Passion, Perspective, and Parenthood

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 21: What has your perspective changed on this year?

Becoming a mom has changed my perspective on a lot of things this year. I always knew that moms had a hard job, but this year I felt that in a very real way! Suddenly I could identify with so many things that I had never understood before—like how hard it is to get to church on a Sunday morning when your baby’s sleep patterns don’t match the church’s service schedule!

One significant perspective shift I’ve experienced this year has to do with what work and ministry might look like for me going forward. I have always been a hard worker, which is very closely linked with the fact that I’m a perfectionist who loves completing tasks! I’m also someone with a very obsessive personality, which tends to take my work ethic, boost it up a notch, and turn me into a full-on workaholic. Sure, work can be exhausting, draining, and tiresome… but man… I just love it.

Beyond that, it just so happens that I absolutely love my job and passionately believe in what I do. It’s so much more than just work for me. It’s a calling. For those of you who are new here, I became the Director of Children and Family Ministries at First Baptist Church in Lloydminster, Canada back in 2011, and have been going hard at it ever since. My understanding of my role and the way I execute it has changed over the years, but one thing that has always been constant is my desire to approach this work with a high standard of excellence, devotion, faith, and accountability.

When Ryan and I started to entertain the idea of becoming parents, what to do about my work at the church became a massive conundrum for me. I couldn’t even begin to wrap my mind around the idea of just walking away from the years I had invested into such a labor of love. I prayed about it over and over, but never really felt like God gave me a clear picture of what to do. Then suddenly, I got pregnant and everything became super real. The clock started ticking, and I only had 9 months to figure this thing out. I didn’t even know if I thought I had it in me to take a maternity leave, let alone if I wanted to.

But ultimately, that is what chose to do… and I’m so glad I did. If you’ve been following my December blog challenge, you already know how wonderful my year has been, how much I have grown, and how hopelessly in love I am with my sweet baby girl. But one thing I haven’t talked much about is going back to work.

I always thought I would be so ready to get back into my regular groove after a full year at home. As I have prayed about it in recent years, at no point have I gotten the sense that it is time for me to completely step away from leadership at FBC. God has called me to this ministry, and He has always equipped me to do it, despite the many challenges that have come up. And so, while I was open to other possibilities, I think a large part of me always just assumed that I would be going back to work in a full-time capacity.

But this year, God has graciously granted me another calling. He has called me to be a mother. And I’ve learned that it’s not about one calling over the other—they are not mutually exclusive. So much of my perspective has changed this year as I have explored the idea that God just might be asking me to do both, and to approach each one with a great deal of vigilance, dedication, and intentionality.

As I have continued to participate in the ministry of FBC KIDS this year by advising the leadership team from the sidelines, I have watched God make it possible for me to lead in a new capacity. I have seen what I can reasonably accomplish with helpful support from others and some savvy time management, without sacrificing the sacred mission and responsibilities of parenthood. And I have discovered that I can still live out my calling, even if some of the details look a bit different than before.

So, I have asked to return to my role at FBC KIDS in a part-time capacity. This will mean hiring another part-timer to offset my hours and defining a new set of boundaries to protect myself and my family from burning out. But what’s cool to me is that what I previously saw as an all-or-nothing situation, I now see as an opportunity to explore my calling in a new and equally meaningful way. My perspective has shifted in that, now, I have come to embrace the possibilities of what could be, rather than being limited by the rigid parameters of what was.

The reality is that my life will never be the same again. The new phase of life I have entered this year will require some adjustments in pretty much every facet of my existence. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, I can look at it as a new adventure—one which I can welcome with open arms and a willing heart.

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