It’s been almost a year since I’ve done any ministry outside of the home. I tried to do a marriage counseling case with my pastor hubby. He fired me. Due to "baby making too much noise for counselees to hear counsel" or something like that!
I joke with my friends that we’re not just moms, but M.O.M.s, short for: Ministry of Magnitude. I think the acronym is more for me than them. It's a beautiful, but hard change from respected, educated, professional to...unappreciated and exhausted mommy. Amen...I wouldn't change this work or season. It is a gift.
I explain below of the roller coaster the last couple years have been.
Excuse my absence from my social media and blogging. Truth is, I have been so MIA from ministry outside the home, two of my three books were taken Out. Of. Print. WHAT? I didn’t even know a publisher could do that. (On a positive note! I’m now offering one of my books for free so check out “books” on my website). Exciting news...The other book is being rewritten with my husband to republish to a wider audience. Absorbed will soon become Relentless, to both young women and men.
With that said, being a M.O.M. is both exhausting, incredible, and all-consuming. Yes, it's totally worth it. But, there are days I miss the ministry outside the home. As we prepare talks for an upcoming retreat, I’m excited about “returning” to the M.O.T.H. work (Ministry Outside The Home). And, like a pesky moth, I hope God wants to keep me busy doing both kinds of ministry from now on. Life is beautiful chaos in this season, and since nothing is changing anytime soon, I better just accept this is the new normal with three kids!
(This blog post is brought to you by my amazing husband who has decided his day off should be my time to write, counsel, etc. ...for three WHOLE hours while the big boys are in preschool and he watches baby! He is...whoa).
Here is a recap of the last couple of years.
Why I took a Hiatus.
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Graduate school and my husband’s first pastorate took us away to North Carolina for nine years--after living in Charleston throughout college and our first few years of marriage. Now, many years and much prayer later we’re finally back home in South Carolina.
The older you get the faster time goes.
And bliss may look a little more like beautiful chaos than harmony.
It was a whirlwind of a year moving states with two toddlers. Just the trips to the DMV with two active toddlers were enough to make me lose my sanity. We sold our house in N.C. and bought a small fixer-upper. This is our fourth house, so the projects seemed manageable upon closing. What we failed to remember was that the other three houses were fixed up prior to having kids.
A word to the wise…don’t buy a fixer-upper with toddlers! Our boys thought stray household tools were toys, and every unfinished project lured their little fingers to further dirt and destruction.
As my husband waited on a pastorate last year, he dove head first into a new job teaching 6th graders. Whew! And, though I was still occasionally speaking for women and teen events and caring for our home and kids, I excitedly ventured back into teaching a middle school Bible class. Our boys also began their first year of morning preschool at the same school my husband and I were teaching.
There we were: a move, new jobs, the start of preschool, house projects, and then – a surprise pregnancy after 12 years of marriage. If you've read my other blog posts on becoming a mother through adoption, you can only imagine the surprise! Our two older boys are miraculous gifts of adoption from birth.
Barely eight months teaching, I quit before having our third miracle boy on March 6, 2019.
In my opinion, there are no greater earthly blessings than what we can experience in marriage and family. As I stare into my newborn’s deep blue eyes, I’m in awe that he is my gift. Through the exhaustion of pregnancy, pain of labor, and intense fourth trimester recovery – he is worth every moment of discomfort. I don’t want to miss a tired second.
And over the last year...there have been many perfect, tired seconds.
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Soon we will salute the new Spring season. Flowers bloom everywhere. Like a dust storm from an old western movie, plumes of pollen cover every inch of the Lowcountry. Every blossoming flower, or sneeze, is a reminder of the new season – beautiful flowers and beautiful weather are coming. New life. New beginnings. New hope. But first, the rain showers, weeds, and enough pollen to create a breathing epidemic. In the same way, relationships worth having are hard work. Life is often filled with its fair share of discomfort, suffering, and beautiful blessing.
In the whirlwind of change, it’s important to focus on the blessings of the season, not the chaos.
On this Valentine's Day enjoy your Loves. With the help of an Almighty God, I plan to cherish the moments as wife, mom, teacher, writer, and counselor...every beautiful, chaotic moment. Because these boys are my ministry. The same as any writing, counseling, or speaking engagement. All ministry from a loving Father for a loving Father.
Lord, help me not to get "stuck" in the mundane, but to honor you in it all!