I’m a stay at home mum. Not surprising really when you factor in the needs of family life. We are a fairly high maintenance group! Between us there are anxieties of every variety: sensory processing differences meaning overload is never far away, sleep problems, eating difficulties, communication differences, hypermobility, and incredible focused and passionate areas of interest. It’s my job to support and enable courage and creativity and sit back and applaud.
I feel called to serve and share faith and life with my family in all its joys and challenges. I also feel called to serve and share life and faith with the wider family of the church. A call that began in my teens with a quiet conviction that I would marry a vicar. A call that also gradually drew me into ordained ministry in the church alongside my vicar husband.
All of these parts of my callings as wife, mother, and minister flow in and out of each other as I walk alongside others, teach, welcome, love, and guide. There is no 9-5 at all. Family life shapes my week. Other ministries dovetail into each day into little pockets of time and space, or coincide with family time and become an extension of it—ministry we share in together. And so each week, each day, is a little patchwork of my calling to serve and my calling to love.
I have been reflecting today on just how much of a juggling act it can all be. On a good day it can come together as something seamless and beautiful, but sometimes the different parts pull and tug at each other like patchwork squares that don’t quite fit together and the seams are tight and uncomfortable. And I wonder again if I am doing the right things. I need wisdom and discernment, the help of others, and time talking with God. I need courage to say no as well as saying yes to many things. For I am called, yes, but not called to collapse.
With a heart to serve, and a desire to make the most of every opportunity for Christ, being a stay-at-home-mum is a wonderful gift of time and flexibility. Yet it is also a challenge reminding me over and over again how vital it is that I find myself busy with God-work not simply good-work, that I am responding to God’s voice not the pressure or expectations of others.
It’s a challenge to hold these parts of my calling with care, not forgetting the wonder of each of them. And to see the beauty in each moment given to God, from the seemingly mundane through to the parts that seem somehow more exciting and important. In God’s eyes, every part of the patchwork of my calling is seen and valued. Every part a gift of an opportunity to point to his love and glory, and a moment through which he can go on growing me up into all I am meant to be.