It's weeks like this one that I find the most challenging in ministry. I am in full time ministry with two congregations in separate towns. I am also a mum of two children who are eight and ten years old. Usually the balance works quite well. This week, however, one of my kids has been very sick. It started Sunday morning and has continued all week. He has been home from school, which has been a challenge in a very busy work week for both my husband and I.
I guess some people would use my current situation as another bit of ammunition in the argument that women should not be in ministry. This is a topic that is very current with recent decisions that have been made in England. How can a woman possibly be in ministry, let alone a mother?
So, this week I have juggled between preparing an Advent Series and administering panadol; between planning a memorial service and cleaning up vomit; between meetings with my supervisor and visits to the doctor. It's not easy. I'm not going to pretend it is. But there is something about sitting with my own son while he is in pain that makes me more able to sit with others who are hurting. There is something about dealing with our own family's mess that allows me to sit in other people's mess. Being a mum is not a hindrance to my ministry, but enhances it.
Yes, weeks like this one are an enormous challenge, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I am human. I am part of a family. I have needs. I have responsibilities. All this makes me more genuine and more real not only in my family life, but in my ministry as well.