52. Our Choice In The Mundane - Susanna Dobbin
May 31, 2022
Mentioned in this episode -
Laura: Hi, this is Anna and welcome to unsung stories. Thanks so much for joining us.
Susanna: Hi, Laura. It's so good to be here. Thanks.
Laura: My pleasure so that our listeners can get to know you a little bit more. Could you tell us a bit about you and your family and just what everyday life looks like for you?
Susanna: Yeah. My name is Susannah. I'm 28 and I live in north Brisbane. My husband is a youth pastor and a teacher. I have two beautiful kids, two and six months old. When I'm not doing mum life, I'm an artist and a graphic designer.
Laura: Nice. I've seen some of your art. It's really beautiful
Susanna: Yeah, I love it too. It's so fun.
Laura: Yeah, it looks fun. I was actually watching one of your reels just last night when I was having a look at your account and I really liked how, like you squirted water or something onto the canvas. I was like, oh, that looks great.
Susanna: So therapeutic it's it's my heart.
Laura: So that's great. I'm glad you have something like that. So before you had kids, what did you want your life to look like?
Susanna: Yeah. When I was younger, I really wanted to do big things for God and especially missions and traveling the world to serve him. That was really something that was on my heart. So before getting married, I spent a few years with wham, which is a young person's missions organization.
It stands for youth with a mission. Once my husband and I got married, we travelled and we did missions for awhile I have a really big heart for the world and for social justice. In 2016 we felt, God call us back to Brisbane, which is where I grew up.
And my husband stepped into a youth pastor role, which was always a dream of his I was really supportive and I desperately wanted to be obedient to God and to really follow what he was saying to us. And I knew this was him. Like I knew it was, but it was such a huge wrestle for me to come to a place of acceptance about it because.
It wasn't really what I picture growing up black. I thought missions the world traveling. It just was so glamorous to me.
Laura: And then you are back in your own hometown.
Susanna: Like I just was like the 15 minute radius that I go around is just not very glamorous. Not that I want the glamorous lifestyle, but I just love the world. Yeah, it's definitely not the life. I saw myself living. But journeying through this life change and the wrestle has really mocked my life in the best way possible.
I've come to realize that my yes to him is the most valuable thing to have to offer. My yes, team is valuable in the exciting ways, but I think where it really means the most is in the small world, loving that person in front of me, ways like the stopping and the looking at the one in front of me.
It's about laying down my life every day in those mundane moments and loving Jesus radically, even when my weld doesn't necessarily look radical. It's been a big change, but it's really been good for me.
Laura: Yeah, that's really good. How do you feel like your relationship with God has changed since he became a mum? So what was it like before? And what's it like now?
Susanna: Before having kids, I really loved my learned Jesus' time and yeah, it was such a precious gift to me. It was really foundational to my faith and I'm only two and a half years into my motherhood journey, but , it's really hard to carve out that time.
We've got I don't know how long term moms do it. It's just, it's hard. I just, I feel the kindness of God, Hey, lack all the time. And he just, he teaches me and he teaches us as moms Malta, hots in the little snippets of time that we can get. And I think it's been a huge lesson for me to release my expectations and my plans and my desires to God, to really trust that my dreams and my desires for these big things belonged to him first.
My job is just to steward the part of the story that's like right in front of me. Right now that's two very little nitty humans that really need me. It's a really beautiful honor to do that. I've given them my whole hearted. Yes. So that's what I'm saying yesterday.
Right now. That's beautiful. It's so hard sometimes, but I love it too. Like I'm so grateful. my life doesn't really look how I thought I would. And there've been many times where I'm an often, still are. I'm like stuck in the mundane newness of my suburban Australian life. But God shows up in the beauty of my kids and he shows up in the mess of my house and I just feel him whisper gently in my ear that it's time to re surrender The wet he gave me for the C a particularly it was messy surrender, which fits so well with this process of letting go of my expectations, because it has been a messy process. But it's also shaped my heart and given me so much purpose to see God in my every day.
One example of this was my son's pregnancy. My second child, I wasn't expecting to fall pregnant and it was a really hot time, emotionally black. It was like a dark cloud just covered me. I was really in denial that I was pregnant. I didn't have any vision or purpose for how God could use me, even though being pregnant is a really beautiful thing.
And I really struggled to manage my Topo. And my pregnancy, God gave me a promise from Psalm 23. And he said which the first verse says, the Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing. And that was such a promise that I held onto. And it was a promise that he would always be enough for me and my family.
I felt like I could hear it on loudspeaker. Repeat in my mind throughout my whole pregnancy saying like Susannah, you lack nothing. And it was really pivotal for us. And we named our son Gyra, which means God is my provider coming out of that season.
Laura: That's really beautiful. I've been memorizing some 23 lately cause I love that. I lack nothing. I lack not that God is my shepherd and there's such this beautiful picture that's going on of like right upfront. Leading me, God's my shepherd. I lack nothing, but then he's making me lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside quiet waters and restoring mysel.
When you actually think about that is beautiful, it even knowledges that you're walking through the valley of the shadow of death. And during those valleys, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff. They comfort me. And then it's talking about how Jesus preparing a table bef or God, just beautiful. Picture.
Susanna: Yeah. Thomas, Hey
Laura: yes. It's such a beautiful promise that he's providing and caring and shepherding us that whole. Hold all
Susanna: the time. And I think the thing that has really spoken to me the most is I just felt like he stamped that som for me as this is my Sama provision like this for me is you are coming through for me, Lord. I actually wrote it up on a banner and put it on my son's wall in the nursery. I've memorized it so many times now because I read it every time I feed him. It just feels like this banner over his bed and it's like a banner of his life and it's something I wrestled with during pregnancy, but it's been such a promise. Yeah, I'm so grateful for that.
Laura: As you were saying, the dark clouds that hardness that you were feeling during pregnancy, that is life. We're going to have those seasons of walking through the valley of death and. Hardness and suffering like this world is not gonna, as we know with the last few years and what's going on in the world at the moment, God is with us what? Our reminder that amen. Just like Gyra. He's our provider. God is our provider. We lack nothing. It's such a
Susanna: good premise. Yeah, totally. Okay. He really did come through for me. My community rallied around me accepted that I wasn't in control and that Jesus was where most of the time. I laid a legacy for my family of trust in Jesus in a time where I felt like I was barely trusting. I was literally just clinging on to that promise of Psalm 23 that he had spoken.
I knew it to be true and I knew he had proven it to me in the past. My history with God really carried me through that time, which is just, yeah, I'm so grateful for that. My relationship with God is not really what I thought it would look like post kids, but he's really given me such a beautiful life and it's such a gift and Yeah, it's one. I try to wholeheartedly lay down and surrender to Jesus every day to use me for his glory. Yeah, it's not necessarily the mundane.
Laura: Yeah, you said before about your expectations. Pre-kids, when we think, oh, what will it be like? Oh, I thought I was going to be running Sunday school lessons every day and having these kids that We're amazing little Christians, but the beautiful moments have been the ones where my kids are choosing to follow Jesus for themselves or where it's madness.
And then all of a sudden we're talking about these great biblical truth is and that's what happens in those mundane as you live out life together as people who follow Jesus. It's far from my grand plans and expectations of what mothering is a Christian would look like. But,
Susanna: Yeah, and I really think that lack that whole hot. Yes to God in every single moment, in the big things and in the little things, it actually, it mocks our kids for that in their future too.
Laura: It models what it truly means to follow Jesus. And the way you just said wholeheartedly yes. Makes it sound amazing. But half the time, I think it's more of begrudging. Okay. Okay. I'll do on you. I will be obedient to you. I will. Follow you in this moment, but yes, maybe I should. I'm going to wholeheartedly. Yes, Jesus.
Susanna: I think also I just, sometimes I say wholeheartedly because I'm willing my spirit and my hot dog come on, be allotted, give it all.
Laura: Oh, I'm really encouraged and really appreciated your reminder there. As you're talking, I was thinking how I find it so easy to slip into thinking that my plans are the ones that are going to impress
Susanna: I think for me it comes back to choosing to really line my heart with God. My sole purpose is to love and be loved by him. And when things feel skewed, that reminder is my anchor and nothing else really matters. It's still so hard to prioritize coving out time with him. They're like so hard sometimes, but there are two ways I found that really helped me be with him. So the first thing is that I found that it's all the little choices I make that draws my heart back to him. Sometimes giving up a nap to pray or staying up late to journal I'm being led by the spirit and giving God my yes, in those moments,
The little choices we make to choose him in our day feels insignificant, but it's like a beautiful sacrifice of praise to him. And I know God's heart just smiles on me, choose him. One story from the Bible that has really shaped my perspective about this and about spending time with God has been the story of Mary Bethany.
The woman who poured her expensive extravagant oil on Jesus as a lavish gift to him. And for me, my baby's nap time is often that extravagant oil. It's a gift I can give him sometimes it's so hard to give it to him and I begrudgingly but yeah, I never regret it.
I try and do that once a week, at least. And the second is really carving out intentional time in my week. I love to paint and spend time with global I'm creating, it really breaks up the Monday in this to be creative I've found. It's really good for my hot and it's therapeutic as well. And it's quiet at night and yeah, I also head to a prayer and worship, not kid-free try to once a fortnight and that does a lot of one does to my hot. I also try to get into the Bible every week,
Laura: and how would you encourage the mom who just loves Jesus, but it's just wrestling with the her own heart struggles and the hard things that are coming up in this season.
Susanna: Yeah. I was thinking about this question and I really just felt the best encouragement that I could ever give is that he is the best encourager and no one else can hold your heart and your struggles better than. So yeah, talk to him. He's listening. He wants to hold your heart and he wants to walk alongside you.
And next time you're staring at the sink full of dirty dishes or the pile of laundry. And you feel overwhelmed just close your eyes and take a deep breath and ask the holy spirit to meet you there in that mundane mode. Yeah, surrender it to him. He's always speaking. And it's moments like this. He will meet you
Laura: That's really beautiful. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing snippets of your story with us and being vulnerable and sharing how this life isn't, what you thought it would be and how you struggle with the mundane risks. I think that's something that is such a huge part of motherhood that we don't really talk about would you mind wrapping up today's show by praying for the moms who are listening? Yeah,
Susanna: totally. Lord, I just ask that you would just meet every mum right now, whatever they're doing in this moment, father, that you would meet. And speak to them and encourage them and whatever mundane NUS is yelling at them and trying to steal their joy father. I just thank you that yeah, you have an amazing plan and purpose for our lives. And I just pray father that every mum that listens to this right now would see that in her day, see that in her kids and would have her heart realigned to you.