Thursday, August 30, 2012

Motherhood & Ministry?

As you may know, my hubby and I are in full-time ministry. We feel very privileged to get to do ministry for a living. But motherhood and ministry? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. Can I do both, and do them each well? Do I still have something to offer, even though there's usually a baby on my hip? As I've been praying, thinking, and just living, I've come up with a few thoughts. I wrote the following in a guest post for my friend Chris's blog, and I'd ove to share it here with you. I know that what I think isn't the only way, but here's my heart:



Sweet Gabby and I in Guatemala

For most of my life I've wanted to be in full-time ministry. It's in my genes, and there's something so life-giving about getting to serve people and see them blossom in their relationship with the Lord. So when I joined Youth With A Mission in 2008, I felt like I'd found my groove. I began to recognize my spiritual gifts, I was pushed to try new things, and I loved being a part of what God was doing in the lives of those around me. I felt pretty confident in who I was and what I had to offer, in terms of ministry.

Throw in one sweet baby, and the confidence I had in my calling was hanging on by a thread.


I became a mom in December 2011. I assumed my role as a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom, which was a big change from full-time, all-day-long ministry. Motherhood felt natural and I loved getting to spend my days with my new baby.

But there was also part of me that felt lost. Changing diapers was a lot different than watching the Lord transform the lives of my students. There was no one there (besides my incredible husband) to notice the sacrifices I was making. My pride was hurt. I wanted other people to see that I still had something to offer, though I was questioning if I did have anything to offer. 

Was I doing "enough?" Could I still serve Jesus while being a present wife and mother?

My son is now 8.5 months old, and though I don't have it all figured out, the Lord has given me a little perspective about motherhood and ministry. He's begun to show the immense privilege that parenthood is.

Kids are future world-changers, God-lovers, and people-servers, who we get to pour into daily. By being available to serve my family, I get to affect what God can and will do in my kid's generation. That is so exciting!


The Lord has also showed me that my calling to serve and love people hasn't changed - but maybe how I do that has changed.

Sometimes it takes strapping my son into a stroller and occupying him with snacks so that I can join a prayer meeting. Other days it might mean having people over for a meal, although I might spend most of the time with banana stuck to my face. And still, there are times when staying at home is what's best. I believe that the Lord will give parents the wisdom to know when to involve their kids, and when they just need to be at home with the family. I also know that kids open doors to the hardest of hearts. I've gotten into quite a few conversations with total strangers, just because they saw me out and about with Nicholas.

You might be up to your elbows in diapers, Sesame Street, and dirty dishes. But God wants to use you.

More than that - He can use you. The way you minister might change for a season, and that's ok. But when you desire to serve God and serve others, God is faithful. He wants to use your kids, and He wants to use you.
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I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I love hearing wisdom from other women! Ladies without hubbies or kids yet, do you think about this at all? And to other mamas - where do you feel you fit in, in terms of ministry?

I'll be back tomorrow with a few more thoughts - and what I'm really wrestling through right now. Thanks for listening!




3 comments:

  1. Mack - I just read this again, and I'm so thankful for your insight! I AM single, but I have been thinking about this a lot lately - seeing so many of my mom-friends in missions and wondering where I will find my place when I am in the same position some day. But I feel like God has been reminding me that so much is about our desire to seek after him no matter where we are, offering ourselves to obedience whatever that looks like, and finding contentment in the preset place that he has us in. Not to get lost in wondering where we should be, or what we should be doing, but looking to Jesus and leaning into his guidance every day. The strive for holiness. After hanging out with quite a few moms in missions, I think mothers have an incredible amount of wisdom and life experience to pour into people, and a certain view of God's love and grace that lends so much insight to the people around them. Biblical motherhood still means finding all satisfaction in Jesus, and in that true satisfaction we can see what fullness of life and true obedience looks like. The call to make disciples of nations isn't exclusive to the people outside of the family, or to just the family. We just have to offer ourselves to God to be used by him for his glory, and he never fails to show us joy, blessing and direction. I love your heart and am blessed by you friend :)

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  2. I really love reading your thoughts about being a mum but seeking to serve God while you do this. Being a mum requires a lot of humility and selflessness. I love seeing you grow in this and hope that, one day, I too can approach being a mum with the same desire to minister to my child and serve God while serving my child

    xo

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  3. I just discovered your blog yesterday, and I just want to let you know how much what you post resonates with me. From your petite stature (I'm 4'11"), to your call to ministry (my husband graduated from Bible school last year and is in that "I don't know what God has next" phase), to feeling that you have more to offer than diaper changes, etc.

    ... And I just want to say that while you may or may not view it this way, your blog is a ministry. When I read your email this morning about savouring the small moments (like a sleeping baby in your arms), I was encouraged and pushed onward. So .. thank you!

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