Naps Can Change The World

By February 20, 2013General

kat-lizNote from Kat: The first time I had coffee with Liz she called herself a Naptime Abolitionist. Considering that was the coolest phrase EVER, I immediately knew we were destined to be friends. You’re going to love her words today. Read on…

I always knew I wanted to change the world. Okay, not always. I realized it when I was in the 5th grade. Remember weeping after reading The Diary of Anne Frank in elementary school? Yeah, me too.

Those tears about Anne Frank turned into a passion for me. Over the years it became obvious that God was calling me to help fight injustice.

After college I looked into grad schools, prepared for the LSAT, and explored various careers in military intelligence and government agencies.

I didn’t go to law school or end up working for the United Nations. My life took a different turn when I was 24.

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I became a mother. The dream of riding in the white UN convoy vehicles was swapped for a minivan loaded with sippy cups and Cheerios crumbs.

Motherhood has taught me things about justice I’m not sure I would have learned in a briefing room or through an academic lecture. If I listed them all out, this would be a novel not a blog post. So, here are three:

1. Women have an amazing capacity to advocate & carry those in need.

Women in general, moms or not, have a significant ability to administer justice.

I have friends with autistic children and they are some of most fierce advocates I know. We carry the pain of our friends who long for children, we cry when we read the stories of orphans, we fight for our families and hold our kids long into the night when they are sick. We have a God-given capacity for others.

2. My children aren’t a season, they are my motivation.

When my first child was born, I actually thought of motherhood as this thing to navigate and work around. Yes, gasp if you want. The “season of motherhood” meant things had to move slower and dreams were put on the shelf until my little ones grew up. Or so I thought.

The amazing thing is that my passion for justice grew when I had kids. Psalm 127 says that our children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. My kids motivate me to do justice.

My daughter’s bold dreams about her future stir up the fighter in me to secure a place where all kids can dream like she does. My son’s speech delay reminds me that God gave everyone a voice and their voices were meant to be heard. I tear up peeking in on my sleeping kids because I think of all the other mamas around the world who are powerless to help their own children due to poverty, disease and slavery. I fight alongside those women and on behalf of their children. Together we aren’t powerless.

My children give me vision and courage I need to keep pressing on even when I am tired. They are my fire.

3. God’s calling isn’t restricted by your schedule.

I believe God has a calling and purpose for each of us. His plan isn’t restricted by feeding schedules, potty training mishaps, play dates and the never-ending mounds of housework.

I am a naptime abolitionist. I work part time from home for an anti-trafficking organization called UnBound. When my kids are napping and after they go to bed, I work. The things I do seem a bit ridiculous, even to me.

I have spoken to reporters over the phone while potty training my son. One day, while making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, I was talking to an officer at a maximum security prison to discuss the release of a girl who was a victim of sex trafficking. I talk to the Attorney General’s office sometimes while in the kindergarten pickup line.

I don’t say that to sound impressive. I am NOT impressive. I say it to encourage you. Whatever God has called you to do, He will make a way for you to do it. Maybe it is to homeschool your kids, to start a business, to adopt, go back to work or fight human trafficking like me.

Whatever season we are in as women, God’s calling remains. He isn’t restricted by our schedules or seeming limitations. He can use what we have even if seems ordinary to us. I have learned that naptimes can change the world.

So, what is your “naptime” and what is God calling you to do with it? Has God given you a heart for justice? Click here to join the discussion!

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband & two little kids. Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car, and browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on twitter @larkandbloom.

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37 Comments

  • Mandy b says:

    WOW! What an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story today!!!!!!!

  • Michele-Lyn says:

    Oh my gosh!! This post could not have come at a more perfect time. Next week I am talking about JUSTICE and what it means to do justice and pursue justice from a mama’s perspective.

    Each day next week, I will be featuring a few of those who have inspired me by how #theydojustice.

    Though I believe it’s what I’m supposed to do at this time, I’ve been struggling with it, for no other reason than my own doubts, reconciling the call of being a wife and mama and ambassador of Christ.

    If this isn’t confirmation, I don’t know what is! I feel like I am going to jump out of my skin with excitement and crumble on the floor in worship at the same time, because of how faithful God is!

    THANK YOU!! Both of you, thank you!

  • Liz – I’m so with you. My kids are a bit older, so I would describe myself as a ‘while-they-are-in-school’ abolitionist. Seven years ago I read Gary Haugen’s book ‘Terrify No More’ – a book about the IJM and how they rescue women/children from sex trafficking. It changed me and though my kids were in diapers at the time, it forced the question ‘What can I Do?’. I started by praying, reading and becoming more informed. Since then I have worked with vulnerable women in the Red Light District of our city, and now work with women rescued from trafficking as they start their lives over. Yes – even us stay-at-home moms can change the world – even during nap time.

  • Becky says:

    Great post. I also think it’s important to note that God may “only” be calling you to be a mother for a time. We ARE changing the world by simply raising holy, God-fearing children. Nothing else is needed–however, of course I agree that God may be calling you to do something else as well. And if he calls, he will certainly provide!!

    • Tiffany says:

      I agree, Becky. I am also starting to see that it isn’t possible to be “only” a mom and also teach our kids to have an outward focus. I bet you are already doing it and aren’t even aware. In different seasons it looks different for different people though. When I had 4 boys (ages 5 and under) it looked so much different than it does now. We are responsible to hear God daily and obey the last thing He spoke to us. When my kids were little, He would tell me to greet my mail lady at the door by her name and offer her a water bottle. Pretty soon my kids were racing me to the door. Another example would be to take enough snacks to the park to be able to include any friends we made. Fighting human trafficking and being obedient to Jesus to tip a waiter well if He says to, are no different in the eyes of God, if we are being obedient. However, if I do something great that He is not saying, just to feel like I am doing something good then it will all burn. It’s our responsibility to ask God what he wants us to do each moment. I am queen of wasting my naptime on Facebook or instagram so I needed the little poke.

      • Becky says:

        Yes…those are some good thoughts. I agree with you completely. I have 4 kiddos 5 and under with a fifth on the way. Anything beyond loving them and caring for them and my husband is usually a luxury and I’m thankful for that right now! I am sure I’ll be called to other things in the future.

        • Kat Lee says:

          Becky,
          I love your graciousness. Seriously. Although, I’m sure there was zero offense intended, it would have been very easy for you to have replied defensively – considering your incredibly intense season of life. You truly don’t have time!

          Instead, you shared your story, showed thankfulness for your season and expressed openness to God doing new things in the future.

          That one short comment speaks volumes about you. What a patient, teachable and wise mama you are!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Becky,

      You are so right. The ebbs and flows of what obedience looks like is not only different from woman to woman, but year to year. We are in the process of adopting two more kids. When they arrive and I have four kids … who knows what it will look like for me.

      If I have to lay it down again for a few years… kids are worth it! Many people would have looked at my mom & said she was “only” a mom. But, if it weren’t for her raising us with the intention that she did, then I probably wouldn’t understand how valuable people are.

      Way to give it all to the season you are in!

      Liz Griffin

  • Tiffany says:

    You girls rock! Thanks for being obedient to Jesus, being best friends with your husbands, awesome mothers, and loving others well. Moms are a big deal!

  • I am another one who needed to hear this.
    My burning always felt turned inward (and painful!) when chastened by other women with the “consolation” of “seasons.”

    I believe the God who calls is the God who equips and enables. He makes possible what he births in our hearts to do.

    Becky, I so agree with you, but some folks (like me– and I swear I’m not better than anyone) are physically pained by being told we are one of those, where mothering (only our own) is our sole assignment.

    It is given as a rebuke to the immaturity that stands in the fire, learning how to do “everything” at once. My hunger is for teachers that model limits while still honoring the fire. That was my painful learning process.

  • Cindy says:

    Yay! I love this post! I’m in my first year of wading into part-time campus ministry (a 15 year dream) with a toddler and preschooler. I wrestle with my call to missions and motherhood – how to balance them so that I obey God’s call and give my kids what they need. In the last year I discovered that human trafficking infects our food supply and other consumer goods. I’ve switched to Fair Trade coffee, chocolate and sugar, as well as trying to choose ethically sourced/made clothing. As a mom, I can control what we buy as a family and encourage others to consider the source of their purchases. We did a screening of The Dark Side of Chocolate for university students last year and a small group of students came with me to an awareness event on human trafficking. Little things like that – a couple hours here, a day here – those are what I’m trying to manage and keep in my mind so I can keep some justice momentum. I’m excited to see other moms engaging a call to justice! I pray our kids see us and are encouraged to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, no matter where or how inconvenient!

  • Tab says:

    OH how I needed this! Thank you Thank you Thank you! I recently left the “workforce” to be a SAHM and volunteer. I just finished writing letters for a ministry and book that I’m passionate about all while having crayons shoved in my ear and peanut butter wiped on me. I was starting to long for the office I left only 6 months ago. fca

  • Sarah says:

    “My children aren’t a season, they are my motivation.”

    Yes to this! Beautifully said.

  • Marlise says:

    I often use naptimes to translate for a Christian website. It gives me wonderful food for thought! Even a few minutes here and there eventually add up and help. Yes, I’m trying really hard to remember that my main focus should be my baby and the house, and not my other activities. But it is nice to know that even in small ways we can be involved outside our homes, too.

  • Kimberly Todd says:

    Small, small world. Or small blogosphere, or something. I live and work as an educator in China, have for going on 8 years. I started following Inspired to Action because a friend from college in Colorado who now lives and works in India advised me to. I grew up in Waco, Texas. My backyard connected to Liz’s and we capitalized on that proximity. Good to see you here, Liz. Great post. I spend most nap-times reading and meditating. One of the books I’m currently reading is “Half the Sky” by Kristof and WuDunn and I’m feeling the fire.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Oh, my goodness. Kim!!! What a small world! I have heard “Half the Sky” is amazing. I’ll have to read it. Hope to see you sometime when you are back in the States!

      • Kimberly Todd says:

        I’d love to see you again, and meet your kids! We plan to be back in the states this coming summer.

  • I love this post. Great encouragement! I think it is easy to feel discouraged as if “I’m only a mom with limited time and not a ton of energy and thus God can’t move mountains during a two hour nap time window everyday.” But HE can!

  • […] Mom sent a link about a stay at home mom who calls herself a “nap time abolitionist” and changes the world while her kids sleep. But even more than I loved the article, I loved […]

  • Thankful says:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me today…to keep at the calling God has placed on my life, ALL of it included!! 🙂

  • rekha says:

    Hi kate,
    This post is so encouraging thanks so much . I am the “dreamer kind” that tries to save the world ….in MY naptimes but when I wake up I easily brush it off. The sentence “my kids aren’t a season but my motivation” has touched me to pray about Gods will in my life ,to come out of my comfort zone and be the person God has created me to be……your writing has been an immense blessing. God bless you.
    regards
    rekha

  • Joyce says:

    Definitely inspiring, and inspired!

  • Renee says:

    wow I think you are amazing, what a blessing to read this post and you are an inspiration to us all

    Have a wonderful weekend
    Love
    Renee

  • […] Naps Can Change the World :: Do you have a naptime calling? […]

  • Can I just say that these comments ARE amazing?! Each of you women represent the standout, above average, responding to God’s heart mommas of our generation! I was so encouraged by the article, and blown away by the gracious, humble, hungry, honest, loving comments of these mommas. We need each other as we “change the world” and I’m thankful for this forum. Thank you Liz and Kat. World-changers, inspiring world-changers- whatever that may look like for us each!

  • […] day the Inspired to Action email came I was having doubts about whether I should do this series; #doJUSTICE. I am still very […]

  • […] they’re my motivation.” These words have been working on my soul since I first read them, here, last week. And they came flooding into my heart at this […]

  • Alyssa says:

    My favorite line: “I believe God has a calling and purpose for each of us. His plan isn’t restricted by feeding schedules, potty training mishaps, play dates and the never-ending mounds of housework.” AMEN, AMEN, AMEN

  • […] to guest post with us today.  She blogs at Lark and Bloom, and did I mention this amazing momma fights human trafficking during her kid’s nap-time?  Not only is she a power-house for justice, she knows style and beauty and is kind enough to […]

  • […] Now. What are we raising money for? Well, first, let me tell you who our guest blogger is…one of my very favoritest bloggers and people in the whole world: Kat Lee from Inspired to Action. Kat is a believer in naptime. Not because it’s a time to veg out, but because moms can change the world with that short time frame. […]

  • […] In addition to blogging, I am also one of the directors for UnBound. It is an anti-trafficking organization and I am THRILLED to get to be a naptime abolitionist. […]

  • […] A few weeks ago I packed up my bags, took my husband Jady and boarded a plane to Washington DC. This sounds so posh to say, but I had some meetings with Congressional offices to talk about human trafficking and ways to combat it here in the United States. Perhaps at this point you are totally bewildered about who I am and why in the world I would be doing this? You can get filled in here where I talk about being a Naptime Abolitionist. […]

  • […] I talk about being a naptime abolitionist, I am always asked about how we can raise our kids to be justice-minded. I am certainly not an […]