My friend Heather is leading Children's Church. She has a gift for catching the attention of even the most persistent wigglers and drawing them into the song or story. This week, however, she looks slightly distracted. It could be because there is a 3-year-old hanging from her leg.
Heather looks as though this kind of thing happens to her all the time. And considering that the clinging toddler is her son, it probably does. As one hand guides the motions for "Deep and Wide," Heather's other hand is engaged in keeping her son from using her dress as a hideout. Whenever I think of moms juggling ministry and family, I picture Heather.
I've met so many mothers who fully believe that God is using their gifts to bless their families, but who also yearn to do more to bring God's love to the hearts of others. Still, trying to balance the needs of our children with the needs of others can be precarious at best. So when I spoke with five women who have children and also a ministry outside the family, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the women who developed a healthy equilibrium were those who found ways to include their children in their ministry. The result is not only moms who are using their gifts to change the world, but kids who are learning invaluable lessons in living the gospel.
Connie Lindsley is a former missionary in Austria, China, and South America. She and her husband, Art, are partners in Oasis, a Washington, D.C.-area home ministry.
Connie says their house is open to anyone who needs a place to stay for a short time; they've had believers and non-believers, people in important positions, foreign students, sons and daughters of friends. An Israeli television journalist will be staying with them for a few days while she meets with people in D.C., and a psychiatrist will come on a day-long retreat for prayer. Missionaries or others in ministry who need rest and respite come to be renewed; others just need a bed and a meal.1