I am a full time mom. Those words often come with a range of emotions. First of all, I am proud because if you know my mama story you know I had a rough start as a mom. Secondly, I feel confused because I don’t fully understand my role as a ministry mom. Thirdly, I feel as if I have unfulfilled potential, as if I could be doing more; I don’t embrace my role as mother as much as I should or could. In this post I want to explore these three waves of thought.
The first wave of thought is, that I am so proud to be a mom. I have wanted to be a mom for so long. When I was a child, I remember I would play mom and practice homemaking. As I grew older it became part of my homeschooling. We were always learning a new “homesteading” skill and I loved it. I learned so many things that I have been able to use as an adult that many others don’t get the chance to learn. I was so happy awaiting for our son, stressed when the urges to nest set in, and still felt totally unprepared when he arrived. I beam with pride when someone compliments him and when he learns a new skill or tries to do something new. Being a full time mom allows me to see each new step he takes and be there with him as he makes each new discovery. I love it!
Secondly, I feel a wave of confusion. I was raised to want to be a mom and I know many of the different skills and tasks associated with running a household. Yet I also went to Bible college and got my Associates degree in Christian Ministries and Religious Studies, worked my way through school pretty much on my own using a full time job and scholarships, and did a three month internship alone in Nicaragua, as well as went on three other mission trips in the US and Central America and spent over ten years teaching VBS and Sunday School classes for kids. I don’t say this to be prideful. I just have always wanted to do ministry. I had prepared for ministry as well as motherhood and while I know my family is my first ministry, what does that really mean? Was my schooling, hard work, and mission work worth it? Was it all just a season? Is that part of my life not applicable anymore? Deep down I know that the calling of raising my family is higher than any other calling in ministry I could have. Yet, I still feel confused at times because I wonder if this is it. I often find I can use my ministry experience to help my husband in ministry or to minister at church or in the community. Yet the idea of my first ministry being my family is super confusing at times.
This confusion leads to my last wave of emotion. I feel I have unfulfilled potential. God has to remind me regularly of the importance of being a ministry minded mama. To look at my new season of life as of the utmost importance. It is easy to feel like I could and should be doing more. I see so many role model women who balance family, ministry, and a career. Right now I only have one little one at home. My husband works a part time ministry job and is looking for a second job that will work for our family as well as the ministry and hopefully will allow him to continue with his education at Seminary. I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be better for me to go get a job and help our family financially. I would miss all the time I get to spend with my son and childcare would pretty much eat up any money I make anyway, but I wonder if maybe I could be doing more to help or family. Should I take on more work at church? We only have one car so that becomes tricky but maybe it could work. Should I be adding more to my plate to use up some more of my unfulfilled potential?
That answer is not easy. I know God has me where he wants me. I believe in a patriarchal family model. This isn’t to say that my husband lords over me. He is more than willing to stay home with our son and/or support me in a job outside the home or in any endeavor I chose to pursue (within biblical grounds:). We are a team, my husband is head of the household, and God is the leader. That being said, we each have roles in the family. I am the support system; homemaker, wife, mom, and ministry partner. My husband is the head of the household; provider, spiritual leader, and ministry leader. The conflict arises when I chose to follow my own impulse to run everything myself and not be a team player. I trust that God put my husband in my life for a reason and I know if I jump in and try to take over by doing things my way it makes it look like I don’t trust him to provide. I have a great husband and I am learning to submit and trust that he is going to handle what he says he will. It also takes things that God has promised to take care of into my own hands rather than leaving all that stress and planning at the feet of the Father. I just hate the waiting game. I hate feeling like I could do more.
When I think of my role as a full time mama bear, I may have a wave of different thoughts go through my head but I need to remind myself daily that I am who God wants me to be in this role. I am fulfilling my potential by being the best wife and mother I can be to my family. I can embrace this role with all my being. Every story I read to my son, every encouraging word I speak to my husband or child, every meal I plan or pack, and every dish or shirt I wash is a gift to my family. I am still doing full time ministry, I am just ministering to a select group; and believe me, it is the hardest ministry I have ever done. Everything I have learned or accomplished in the Lord has not been a waste. It has prepared me in ways I could never imagine for the role and plan God has for me. This is why I wake up everyday. This is why I chose to do my best to remain ministry minded.