we’ve been able to meet through our boys is Tabby, who works at the Crest grocery store. She befriended our kids one day as she passed out candy. I invited her to our church’s Family Fall Festival that week and she came together with her husband and children. She came to our church once since and, although now attending a different church, has gotten back in church and desires to start living for God again, for which I’m thankful.

With my husband doing some business on the side, boxes are constantly delivered to the house. Our boys love watching the big UPS or FedEx truck pull up to our house. They enjoy carrying the boxes in and waving at the driver until he is out of sight. We have gotten acquainted with several drivers that way. Over time we also befriended our USPS mailman, Paul. He came to church with us on “Friend Day” last fall. Shortly after, his route was changed to a different neighborhood. Almost a year has passed, but we still go see him at the USPS office regularly. The boys bring him pictures, and he loves it! His heart seems tender to hearing the Word, and we pray God continues to do a work in his life.

In recent months, I have been challenged to be more conscious of the daily opportunities the Lord provides to be a witness for Him. As fellow minister’s wives and stay-at-home moms, I hope this can be an encouragement, and perhaps a challenge, to you! Think about the people you may interact with on a weekly basis. God desires for us to make a difference in their lives. Ask God to use you. May your light shine bright each time you leave the home! God will use it.

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10 Comments
  1. what a joy to read this stay @ home mom and preacher’s wife article. I am a recent widow of a preacher and we had 48 years serving the Lord together. I am seeking God’s will in my life but am trying to be a blessing everywhere I go, as God has been so good in providing for me since my husband went to the Lord and it seems that walmart and the grocery store is a great place to witness, not just to those you know but strangers, after all everyone needs the Lord God bless you Mom as you serve Jesus. Mrs. Annette Parsley of Mississippi

    • Mrs. Annette Parsley, I know you through Jim & Shirley Parsley. I grew up in their . I live in Ohio now and just want to say that you were a blessing each time I saw you through the years. Thank you for your servants heart and faithfulness in both the good and difficult times. I pray you find peace and comfort as you follow the Lord in the next stage of your ministry. Love & prayers,
      Angela Shihady (Fout)

  2. Thank you Grace, for your candidness, encouragement, and challenge. Praise God for how you are letting Him use you. Every stay home mom should read this!

  3. As a stay-at-home mom with three little girls, this article was exactly what I needed. My regular routine when shopping or doing errands is to dash through as quickly as possible; I’m far from shopping intentionally to build a relationship with a lost person. Thank you for the reminder to SLOW DOWN and invest time in the people I encounter. Hearing the witnessing opportunities you’ve had though simple grocery shopping is incredibly encouraging, and I appreciate hearing your testimony, Grace! 🙂

  4. What an encouragement not only to Mommies with busy schedules, but to everyone who struggles with witnessing within their daily “To-Do” list. Thank you for being transparent and sharing your heart!!

  5. Grace, thank you for this, so encouraging. You have a beautiful family, miss you!!

  6. Grace, it has been so long since college. It was nice to meet another Grace in the crowd–that doesn’t happen often. This is very encouraging to read. I am also a stay at home mom (more like work at home mom) and my daughters love to pass out tracts at the local grocery store. They are 4 & 6 years old and feel so brave talking to the “stranger” at the counter. Just last week, a lady accepted the tract, said she would read it on her break, and then said to my oldest “I’m your favorite, aren’t I?” It was sweet! Thanks for the encouragement.

  7. Grace,
    Your passion to share Jesus with others is such an encouragement! Thanks for the reminder to live a gospel-centered life wherever the Lord has called us.

  8. Excellent article, Grace!

  9. Just found this article, but how timely! Our family, 5 kiddos included, often grocery shop and run errands together. We have made many friends on these trips with whom God has allowed us to witness. I appreciate the friendly reminder to use these opportunities for God’s glory. What a blessing when those new friends do come to church or read that tract! And, what an encouragement to our children to spiritually reach out to all they meet!

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