Teacups in the Jungle

Life stories from a missionary mama

When we are home in America or N. Ireland, I am often asked, “What does a typical day look like for you out in the village?” I have explained in the past that, really, there is no typical day for a missionary living out in the jungle. I have then gone on to tell stories from our archive of “crazy days,” mainly involving emergencies that have required us to drop all and deal with the situation on hand.

As I made crepes last week (really just a fancy word for the wee thin pancakes that my Granny would make and roll up with sugar), I realized, that life has really changed for me in the past years. It seems that since we have come back to the village, I do have lots of typical days. Typical days of sweeping and re-sweeping the floor, feeding my family, cooking for the men who come to help Danny with checking the lessons, reading books to our two little loves, drinking coffee with callers on the deck, charging phones for people, bathing the kids, writing emails, more baking, and then starting all over again as soon as the roosters, start their rounds of our house every morning. (True story.) The two littlest people in the house, consume mass amounts of my time (and cheese) like there is no tomorrow, and I love them with all my heart. I wouldn’t want it any other way, I know I am blessed beyond words to be their Mama, and I want to “Mama” them well.

But, as I stood flipping those crepes for a group of guys who were fixing our deck, I wondered, is this what missionary life is for me now?  Satan can be so subtle with his lies, taking the wonderful gifts God has given to us and making us feel like; is this all it is? Am I missing something more? Something better? I am so thankful for God’s timing and mercy. The Wednesday before, in our ladies Bible Study, we had looked at these verses together.

Matthew 22:37-39. “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” 

I Corinthians 10: 31. “So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honour and glory of God.”

I had shared with the ladies that it is not as important which roles we fulfill but who we are living those roles for. I am not committed to being a missionary; I am committed to Christ. I am not committed to being “just a mum,” I am committed to Christ; to love Him with all my heart and soul, and to love others as myself. What that looks like in my day, I will leave to Him, and hopefully in the process I will learn to be content in all things. Everything shifts in the balancing of family and ministry, when I live gratefully, with Jesus at the center. Suddenly, my day is back to not being so typical because walking through this life with Jesus is anything but ordinary.

What if I could really believe that by serving those crepes to the men on my deck, with a humble heart to have any part in living out His love, I could be serving Jesus. Extraordinary.

Or, while seeing to the needs of the caller on the deck, I could see it as giving uninterrupted time to Danny so he can prepare lessons which will invest in the lives of men for eternity. Amazing.

While taking Izzy out to stare up at the cherry tree and letting her describe what she sees in those beautiful flowers, I could hope to plant seeds of wonder that will one day lead her closer to knowing and loving her wonderful Creator. Indescribable. 

And this thinking, from eternity backwards, is not always the easiest to do. There may be many days (weeks, months) that pass with no seen goal reached, no graph to show progress or productivity because so much takes place within the inner thoughts and motives of our souls; where Jesus sees.

So as I stood flipping those crepes, I decided to make that day count. I want to live a life that honours Christ. I don’t want to be tripped up with the label “Just a Mum” or take pride in a title “Missionary to the unreached.” I want to be a missionary, wife, mother who is committed to Jesus, His will, His way, and for His glory. I want to replace the pride of feeling like I am worthy of a greater role, with the humbleness to accept any role that He would allow me to fulfill as an honor for His great Name’s sake. The devil would love for us to live through our days and count them as trivial. The marvelous truth in fact, is this; Jesus walks through every moment of this life with us, redeeming the trivial, that is lived for Him, and accepting it as an offering of love. Alabaster jars broken daily at our Saviour”s feet, while we are loving our kids, serving others and making decisions that honor Him. Nothing is wasted, when we pour out our lives for Jesus.

With love,

PS. Happy Mother’s Day to my dear Mum at home in N.Ireland. I don’t remember too many “typical” days at home with you, our imaginations took us around the world! I am so grateful for you, and how God used your life, to prepare me, for so much of mine. Love you always. xx

8 thoughts on “My typical day in the jungle. (It may surprise you)

  1. Deb says:

    Oh Philippa! Thank you!! I have often struggled these last few years, feeling like all my “ministry” had been taken from me-as if it were mine to begin with! Just a wonderful and humbling reminder that every minute of our day counts for God.


  2. thank you so much for sharing this, I needed to hear these truths and I am thankful that God chose you to to convey it in such beautiful and convicting words!


  3. Dear Debbie, you have “ministered” to so many of us, whether you have had an official ministry or not. You are greatly loved.


  4. Dear Anne, even though we have never met, I feel like I have known the whole Rosvik family for years through Markus and Marte. I am so glad that by sharing what God is reminding me of, helped encourage you as well. I hope all is well with you and your family over there in Norway. 🙂


  5. The Moffits says:

    I love the way you word things. The trivial becomes a love offering when it's done for Jesus. Thanks for the reminder that Satan is a liar. And thank you for photos of lunch and laundry and other norms.


  6. Thanks Belinda, for your sweet words. And, maybe soon you can come and see some of our “normal” in real life! It was great to have Josh here, but we missed getting to see you too. 🙂


  7. we are actually living not that far from you these days. We are doing our NCLA in Asia Pacific right now and have been thinking about popping over the the Philippines for our next visa trip 🙂


  8. Amy says:

    I have been enjoying reading through some of your blog this morning. This entry resonates with my soul. I had a similar conversation w a friend this week. How easy it is to get caught up in the everyday, and tasks feel like just one more thing we need to get done. But if we remember everything is done for Jesus not mere men, what a difference it makes. 🙂


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