God’s Grace in the Limits of Motherhood

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Mommas, have you ever felt like taking care of your little ones limits you from ministering to others? Does it seem you can hardly have an invested conversation before you have to chase down or discipline your child?

It’s so easy to get discouraged in this season of child rearing when raising kids seems to hinder you being used to further God’s kingdom. Recently God taught me a lesson on the limits of motherhood in the most unexpected way.

Lately, I have struggled with feeling like I am truly ministering to others in the way I did before children.

As a mom of two under two I feel like my conversations are shorter and my attention is more divided than ever. When having conversations with others I’m often interrupting it to deal with a mom issue. I hate feeling like my children hinder me because I love being their Momma!

This summer I attended Ft. Caswell for a youth camp with our youth group. A lot of prayer went into whether I should even attempt the trip with a 2 month old. The answer I kept receiving was

“Yes, go.”

Everything fell into place for me to attend and the staff were more than accommodating with arrangements. Once arriving at Caswell, though things began to happen that made me second guess the decision to attend. I wondered if I had only wanted to go and told myself God was saying go…you know the doubts that creep in when we feel things aren’t going like we envisioned.

Baby girls smiling on youth trip
All smiles during a pit stop on the way to camp

This was our first trip with a baby so young (we took Blake on a trip when he was 8 months.) Due to bringing Raelynn I had to stay separate from the youth. I had a tough time with this because I enjoyed the relaxed, fun, get-to-know you moments that took place in the sleeping quarters. I felt like I wasn’t able to have those special bonding moments.

It was also the first trip I did not ride in the church van with the youth. This too, was challenging because I love watching, interacting and making memories on the van with them. All of this made me question my purpose on the trip and whether I was a help or a burden.

As soon as we arrived I received word that Blake had a minor accident running around and needed stitches. I felt guilty and my heart was torn for leaving him in the first place.

Then I kept having to step away to feed Raelynn every couple hours. I was missing moments to experience the worship, message and opportunities to connect with the youth. It was a challenging first day with a lot of inner frustration, struggle and self doubt.

Little boy with head stitched up
All stitched up after his little accident.

God knew I needed to go though! He indeed was telling me,

“Yes, go!”

The second night the speaker addressed all the girls and women specifically. He apologized to them for the pain and heartache that any man had caused them through any form of abuse.

I had to, once again, miss what he was saying to go nurse. I asked God why he wanted me on a trip if my baby was keeping from so much ministry time. That’s when He showed me just how much He would use my sweet baby girl to bring about more than I could imagine.

I nursed on a little bench in the girls’ bathroom and as the speaker addressed all these girls God placed me in that bathroom to nurse. Girls ran out of the auditorium and into that bathroom weeping and needing love.

If I had not been in there nursing I never would have been able to minister and pray with these girls! God knew where He needed me and the enemy knew my weaknesses of doubt.

All week God began to use Raelynn being on the trip with me for ministry opportunities. I met a sweet family whose kids I was able to love on because of Raelynn. I met a precious teenager who latched onto Raelynn instantly. Because she had a connection with Raelynn I was able to give her love when others found her to be an annoyance.

I met a youth group and spent time on their porch talking to them while they held my baby and the youth fished. We were able to pray for one another. I discovered that one of their youth will be attending a college that is not too far from where we live. She now has people she can call on all because God used Raelynn as the conversation starter.

God used so many moments to show me that being a Momma to my babies doesn’t limit me. In the busy mom moments He showed me that my children enhance my ministry beyond my wildest dreams.

Related: Loving a Toddler in the Unlovable Moments

God taught me to be very intentional with the limited moments I did have with the youth. I savored every little lunch conversation, fishing excursion and walk I was given. I began asking deeper spiritual questions rather than surface level ones. In one day God changed my entire perspective and allowed me to understand why He wanted me on this trip.

So, those who doubt why you are where you are or think that someone is limiting your ability to minister just remember God has a bigger plan. His ways are perfect! If you allow Him to reveal to you the things he has for you then your heart will be abundantly full of the understanding of his love.

How has God changed your perspective lately? Let me know in the comments below what He has been teaching you.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Crystal Garman

    I love this article! I stumbled upon your blog today and it is so encouraging! I took our 4 children to our youth camp this past summer. We have 2 biological kids ( 9 and 4) and 2 foster daughters that are 3 and 2. I felt like I was constantly changing diapers, ducking out with a kid to go potty, or chasing littles all week. It was difficult, but there were definitely some bonding moments built and new friendships made. I often look at this time in my life as though my ministry has changed. I still work with the youth group in my church, teach classes, etc. but I understand that my focus is on my littles and their faith, and ministering through foster care.

    1. Morgan P

      Awww you have no idea how happy this makes me. My whole goal and purpose in starting this blog and writing this post was to encourage others out there. You are a super mom if you managed to take 4 young ones on a youth trip! Ministry definitely changes when you are having to take care of kids but I’m learning that the change is so worth it. I read something that was super encouraging, “Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not something you do, but who you raise.” It really changed how I view my role as a mom now that my role in youth ministry and ministry in general has changed. Thanks for commenting. You made my day awesome and encouraged me greatly!!

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