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Balancing My Calling with My Calling

I found my first big calling in college. As a student involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, I grew tremendously in my walk with God, and quickly began serving alongside the staff at Auburn University, to help disciple women and bring the gospel to the lost on campus.

I loved it.

After my time at Auburn, I moved to Jacksonville, and quickly got involved in the Crusade ministry there. I was handed the women’s ministry and dove head first into leading Bible studies, one-on-one discipleship, and outreach opportunities on campus.

I loved it.

Then I came on staff full-time to continue this ministry. I poured my life into my disciples. I shared my faith regularly. I got to continually impart the truths of scripture.

I loved it.

Through my ten years of ministry with Cru, I found my calling and what God has built me for.

I am called to passionately teach the Word of God. I am to train and equip the saints to walk with God for a lifetime. 

And then I became a mother and I was given a new calling. A calling to be their mom.

Motherhood is a high calling. It is a privilege. God has entrusted me with the lives of these precious souls, and it is not a role I take lightly.

Although, in recent months, I have been wrestling with a question I just can’t shake:

Is the calling of motherhood the only one I can have, and still be a good mom? 

…and…

Can pursuing both callings actually make me a better mother?

I love my kids, and I am so incredibly grateful to the Lord for them. They are truly gifts. Yet, I feel as if I lost a part of myself when I became a mom.

(Photo taken by my sweet 3-year-old!)

Recently I have taken steps toward fulfilling that first calling I heard from the Lord, I am slowly seeing a part of me come to life again.

This isn’t the post where I tie it all up in a nice bow, this is just where I am at and what I am wrestling with.

I wonder if you might be struggling with your calling as well? How do you balance this great calling to motherhood with the calling toward ministry which takes time and energy away from your family? 

Linking up with Write it, Girl!

28 replies
  1. Christina
    Christina says:

    Boy I struggle with this too, Katie! All the time. I have always felt I have another calling on me besides being a stay at home mom. I know not to rush these precious years with my kiddos! but also don’t know where the other calling (s) work. It’s something I worry about sometimes…like I’ve missed a calling or two. Ha! but know that God will still bring opportunities my way when the time is right. So glad to hear there is someone else out there who struggles with the same thing I do!

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Absolutely-His timing is best, and I certainly know that spending time with my children would never be a waste. Praying He helps us find balance as we seek Hs will for our lives!

      Reply
  2. Heather
    Heather says:

    Oh Katie yes! This has always been a balancing act for me. It wasn’t until I read “Mission of Motherhood” that I grasped the depth of the spiritual calling of motherhood. I love to minister to women and to share Christ…Yet I have been given 3 souls that I can influence more deeply than any other soul on the planet and I was sacrificing that opportunity for other ministries.
    But then I struggled with modeling for my boys the importance of serving others. Finally I have tried my hardest to find ministries that can involve our whole family (international student ministries) or ones that I can do while the boys are at school. I feel alive in doing what God made me to do and still fulfill my first calling as a mother.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      I think that is one key to finding the Lord’s will in all this- what brings life to us, and our family. If fulfilling certain roles outside of the home brings me energy and greater motivation for my first calling at home, then we have found it to be a good thing, for us.

      Reply
  3. Kristi
    Kristi says:

    First- I love your kids!! Adorable!!
    I understand and feel the same as you in many ways!!! Thank you for your honesty!

    You are such a blessing to me!!

    Reply
  4. Johanna Fenton
    Johanna Fenton says:

    Hi Katie, a crazy, passionate, intellectual side of me comes out when doing my work with The Seed Company and Oneverse. That ofetn translates into renewed energy for my kids. Ive had to think a lot about questioning cultural norms of what a good mom is. Im still on that journey. Anyway Im glad you are also a passionate soul for the Bible and for discipleship.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thanks, Johanna! Renewed energy for my kids, yes! That is when I know I am in a good place with this balance. That I have more energy, instead of less. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  5. Laura
    Laura says:

    I love your heart and honesty!!! I also have been doing full time ministry with college students for 10 years (3 with cru) so I totally understand the battle. And I Really appreciate you talking about kids not being the only calling. You don’t hear that much as a mom, but the other side it seems is talked about all the time. I have found it changes every semester, which somedays I wish so much was not the case. A normal year long schedule would be nice. ;). I love my kids but God didn’t exclude moms from the mission.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thank you, Laura. I have also heard quite a bit about our calling as mothers, and I need that constant reminder. With out it I drift. But, I have also been finding myself feeling guilty for spending time away from my kids. Feeling as if I will be dubbed as a ladder-climber, and putting my needs ahead of my kids. But, after six years of being at home, I found myself struggling with depression and not fulfilling my role as a mom well, even though I was home all the time. Now that I am spending time and energy away from the home, I am a better mom and actually get much more done at home.

      Miss my Crusade days! Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  6. Lisa notes
    Lisa notes says:

    I believe we can have multiple callings at the same time. I feel the pull myself, even from multiple callings within the home. The Lord knows we all need his grace to guide our steps. I know you’ll continue to seek his will and walk in his ways, Katie. You’re one of his own.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thank you, Lisa. Wish we lived in the same town, so I could hash all this out with you! I know I could use your wisdom and encouragement most days!

      Reply
  7. Christie
    Christie says:

    So, yep..that thing about us being “twins”? I’m starting to believe it!! 😉 This post echoes my heart and my head. Thanks for sharing, and see ya in the AM!

    Reply
  8. Stacey
    Stacey says:

    Your story is my story. They are our “discovery group”. I draw strength from knowing that Jesus had the same experience with the 12. They were like little children.

    But I do think, finding time to live out your calling where you are and in other areas is life giving. And yes, can make you a better mom. I think the key is knowing when to step out, and step back.

    Reply
  9. Christa
    Christa says:

    I am there also…the constant struggle and finding the balance our family needs. I don’t blog, but am a photographer..began years before I became a mother. Now I have six little ones (from an 8 year old down to two year old twins), am homeschooling, and photographing. It’s a tricky dance.

    Reply
  10. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I completely understand the double calling challenge. I think it is a process of God making a beautiful tapestry. Sometimes, one thread is used, than another, toss in an accent color, and than back to that first thread.

    All of it reflects who we are in Christ, woven as pieces of His grace and perfection, but being used in different ways at different times. We can fulfill our calling as a mom and as a writer, but it requires patience to wait on God to show us when and where of both — weaving it in between days and months, minutes and moments, back and forth as He pleases. When we yield, it is a beautiful thing!

    Reply
  11. Shelly Miller
    Shelly Miller says:

    Love the photo of your daughter wearing the wispy bangs and love the blue marker on your thumb in the photo with your youngest! I think you can nurture the passions that you have had to put on the back burner to raise children. I became the director of women’s ministries for a congregation of 5,000 and ran a mom’s group when my kids were babies. I learned to utilize the gifts of others to make the details happen. You can do it Katie!

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Thankful for His Spirit, who is faithful to lead me. Praying I can be obedient when I hear his voice say yes or no along the way!

      Thank you for the encouragement!

      Reply
  12. Denise J. Hughes
    Denise J. Hughes says:

    I think a lot of moms can relate to your feelings here. I know I do! I am called to teach. This I know. But I am also called to be a wife and mom. Oh, that there were more hours in the day!

    On a side note, have you read “Courage and Calling” by Gordon Smith? I loved it.

    Thanks for sharing your heart here – especially when there isn’t a tidy bow at the end. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Jeri Taira
    Jeri Taira says:

    Ooh, good question. I’m remembering back when our sons were just boys and we were in ministry. Supporting each other in prayer and cheerleading, and also in giving time for each to attend to the ministry details. Family and time together came first. When it showed any sign of taking over, we took a look to see if we could slow it down or have to step out for awhile.

    Now they’re adults, but love hanging out here. And it’s the same pattern. Gotta have time to unwrap those little joys and discover the small wonders in my family. That’s what feeds my soul for my calling.

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Another great key, evaluating things alone the way. What works today may not work next year. Tank you for your perspective!

      Reply
  14. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    Katie, I literally googled “wrestling with motherhood on staff with cru” and found your post. Talk about the Lord! Thank you so much for your perspective. My husband and I have been on staff with Cru at the University of Michigan for three years, I am 25 and wrestling with “when will I know it’s time to be a mom?” I LOVE the ministry I have been called to. I love sharing the gospel and I love disciplining women! But 3 years ago before we got married God really put a longing in my heart to have children. But because the “tug” you mentioned in both directions, we have focused on the field for now. I read post after post by christian women leaving the work force to find purpose and meaning in motherhood– and it just does not encourage me the way I think they intend it to. I am so torn btw two loves! To be honest, I loved finally finding your post, but I would really love more perspective on this topic, if you’re willing. I’m late for leadership bible study 😉

    Reply
    • Katie
      Katie says:

      Ashley-love your comment. Thanks for reading. I hope to reply to you specifically soon! I have much to say about the topic. Praying He leads me specifically. In other words, stay tuned!

      Reply
  15. Tiffany
    Tiffany says:

    Yes, yes, yes! You can work to share God’s love with others and still be a good mom, and even more so, a better mom for growing your testimony and showing your children how to serve others! In our church we have a lay ministry so we receive callings. I serve the young women ages 12-18 and have been blessed over and over for my service. I can promise you I am a much better mother because of it! It is a tough balance, never easy, but it does bless our family. The Lord will bless you too!

    Reply

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