Serving in Family Ministry while still being in the throes of raising our own family can be challenging. How much detail do we share about our own lives? How can we coach others when we have very real (and common) struggles in our home? How do any of us live up to the happy and perfect lives we tend to share with others on social media?
It's hard. Every day. But God is always faithful in the midst of our struggle. He promises to walk through it all with us.
To illustrate this point, I stole the following from Jenifer's Facebook this morning. She shares her heart and then shares a powerfully moving podcast from Sally Clarkson. You should totally check it out
I don't know what I would have done without Sally Clarkson in my life.
If you are a mama buy and READ every one of her books. She blazed the trail in the "keeping it real" department.
That's the number one comment Barrett and I get over and over again: "You are so real!" I will never be a slick, got it all together, perfect communicator/speaker. But I can be REAL. I can be TRUE to my God who has never left me.
Here was scripture in my devotion time today:
Here is a trustworthy saying: "If we died with him, We will also live with him. If we endure, We will also reign with him. If we disown him, He will also disown us; If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, For he cannot disown himself."
-2 Timothy 2 11-13 (NIV)
Thank you Jesus for using very clumsy but real me.
Because I grow weary. The little girl I'm raising wears me out. She's not my genetic code. She is "fearfully and wonderfully made" and is going to be a strong woman of God. (I imagine she will be a wife and a mother of many. She is such a nurturing soul.) But parenting her is the hardest thing I've EVER done. I get questioned about my parenting of her even though I managed to raise 4 almost all grown, healthy, educated, God-fearing adults.
Adoption is different. There are many issues I've never dealt with before. Yesterday instead of being upset with her and trying to guide her the right way, I just wept and wept and wept. I couldn't find the words to tell her that she was making bad decisions. I'm so weary.
PLEASE LISTEN to this podcast by Sally Clarkson. I cried this morning thinking of how awesome it would have been to hear Sally's voice on podcasts back when I was raising my first four kids. Instead I "listened to her voice" as I daily read a devotion book she wrote for homeschool moms many years ago.
Listen if you are lonely. (She explains perfectly how it feels to be lonely in leadership.)
Listen if your kid says "mom you always taught us we would be aliens, I just never thought we would feel that way in our church." (But please don't ask my kids which has one said this. It was when they were younger.)
Listen if you feel like nobody gets you.
Listen if you struggle with one or more of your kids.
Listen to be edified and lifted up by my FAVORITE "Titus 2 woman."
Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded byBarrett and Jenifer Johnson. After serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for eight years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.
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