How to Balance Ministry and Motherhood
- Cortni Marrazzo Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2016 4 Mar
From the time I gave my life fully over to God as a teenager, I knew that God had called me to full time church ministry; nothing stirred passion in my heart more than the local church. As a single young adult, I was able to throw myself fully into serving and working in church ministry life because my family responsibilities were few. Then I met and married my husband and we started serving in ministry together, which was even more fun. A few years later we had our first child and life definitely changed at that point.
I suddenly found myself a stay at home mom, which is something I thought I would never be before I had a child. Then I couldn’t imagine it any other way once I met my beautiful baby boy. My husband and I continued to serve, but in a more limited capacity since we now had a little human in our care. As my son grew older, we found our responsibilities and leadership within the church growing. A few years later, we now have two wonderful boys and we are both working at our church, (my husband full time, and myself part time), and are now responsible for leading a large ministry.
We absolutely love our jobs, and being able to step back into a bigger role within the ministry stirs up my passions once again, however, things are a bit different than when I was a single young adult. Before I could throw pretty much all my time into church and ministry, but I now have a family to take care of and small children who need me. I find myself in new territory, trying to balance motherhood and ministry, two things that I love, as well as two things that take a lot of energy and commitment. I know God has called me to both, but I’m still learning how to walk them out simultaneously and successfully.
Feeling the tension between the two, I began on seek God on how I could balance them both so I can do them both well. As I felt God guide and direct me, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting (that seems to typically be the case with God in my life though). My hope was that God would help me come up with a list of tangible things I could do to ensure a healthy balance between the two in my life -- things like limiting my working hours, spending one day a week doing something special with the family, making sure to attend any important events for my kids and aiming to have dinner as a family most nights of the week.
I’m the type of person who works well with checklists and schedules so having a list of things I can be sure I’m doing sounded very helpful to me. What God showed me however, is that the balance between ministry and motherhood doesn't come in a checklist or a formula. Instead, it comes with daily seeking God and asking Him what to do and listening to His voice.
This can be harder than a checklist because it takes intentional effort to put your mind in a place of constant obedience. Sometimes I wish I could just have a checklist so I could hear once and then follow the steps because it would give some predictability. But parenting is anything but predictable. And ministry is anything but predictable. Really, God is often anything but predictable. He is constant, but not always predictable.
In taking the time to write out some encouragement for other moms who are also trying to navigate this balance, my hope was to be able to articulate something along the lines of “3 Things to Help You Balance Ministry and Motherhood”, which is the format most of my articles take. Instead, God has led me down the path that requires more trust in Him. Every day, multiple times a day, I am relying on Him to guide me in how I should be spending my time and what I should be focusing my efforts on.
Ministry needs and my children’s needs can change quickly and often, but God knows the best choice for me to focus my time on at any given moment during my day. I’m not always the best at making all the right choices every day, but I’m growing and striving to listen more and be more aware of His direction.
Even though I can fool myself into thinking that checklists and schedules bring me the most peace, I’m thankful that staying close to Him and seeking His direction every day, while often harder, really does bring the most peace and balance to my life.
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” Isaiah 26:3
Cortni Marrazzo currently resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband Jason and their two sons. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for ministry and encouraging the body of Christ. She and her husband currently serve as small group directors at their local church. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Facebook.
Publication date: March 3, 2016