My Mom, My Greatest Teacher

Happy Mother’s Day!  As I have gotten older and become a mom myself, I have grown to appreciate my own mom more and more. What’s not to love about her?  She is deeply rooted in her faith, loved and respected by her family, loyal to her friends, dedicated in her volunteer service and ministry, just to name a few.  I am so honored to be her namesake (although she is Kathy with a “y” and not “ie” like me!)

I have had wonderful teachers over the years but I know that hands-down, she was the greatest teacher I’ve ever had.  She would disagree, but I think she missed her vocational calling!  She should’ve been a teacher.  But aren’t all moms teachers?  I think when we’re in the trenches, dealing with day-to-day survival, we moms can forget that we are teaching our children – teaching them how to walk with the Lord, how to resolve conflict, how to be in relationships with others, how to do laundry, how to get the best deal, how to enjoy life.

When I think back to the many lessons that my Mom taught me, here are a few that instantly come to mind:

  • Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate.  Growing up, we celebrated everything – good grades, awards, milestones, holidays, you name it.  To this day, my Mom still takes the time to celebrate the big and the small.  This is a tradition that my children have grown up with as well.  Get used to it, kiddos – we’re celebrating everything!
  • Make family a priority.  No one or no thing, absolutely no one and no thing, came before family.  Family is everything.  One area where this was particularly evident was in my sibling relationships.  Sibling fights were not allowed in our house.  Yes, we had disagreements, but at the end of the day, reconciling with one another was non-negotiable.  Which leads me to my next lesson learned…
  • Our home is a safe place.  The world is full of negativity and strife.  Put-downs, teasing and other hurtful actions were not allowed in our home.

As an adult, I’m still learning from my mom.

  • Take time for you.  Take time to pamper yourself with a trip to the salon or to get a manicure.  Buy a new shade of lipstick.  Treat yourself to that new blouse.  Don’t neglect yourself while you parent.
  • Nurture your marriage.  Date your husband.  Get away for a long weekend.  Show him respect and teach your children to do the same.
  • Pick your battles.  Save your energy for what really matters.

I asked my friends through social media the following question:  What’s the best advice your mother (or mother figure) has ever given you?  Here are some of their responses:

“Be stronger than you look.”

“Let go and let God.”

“Trust God, be faithful to my husband, be dedicated to my children and be committed to my family and friends.”

“Sometimes you win the battle but lose the war…and some battles are just not worth fighting (win or lose).”

“When I became a mom, I asked my mom what the driving force behind her mothering style was and she said, ‘I made up my mind to love my kids for who they were, not who I wanted them to be.'”

“Always be sure to thank your people (at the church I pastor).”

“It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed!”

“It doesn’t hurt to say ‘Hello’ to someone.”

“Pursue your calling now.  What’s growing up got to do with anything?”

“Look people in the eye.”

“Always wear a little lipstick.”

“Give people grace; only God knows what’s going on in their hearts.”

“Don’t base your life on ‘what if?'”

“Remember who you are.  You are a child of the King.  You were bought with a price.  Because Jesus lives in you, then within you is hope, and peace, and all that is good.”

Now it’s your turn…What’s the best advice your mother (or mother figure) has ever given you?  Share her wisdom below!


Mother’s Day Prayer for Moms in Every Season of Motherhood

Last Mother’s Day, I heard the most beautiful prayer for moms during our Mother’s Day worship service.  What made this prayer unique is that it covered moms in every season of motherhood as well as those who longed to be mothers.

The prayer was written and shared by Debbie Schmidt, our Pastor’s wife.  She has granted me permission to share it with all of my readers.  I have also placed a pdf copy under the “Free Resources”——> “Parents” ——> “Downloads” tab.  You can find it here.

I pray that it will be a blessing to you and the moms in your sphere of influence.  Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Prayer

Our good and loving God, we thank you today for mothers, for grandmothers, for great-grandmothers, for aunts and neighbors and every wise and kind woman you have put in our lives. We are grateful for the many ways they have nurtured us.

We pray today for the mothers in our midst and ask for your blessing on them.

We pray for expectant mothers and thank you for the joy and excitement of new life. We ask for your protection over these mothers and their babies.

We pray for mothers of infants, that you would give them endurance for the daily tasks of feeding, diapering and caring for their children. We pray that in the midst of these challenges you would give them times of joy and delight in the little ones you have brought into their lives.

We pray for mothers of young children, that they would have patience for the endless questions that come as young minds try to make sense of their world. Refresh them by your Spirit and help them model to their children the love they receive from you.

We pray for mothers of teenagers, that they would have the discernment to know when to speak and when to listen. Give them confidence that you are at work in their children and that you hold their children’s futures in your hands.

We pray for mothers of rebellious or wayward children, that as they pour out their grief to you, they would find hope and encouragement. Remind them of your love for their children, a love that exceeds even their own.

We pray for mothers who face special challenges, parenting their children alone or mothering children with disabilities or illnesses.  Give them an extra measure of grace. Surround them with a community that can support and love their children and them.

We pray for mothers who have lost children. Comfort them in their sorrow and use them in your kingdom to comfort others who grieve.

We pray for those who long to be mothers. Give them grace to receive the blessings of each day with joy and satisfy the desires of their hearts with good things.

We pray for our own mothers and ask your blessing upon them. Thank you for all the ways they have nurtured and loved us. Give us the words to express our gratitude to them.

Where our mothers have wounded or disappointed us, give us grace to forgive.

For every mother here who carries regret or guilt, we pray that you would meet her in that place of failure with forgiveness for the past and grace to move forward in your love.

Thank you, Lord, for the love of mothers. Their love feeds our souls and gives us a small glimpse of the overwhelming love you have for each of us.

In the name of your son, Jesus, Amen. 

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Ministry and Motherhood

From the Archives: Ministry and Motherhood

Note from Kathie:  As Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d pull a post from my archive to share with you (again).  If you are a KidMin ministry mom, please consider joining my Ministry Moms group on CMConnect.  You can find the group here.

Balancing ministry and motherhood is something that I’ve tried to manage for the seven years that I’ve been on-staff in Children’s Ministry.  It hasn’t always been easy.  Sometimes I feel like I pour too much of myself into my work while neglecting time with my children and vice versa.  Instead of thinking of it as either-or, I have tried to intertwine the two.  Here’s how:

I involve my children in my ministry.  This won’t work for every family (my children are teenagers) but my children actually enjoy being a part of my ministry.  In fact, they call it “our ministry”.  They are able to offer great insight into music choices, games, events and resources.  My little test group, if you will.  Not only does this help me stay relevant and “cool” with the kids at church, but it helps my children feel like valued members of our ministry (which they are).

As a result, I’ve seen them use their gifts and talents.  My son has seen me lead Sunday School and is now a teen small group leader for 6th grader boys at our church.  He not only prepares his lessons ahead of time but he finds ways to shepherd the boys as well as provide an atmosphere of community within the group.  He has also taught me a thing or two about technology (namely how to design a PowerPoint presentation).  My daughter is extremely artistic.  She has helped design brochures as well as sets and bulletin boards.  She has also researched craft projects and has written skits for the children.

I ask their permission before signing them up for events, etc..  I value my children and their need for personal boundaries by not signing them up to help me at events.  I don’t automatically assume that they will be present or fill open slots.  Because of this, they look forward to going to church and volunteer to serve in various ways.

I value their opinion.  When I was presented with a new ministry opportunity last year, I talked it over with my children (and my husband).  Because the opportunity would involve changing churches, their opinion was vital to my decision.  Talking it over with them and getting their insight strengthened our family and helped them to love, not resent, moving to our current church.

I am aware of negative talk about the ministry.  Volunteers don’t show up.  Someone may disagree with a decision I’ve made.  Someone may complain about this or that.  But my children don’t need to hear that.  It’s not their burden to carry.

As often as I can, I take them along with me when I travel for work.  My children are unsung heroes of my ministry, so taking them along with me is a reward for them.  Those trips have been some of the best times we’ve had as a family.

I value them by leaving work at work.  I love Children’s Ministry.  I love to read about it and talk about it.  But I also love my family time and try to protect that at all costs.  Saturdays and Sunday afternoons are reserved for family–movies, good conversation, a delicious meal, a road trip.  Just good, quality time to connect.

Although I love Children’s Ministry, motherhood is my most important ministry.  But having my children integrated into my ministry is the best of both worlds!  I could not imagine ministry life without them! 🙂

If you are a mom in ministry, how do you make it all work?  Share your thoughts below!

Easter Reflections

This week, I am in total “chill” mode. Since our children are home on Spring Break, my husband and I took time off this week to have some good quality time as a family. This time together is precious and priceless to me because, if you work in ministry, you know that preparing for Easter keeps you very busy. Now that things have settled down somewhat, I’ve been reflecting on the flurry of activity I’ve experienced over the past 10 days.

Here’s a peek into what my world has looked like recently:

For the past several months, we have been busy preparing for our church’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. This year, I provided oversight for the Registration Team. As a team of nine, we welcomed over 120 families and over 200 children to this highly anticipated event. This year’s event included four activity areas: games, 4 “Journey to Easter” stations, refreshments and the actual Easter Egg Hunt. It was a lot of work but seeing so many faces, especially new ones from the neighborhood, made it all worthwhile.

Good Friday was the next highlight for me. My entire family and I (16 of us) attended my parent’s church because my mom was participating in the service. The scripture passage for the evening was Isaiah 53:1-5. Five different members of the church leadership (including my mom) took one of the verses and shared their gained and personal insights into their assigned verse. My mom did a fabulous job – she made us proud! The evening was also special because I served my 5-yr old niece her First Communion. I will never forget sharing that special moment with her.

By the time Easter Sunday rolled around, I was in overdrive mode. I had tidied classrooms, recruited additional volunteers to serve, hung banners, and set up various activity stations for our elementary and preteen students. After church, we hosted a family dinner for 20+ family members at our home.

While the season was busy, we are now thankful to take some time for much-needed rest at one of our favorite vacation spots. School and work resumes next week, but for now, we rest.

Are you taking some time for rest this week? What restores your soul?