By Taylor Quintini
The topic of Ministering & Mommying is something that I am navigating through on a daily basis in this season of my life. As the wife of a pastor, one who feels a personal call to ministry and a mom of two children under two, I find myself in need of grace to juggle it all. More and more I am challenged to remove the word balance from my vocabulary – as my goal is not balance, but it is sanctification, which is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Here are three truths for us women who feel a call to minister – both in our home and outside of its walls.
1. Ministering & Mommying should never be mutually exclusive.
The concept of a coin toss is simple. Either it is heads or tails, but it can never be both at the same time. Women often feel they wear many hats – wife, mom, manager, caretaker, cook, minister, coach, designer…the list could be endless. We often feel as we run from one calendar appointment to the next that we must hurry and change “our hat” to fit the next appointment appropriately; removing that pristine wide-brim Sunday church hat and replacing it with the worn baseball hat when it is time for a child’s practice. The truth is that when it comes to ministry, there is no need to change hats. I can imagine the judging eyes and dropped jaws if I announced, “Heads it’s ministry today so I won’t be changing any diapers OR tails I’ll be in mom mode and while there will be clean butts there will be no praying today.” We are ALL called to be ministers of the gospel. Period. Likewise, once you become a mother you are a mother – no matter your mood, demands or circumstances. This is no coin toss. When you are home with your little ones – changing diapers, teaching them to pray, displaying what it looks like to be in Godly conflict, exuding patience…you ARE ministering. You may not have a microphone and you certainly won’t get a paycheck – but you are bringing the ministry of Jesus into your home, into their hearts & minds, literally shaping their character – I question if there is a higher calling than this because it is discipleship in its truest form. “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV).
2. When you give time to ministry outside of your family, you allow your children to see Jesus being the answer to the needs in the earth.
Last summer, I had the privilege of attending a conference for women in ministry. In one session, the speaker openly shared about her struggles with juggling ministry and the demands of raising four boys. During this time, she heard that a well-known minister was taking a speaking engagement, which caused her to miss her own daughter’s prom. The leader of my session began to share that when she heard this she told herself, “I will NEVER put ministry over my family. I will NEVER miss an important event for my child for the sake of ministry.” Clearly she thought that this minister had become so busy that she laid her own family on the altar of sacrifice. Conviction flowed like a river when the session leader learned that the daughter’s response to her mom missing her prom was, “Mom, what you are doing is of eternal value. My prom isn’t. You need to go.” Tears flowed from her face as the speaker proclaimed – isn’t this what we ALL want our children to look like? Isn’t this our goal? That their world-view and worth is tied up in the eternal and not duck-face selfies on Instagram?
I am not saying the answer to your family is always “no” so you can say “yes” to ministry opportunities, but I am saying that sometimes ministering to others outside of our families show our children what is of eternal value. I want to teach my children what it means to store up treasures in heaven by setting my priorities to be in line with the Kingdom of God both inside of my home and outside of its walls.
3. We are stewards of our time. Remove the stigmas and recognize that to everything there is a season.
Take a deep breath and realize our lives are seasonal – Ecclesiastes 3, along with creation teaches us this truth. You will not be in the season of birthing babies and nursing newborns forever. You will not be in the season of chauffeuring your kids to and from soccer and dance forever. Likewise, your children will not live at home forever (we hope!). We will find ourselves in seasons when we have to say “no” to ministering outside of the home – possibly with the demands of newborns, young children and even work responsibilities. There are other seasons where maybe our family structure and availability lends itself to ministering to those outside of our family. When thinking of these seasons realize that - Both are good. Both are valuable. Both are holy. Do not waste your current season away by longing for another. Do not compare yourself to other women in a different season than you. If you are in that quiet season of rocking babies to sleep, relish in it and see the strength and power you posses in nurturing a life. Commit yourself to be a prayer warrior. Be filled with God’s spirit as you go about your daily tasks. Busyness does not equal success. “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’” (Matthew 25:40, ESV). We are merely stewards over what the Lord gives us, and all that we do - we do unto Him (Colossians 3:17).
May God give you the grace to navigate through your current season – understanding that you can fully be God’s ambassador and be a grace-filled mom at the same time!
Meet Taylor Quintini
I am thrilled to introduce you to Taylor Quintini. Taylor and her husband, Jeremy, live just outside of Baton Rouge. Jeremy is the youth and young adults pastor at their local church. Taylor is busy ministering to the youth with Jeremy, she is the Director of the nursery at her church, part time she is an event planner (www.weddingstaylormade.com) and she does all of this while making sure her two littles are loved, fed, clothed, and clean (repeat). When I say little, I mean her two kids are 2 1/2 years old and almost 1 1/2 years old. I may need a nap just thinking about it all. Taylor is a natural leader, her heart is passionate for the Lord and she has a strong desire to share Him with others. I am not sure how the Lord managed to pack so much in such a petite person, but Taylor is brimming over with wisdom, she is strong, honest, and always aspiring to do more for the Lord. I am grateful that she takes time to jot her thoughts on paper and lets me share them with the world wide web. It is apparent that her post below comes from her own authentic wrestling with her role in these areas. Thank you, Taylor, for sharing with us. - Jamie