Mamas Makin’ It Work – #22

a ministry mama…


When I was 18 years old, I realized that I wanted to be a pastor.  When I was 23, a year and a half into the three year Seminary program, I discovered two pink lines on a stick.  My husband and I decided that if God was calling me to both ministry and motherhood, then God certainly would help me make it work

Little Miss Evelyn arrived two weeks before the Fall Semester of my final year.  My school has no maternity policy (something they’ve received a series of letters from me about…) so I was sitting in on evening classes after only two weeks.  After three weeks, I returned to my 10-hour a week church internship as well. 

My now eight month old has been the most amazing “colleague” in ministry.  To fill in my internship hours, we do visits to homebound church members (I always call their nurses first to make sure it’s a healthy environment!).  She smiles and coos into their thick, shiny glasses, and they get the biggest kick out of it.  

Evelyn is very intrigued by art and colorful pictures and she is very calm, quiet, and sweet.  Recently, we have had the most amazing breakthrough with a woman named Sybil who was an artist before having a stroke 20 years ago.  She has now been in hospice care for about a month.  She has several very beautiful and intricate lap quilts and always wears a different one.  When we visit her, I hold Evelyn on my lap and sit knee-to-knee with this woman in her wheelchair.  She doesn’t talk much.  She is very sad and lonely.  Recently, Evelyn began to trace the patterns on Sybil’s lap quilt with her unskilled, grabby fingers.  Knowing that Sybil had been an artist, I said to her, “You and Evelyn are both artists.  You see things in ways that other people don’t see.  It’s just a little frustrating sometimes because you can’t control your bodies very well.”  For the first time in all of our visits, I saw Sybil smile.  She reached out her shaky arm and touched Evelyn’s hair and said, “Yeah. That’s right.”  It was as if Sybil finally found someone who understood her in this frustrating time in her life.  

You see, my response to the question, “How do you make it work?” is that I think my little one is really doing the important work.  She is helping me follow my calling to be a pastor by helping people through their troubles in ways that I can’t by myself.  I know that God is working through her.  

As for cooking, cleaning, getting homework done, and staying healthy, I’m still trying to figure all that stuff out.

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2 thoughts on “Mamas Makin’ It Work – #22”

  1. Gosh Joanna, I read that with tears in my eyes.. what a lovely comparison about your daughter and Sybil, and what lovely work you are doing taking your time to treat the elderly with some respect, patience and joy when they are moving into a more isolating strange world everyday. Congrats on a lovely family and good luck with the Ministry.

    Thanks for sharing the story Rachael. Love the blog! Xx

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