Category Archives: Parenting

Ministry + Motherhood {When It Feels As Awkward As The Hokey Pokey)

Today, I am sharing about one of my favorite yet trickiest parts of life over at ThriveMoms.com,  Here’s an excerpt that I hope blesses you or someone you know!

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Have you ever gone months plowing through diapers and dishes, not even having the perspective or energy to consider how God might involve you in His rescue mission?

Have you ever felt a nagging question mark in your heart when you’re ministering outside the home at the cost of the mission field in your own living room?

It’s no secret that I love my job. I’ve spent ten years meeting with college women and sharing with them the joy of knowing Jesus and it has been 100% amazing. As much as I love the lifestyle of vocational ministry, I’m also a mom and every single week I am trying to figure out how to do the hokey pokey of motherhood + ministry.

Each season is a new dance with steps to learn and discern. What does my husband need? What do my kids need? What does the ministry need? And, what in the world do I need (Besides needing a full-time house keeper, a weekly massage, and an intravenous Red Bull drip…can you relate??)?

There are lots of partial solutions in this sweet season of life, plenty of hunkering down and plenty of swinging open our doors. Lots of trials, and errors, and coming to terms with the fact that if I commit to meeting with students during the precious hours my kids are at school, the scrambled eggs will still be on the kitchen floor come bedtime. If my husband is slated to preach, the social calendar will need to be frozen until further notice. Missional mommas must maintain healthy, holistic, realistic boundaries…(And, it turns out, boundaries are actually more enjoyable than they initially let on to be!).

But, what I’m finding is that this is more than a scheduling issue. For me, this is a heart issue.

Motherhood is ministry, and it’s my fierce passion. But sometimes it’s easier (and more fun) for me to overwork “out there” because there is a clear-cut clock to punch and box to check. It’s measurable and it’s gratifying (Interestingly enough, oftentimes, I’m actually a sweeter, more intentional mom for my kids after I’ve spent time ministering outside the home!). Then again, there are times when I neglect the mission of ministry because it’s far simpler for me to zone out and troll around at home than it is to check in with the soul of another. On both sides of my treasured motherhood + ministry coin there is an issue of fear; and that fear is rooted in a false view of God.

 Small God = Big Problems

My workaholic heart fails to believe that God is big enough and strong enough to do all the things needed to sustain “my” family and “my” ministry; and instead, believes He is clearly dependent upon “my quality performance.” Meanwhile, my disengaged heart fears that my casual comfort is far greater (and safer, tidier, and more relaxing) than the place God is calling.

Neither place of unbelief produces the Spirit-led ability to work heartily as unto the Lord while being still and knowing that He is God. Neither side truly believes that He will be exalted among the nations through the good works He has prepared in advance for us to do.

READ MORE OVER AT THRIVEMOMS.COM

 

Repenting Of My Lenting (That One Time We Decapitated The Easter Bunny)

A few weekends ago, we piled our crew in the car and made the trek home to see my family in WV. Home is where your people are, am I right? It was so good to be home!

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My parents are just amazing. 182Also, it should be illegal to live 10 hours from your sister and her babies. 133

One of my kids’ favorite WV activities is to go to “the museum”. (Also known as The Huntington Mall….We don’t get out much.) It’s a fun little treat for us all because we get to eat something special for lunch, play in the soft play area that my kids adore and ride the indoor train. It’s fun for me because I get to stroll down memory lane recounting all the years I spent as a little girl in my dad’s bookstore, then as a teenager working at Chickfila and now as a momma wishing I had one of those backpack leash things.214

Halfway through my walk down memory lane, my kids start going nuts jumping and pointing to a giant stuffed Easter Bunny standing proudly in the center of the mall. They ran to hug and crawl all over the thing. They begged to have a million pictures taken in front of the thing. Did I mention we don’t really do all the Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny stuff? Until we do it really loudly in front of my entire hometown. It was amazing.

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Please note the slight head tilt…
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Joel walked up chuckling at the spectacle we had created with all our enthusiasm. Because, seriously, a small crowd had formed. Then, being the engineer, he was curious to see what this giant was made of, so he gently placed his hand on the arm of the rabbit…and proceeded to decapitate the Easter Bunny.201This is the face of someone who does not like to draw extra attention to himself.

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And this is the face of a father-in-law who thinks the whole thing is absolutely hysterical and can only shout “Take a picture! Take a picture!”

I could barely see through my laughter-induced tears to help lift the plywood Bunny head back onto it’s shoulders, but I had to! It weighed so much we needed 3 people! So glad an innocently bystanding child was not crushed!!!

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We finally got things situated JUST in time for the local Paul Blart Mall Cop to walk up and scold Joel for messing with the display.

I don’t know the last time I laughed so hard as the time we decapitated the Easter Bunny. I mean, Joel Hurdle will not stand for the commercialized desecration of our sacred holiday! :)211

Speaking of our beloved sacred holiday, did I tell you about last week when I 100% completely lost my mind over my children losing half our Resurrection Eggs?

Or the time I screamed at them for snooping in my closet and finding the Easter Baskets that I took great care to make for them?

Or when I rolled my eyes and huffed in frustration when they spilled the flour that we’ve used to practice confessing sin?

Y’all. If last year I was all “LENT IS THE NEW BLACK FRIDAY” this year I am all, “WHOA, DANG 40 DAYS IS A LONG TIME.”

In my mind, I long to create an atmosphere and environment that helps our family relish the sadness of Jesus dying, but the gladness of Jesus rising again. Yet in my heart there is continual striving for perfect performance and pinnable traditions.

So, I’ve been repenting of my lenting.

I’ve been talking to God about the anger in my heart. I’ve been trying to get to the bottom of my desire to “do for rather than be with” when it comes to my children. I’ve been holding their not-so-little-anymore faces close up to mine as I ask for their forgiveness for 100% completely losing my mind over Resurrection Eggs (THE IRONY!!) I’ve been asking wiser moms how on earth I can recover the joy of letting them be little while trying to mold them into functioning members of society who freaking love Jesus.

And it all comes back to the fact that I can repent, believe and take initiative in the power of the Holy Spirit, but the results really are up to God.

And isn’t that what Lent is all about anyway? 

Weak and wounded sinner

Lost and left to die
O, raise your head for love is passing by

Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain

So sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live

And like a new born baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk sometimes we fall

So fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain

Then cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live

Ohh, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside

Then dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on glory’s side

And fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live

-Chris Rice, Come To Jesus

If you too feel like a Lent loser, come, sing, fall, cry, dance, kiss and fly to Jesus. Don’t abandon yourselves to despair, because by grace, we truly are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.lent