Balancing Motherhood and Ministry

the call to do it all

Why would we expect God to enlarge our mission field before we learned to be faithful with the one He’s already given us? 

Cue dramatic music as my spiritual mom tossed that Christian bone my way to chew on for awhile.  I felt called to do both, and motherhood never quite satisfied me like speaking about Jesus did. You can read about that battle here.

Little did I know my first mission field was my training ground, but between diapers, colic, and time outs I didn’t see anything holy happening there. You know, sometimes it’s just hard to see the forest for the trees — but she was right, I was first responsible for the mission field of my home.

In between the sleepless nights and sibling fights, I taught them how to forgive when they didn’t feel like it, declare truth over their fears, and how to pray out loud for others. Then one by one I led those littles through the prayer of salvation. Yes, me! Not a pastor or a leader — me, the mom. He whispers — Faithful in the little sweet one, faithful in the little to help me through the wait.

Then in between missed assignment restrictions and lost privileges for sassy mouths, I taught them their identity in Christ when peer pressure wanted them to change. And how to believe when nothing made sense, as their dad battled cancer. Once again He whispers to my weary heart — Faithful in the little sweet one, faithful in the little  as my dream to preach seemed so far away.

When they landed in High School, and their mistakes brought shame, I taught them that God forgives even if man doesn’t. And once again He whispers — Faithful in the little sweet one, faithful in the little as I wondered if I was failing at motherhood.

God knew what I could manage, and balancing the desire for ministry and to be a good mom waged a war inside of me. Often filled with comparison and doubt waiting for the elusive “full-time ministry” to come about.

God taught me four huge life lessons in the wait.

1. God has a unique blueprint for my family. 

Every family is designed with an ideal blueprint for their makeup. I was a military wife with a child who had some special needs and learning challenges. God knew what I could manage and what I could not. He knew I would have used ministry, outside the home, as an escape and we all would have suffered.

2. I accepted that my home was my platform.  

My home was always open to mothers, friends, and couples. Tom and I counseled countless marriages on our couch. I prayed for sisters over the phone, and when it worked there was always a Bible study in my living room.

3. I reconciled that my call to ministry wasn’t going to look like anyone else’s call. 

To be honest, I had to reconcile this over and over — I often found myself way out of balance.

4. I opened my eyes to see my greatest character development in Christ came from their birth to her proposal. 

I now walk in greater authority, more anointing, and far more humility because of the mission field at my home address. Nothing has prepared me more, for what I do now, than being a mother and a wife. What God takes time to refine in private is never wasted in public.

Those four lessons showed me one really amazing thing…  I was already walking in full-time ministry.

Today the messages I preached to my first mission field, are the same messages I preach to so many across the United States. The things I taught my children landed between the covers of a book, and are shared with thousands online. So to the woman who is attempting to balance motherhood and ministry, because she, too, feels called to do it all — do yourself a favor and don’t look at what others are doing. Look to see what God’s doing already. You might be surprised that you, too, have stepped into full-time ministry but hadn’t realized it yet.

Keep up the journey friend,

PS Friend I couldn’t fit it all in a single blog post, so please join me Monday for #mentormonday at 3:15 PST in the Remade Community on Facebook where I will share more about balancing motherhood and ministry.

PSS… Are you torn between two promises? I would love to read in the comments below how God has shown you to balance both.