A Facebook rant took the internet by storm a couple of weeks ago, as it detailed the demands on a mother’s life. The sun up to sun down obligations combined with societal pressures struck a chord amongst women and the post found a viral cheering of the yes and amen sort.
Interesting how we call that viral, isn’t it?
I have no intention of demoralizing that rant. And I won’t point out the fact that fathers, grandparents, and even our own children may be able to articulate similar protests of societal pressures. However, under such premises, believing mothers may have it even worse because we have a heart to love God and love others as well. If we’re keeping score, add that to the list and try to tally it all up. Better yet, don’t. There isn’t much hope, help or virtue in these efforts.
Managing Ministry Outside the Home
Recently a Club 31 reader asked a behind the scenes question about how we as writers manage ministry outside the home. I love this question because it speaks of insight. Each of the women writing here are real women, leading real lives, pursuing Christ right where they are, not unlike you.
The short answer would be – in a whole host of different ways. While each of the Club 31 contributors writes, some speak and some lead Bible studies. Some write books and some mentor women in their local church. Some are in intense seasons at home and have wisely limited formal outside ministry for the time being. (I say formal because we can all be about the business of informal ministry outside of our home, right?)
How Do I Do It All?
There is a long and varied list of ways to do this right, but as a young mother, and even at times now as a not quite as young mother, I struggled with the question of how to do it all, not unlike the woman who wrote the Facebook post mentioned above. How can I be a good wife and a good mom and care for my body and steward our finances, make healthy meals and read the Word, make memories with my kids and memorize scripture? And do ministry. It’s easy to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
And that’s when we must get real with the Scripture we read, the Truth we profess.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Okay. We know this, right? We need a new way of thinking. How can we be transformed by the Word, rather than conformed to the world’s standards? We’re playing by different rules here.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
Romans 8:5-6 ESV
This is telling, right? The Facebook rant of motherhood expectations, the weight of all we believe we are meant to carry and do and be – no wonder it feels like it might be the death of us! But conforming our minds to the Spirit is exactly what we are thirsty for – life and peace.
So from this place, we can begin to formulate a path to bring us back to Truth when the pouring in and pouring out feels unmanageable.
We ask the Spirit to help us.
Jesus promised us a Helper to abide with us and dwell with us so we wouldn’t be in this alone.(John 14:16-18) Let’s not forget this fact – ask for His help, His guidance here.
We understand our number one job.
Ministry must never compete with the command to love God with all of our heart and soul and mind. (Matthew 22:37) Any duty must first begin with this dedication. Any ministry must come from the overflow of a heart that seeks Him first.
We understand the definition of ministry.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines ministry as, ‘“The office, duties or functions of a subordinate agent of any kind.” I love this definition because it is so broad. In modern terms, we often think of ministry more narrowly.
We are subordinate agents of Christ so any work we do unto Him is ministry! (Col 3:17) Wipe noses or speak on a stage, help a friend move or nourish your family through meals – I’m convinced God is far more concerned with the heart behind our service than the scale of it.
So start here. Ask the Spirit to help lead and guide you in what He would have you do today. Be brave enough to offer your gifts for His glory and trust that in every seen and unseen way it is enough–because He sees it all. Let’s not make ministry more complicated than it needs to be. Let’s do the work in front of us well, invite the Spirit to help us and just keep following where He leads.
Katie, I Choose Brave
Katie Westenberg is a wife, mother and writer who is passionate about living life bravely for the glory of our Creator and encouraging others to do the same. She enjoys country living in a small town, time spent with friends and family, and saying YES to adventure. She writes at ichoosebrave.com.