Motherhood and Ministry.... Do I really have to choose?
Updated: May 8, 2019
Have you ever felt like you had to choose between motherhood and ministry? Have you ever felt guilty for not being as involved as you used to be since motherhood? Or have you ever felt guilty for being too busy ministering and didn't have enough quality time with your kids?
For a really long time, I thought I had to choose between motherhood and ministry. Before motherhood, I was a missionary overseas. My husband and I were helping pioneer the first School of Biblical Studies in Cambodia. At the same time we were also teaching English, had small groups, did evangelism, was learning Khmer, and was involved in a lot of fun exciting things. Before motherhood, I was a preacher. I loved sharing the gospel and speaking in front of people. I was even given many opportunities to speak in front of hundreds of people. I loved it! Partnering with Jesus and see Him move in crazy amazing ways was awesome! Jesus was doing so much and it was so cool to be a part of it.
(For you: What ministries were you involved with before you had kids?)
Until one day, we did the test, pregnancy test, It was totally unexpected! The idea of motherhood scared me and I was not even sure if I wanted to have kids. But there we were, looking at the tiny pregnancy test that's saying positive. Life after that changed! When Levi came, I still tried to do most of the things I was involved with. I still tried to teach English but then I couldn't find time to prepare for the class, be in the teacher meetings and be in class on time. My husband was busy pioneering the bible school and couldn't help me at that time. So with sadness, I had to stop. A few years later, we had Miya and then Seth came as a surprise 18 months after. I still taught once in a while, preached a few times and had tiny small groups here and there. But everyday I dealt with the guilt of not being in "full-time ministry" even though we were still overseas as missionaries. Most of my role was with the kids and homeschooling while Justin was out doing the ministry.
I always felt that I had to choose. Should I do more ministry??? But then that means my kids will be with babysitters a lot. Should I be okay with them being with babysitters often so I could do "more" ministry? Either way, I felt guilty. Guilty that I wasn't doing more ministry or feeling guilty that my kids had to be with babysitters. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Jesus used my devotional book to speak to me about this. The question was, " In what ways has motherhood changed how you do ministry? And what new doors for ministry has motherhood opened for you?"
These 2 questions made me realize that I don't have to choose. He wanted me to be a mom. His call on my life WILL have changes. He wants me to do both! I could be a mom and still serve and obey him. It will just look different. I can't keep using motherhood as an excuse not to walk in obedience and I can't keep using ministry as a way to neglect my kids. So, He opens new doors for me to minister AS A MOM. At times, He will ask me to pray for other's specific needs. At other times, He will ask me to make new friends, make them feel welcomed and accepted. Sometimes, He will ask me to preach at church. Right now, Jesus wants my husband and me to be the Sunday School teachers at church. Jesus had also asked me recently to lead and host a ladies fellowship once a month.
It is fun to do both. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a mom. I cannot ask for a better gift! I am also blessed to be given the opportunity to serve and experience Him everyday.
So, I will ask you the same question today. In what ways has motherhood changed how you do ministry? And what new doors for ministry has motherhood opened for you?
This is the devotional book I use everyday.