I begged God for this season of life. To be creating, leading and thriving.
But instead of waking up feeling excited about these first leaps into public ministry, most days I feel guilty.
Balancing the calling of motherhood and the calling of ministry is a cycle of failure in my mind. The script starts early in the day:
You didn’t sit down and read the Bible with the kids over breakfast. FAILURE.
You pressed “snooze” on your alarm this morning and only spent 15 minutes in The Word – you’re a fake. FAILURE.
You have spent too much time working this morning and your kids haven’t done anything exciting today. FAILURE.
You haven’t spent enough time working today and everyone is disappointed in you. FAILURE.
You forgot to move the laundry from the washer into the dryer and now you have to re-wash the clothes…again. FAILURE.
It’s taking you months to get through one book, you don’t prioritize learning. FAILURE.
You make the same meals every week. FAILURE.
You fell asleep at 8:30 on the couch instead of writing that blog you are already behind on. FAILURE.
I woke up this morning panicked with guilt. I am facing the reality of how much my calling requires of my family. I try to “prepare the house” to make it easier for Carson to be with the kids without me. I buy melatonin so Carson doesn’t have to battle the demands for water and requests to make the shadows go away.
But still, I sit in front of my computer and before I can type a single word. I am facing the mountain of guilt for what my dreams are costing my children. And this morning it was just too much.
As we talked through the logistics of what the next three weeks looks like for me, I couldn’t help but let the tears come and declare how very not fair this whole thing was to my family. It’s not fair to ask a 4 year old and a 2 year old to sacrifice so much.
Enter Carson Wagner. The best with the words and the “talking-Rachel-off-the-ledge speeches.” He let me get it all out and then he slipped the coffee from my hands, held me close and spoke this (as well as many other pearls of wisdom) over my frazzled and frizzy head:
“Our children are on loan to us. Yes we are responsible to feed, clothe and shelter them. But it’s also our responsibility to demonstrate a purposeful life. It’s not just “survive until Jesus gets back.” We are assigning a greater value to a pursuit that does not have money at its end goal, this is a pursuit of ministering to people.”
I don’t know why that last phrase washed over me like it; “we are assigning a greater value to a pursuit that does not have money at its end goal, this is a pursuit of ministering to people.” It gives me so much comfort.
Motherhood and ministry is a tough balance. Satan wants me to be a distracted mother and a fretful writer. Because He knows that when I assign my security in my abilities I will trip over my shortcomings and pity myself in the mess.
But when I assign my security in the gracious palms of God Almighty, when I come to the throne of grace with unwashed hair, unfinished blogs and a pile of stinky laundry – The Lord smiles and sees the gaps, craters and chasms where His glory will perfectly burst through. So that you won’t see a girl who has it all together. You’ll see Jesus. And that’s really all I want.