This has been a heck-of-a-week. So many tornados, so much flooding. Pray for your Oklahoma friends.
So, today (Sunday), I ended up staying home from church while hubby went to serve.
Last night, right about midnight or so, our sirens went off…I was going to the bathroom of all things, right when they hit. Hubby had just left for his Uber shift (because on top of full-time ministry, we both have side jobs). I was alone with baby – and I was terrified. My mind jumped into gear. Get baby, get to safety. Make sure I can reach hubby to see if he’s safe. (He was just around the corner, and got home before it hit, thank God).
After, I could not fall asleep. Once able to fall asleep, hubby was snoring and baby was fussy – so no sleep for me.
Fast forward to later this morning, baby girl still needed sleep, and so did I desperately (migraines and fussy babies don’t always go hand-in-hand). I was able to help get hubby up and out the door, and I settled in to make sure baby could get her morning routine going well.
I don’t like missing church, but I also knew for myself and baby, after such a late night, both needed to be home. We needed to be doing our routine. And, hubby understood it, too. Knowing how badly migraines hit me, and knowing our 4 month old needed momma.
We are both in ministry – but we are also both aware our first and biggest ministry is: family. Family is first. So, today’s ministry for me was making sure my daughter’s needs were met and making sure she could learn about self-care from momma.
Balance is a funny thing. It almost doesn’t really exist. We always have divided attention, and when multiple plates are spinning, something will fall behind.
Now, it is God’s intention that we be redeemed. To Himself. To others. To the world. It is God’s intention that we connect with Him and connect with others. So, would I recommend staying home from church on the regular for long-term? Absolutely not. (If I did, hubby and I wouldn’t be planting a church).
But, in that, we still have to balance family and ministry.
In a recent meeting with our pastor and his wife, where I opened up about my struggle with PPD/PPA, she talked about how after motherhood, ministry may look different. After marriage, it looks different. Why? Because our family is the first and biggest ministry we have. If our family isn’t working, our ministry won’t work.
So, how do we do this? How do we balance family and ministry? I have a few ideas that I have been contemplating since giving birth and muddling through this postpartum depression and anxiety:
- Know your limits: Our pastor recently did a series on sabbath. Sabbath is so important in our lives. Why? Well, first, because God said so. But, He gave us that instruction for our own good. We need to know when we need to step back, shift our energy, and give ourselves grace. If we don’t know our limits, we won’t know any of this. We will get burnt out.
- Know where your passion is: I truly believe God has given us passions for a reason. My husband has no passion for children’s ministry. None. When we plant, if we don’t have someone on our team for that area, it will fall on me. Why? Because it is beyond his limit and outside his passion.Whereas, my passion is teen girls and women. That said, I love kids and can step up when needed. But, when I get to step into my passion, I get to connect with women and do ministry with women.
- Know if you need to be in full-time or part-time ministry: If you are a follower of Christ, you are in ministry. No matter what job you do, even if you are a stay at home mom, you are in ministry. I can’t stress that enough. But if you feel a call for deeper ministry, “career ministry”, shall we say, you need to know if you can be in it full-time or part-time. Right now, hubby is way more involved and I stay home. My part of our ministry as a team right now is supporting him, going to meetings with him, and then taking care of our daughter (also, my blogging & writing). But, you know where I’m also in ministry? In my virtual classroom each day with VIPKid. So, while hubby’s role right now is more “full-time” than mine, we are both doing career ministry. My “full-time” role right now, though, is making sure our home is running smoothly.
- Know what your home needs to run in a Godly manner: Like I shared earlier, family is your first and biggest ministry. If your family isn’t working, your ministry won’t work. You need to be aware of what your home needs to be that picture of Godliness. And, then, know everyone’s roles in that home system. Example: most nights when we eat at home, I cook & hubby cleans the kitchen after, including all of baby girl’s bottles at the end of the day. If extra help is needed, I step in. If he cooks (on rare occasion), I try to clean the kitchen. We do things as a team, but I try to take care of all of the home stuff while he works and goes to school. These roles may grow, shift, and transform over time. At different times, we may trade roles. But, in order to find that balance, you need to know what your home needs to run in a Godly manner and how everyone fits into that.
These may seem obvious or simple to some. To others, like me, sitting and thinking through each of these may be that crucial first step to balancing family and ministry. It is my hope that women everywhere can find this balance (or as close to it as possible). What a great picture of hope and redemption that would be.