Today as I am rushing to attend church events and preparing family lunch for Sunday afternoon, peeling boiled eggs, and thinking about how much I’d rather be napping, I thought about the sacrifices moms make in order to keep it all together. Sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do to make life work for her family.
Eggs and chickens always make me think of one of my longtime friends. My friend Krissy, mom of four teenagers and young adults, is raising chickens. Not like two or three cute little organic free-range chickens running around in her yard. Krissy is raising thousands of chickens. It’s not that she has a huge love for the smelly pieces of fluff. She’s raising chickens to pay for her children’s college. It’s not a pleasant job, but knowing that her children will receive the education they need to follow God’s plan makes it worth it.
Krissy isn’t just a chicken-raising mom. She leads a community wide Bible study and the discipleship programs at her church, leads mission trips, and speaks at women’s events. She’s a wife and does more than I can list. She juggles this all beautifully with a smile and a laugh. She even takes on extra ways to serve, like praying for me as she’s working with her chickens.
Krissy makes it work. I admire that. Krissy’s life and the lives of so many moms today remind me of Lydia (Acts 16). Lydia was a busy merchant of purple fabric, doing what she had to do to support her family. Lydia heard about Jesus by overhearing Paul speak as she worked. It changed her life and the lives of her family.
Sometimes as women’s ministers we get frustrated because moms seem disconnected from women’s ministry. They commit, but don’t follow through, steer clear of events, and do not participate in Bible studies. But how many of them are walking through chicken houses? Doing what they need to do to make it as a family in today’s world?
Instead of rushing to the conclusion that some moms just aren’t spiritually mature, maybe we need to get know these moms and find out how we can encourage them as they live out their lives. Or maybe we need to simplify how we are doing ministry in order to better meet the needs of busy moms. Maybe we need to develop an online Bible study or share links to studies that are already out there. Or maybe we need to listen to moms to see what they really need. I’m teaching a 5 to 7 minute Bible study as a blog post. Moms can access it any time, leave comments, or go deeper with further study.
Picture modern day Lydias with their ear buds in listening to Bible studies. Simplifying women’s ministry to meet the needs of women who are busy doing what they have to do for their families may make things look a lot different than the past. But does that matter? I don’t think so. I’d rather see moms going about their busy lives and being ministered to as they go. Let’s take a look at our expectations and make adjustments for the modern day Lydias!
13On the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate by the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women gathered there. 14A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul. 15After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. —Acts 16:13-15
Dr. Deb Douglas is the minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, La., and a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier, launched her first women’s Bible study at the age of 20. Her passion is encouraging and equipping women to serve. She is also a freelance writer and contributed to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised & Expanded. Deb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts of Christian Education/Women’s Ministry and a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree. She is the wife of Paul, mom of Jared and Katie, mother-in-law to Emily and Jacob, and grandmother to Caroline.