Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesdays with Women in Kidmin

Wednesdays with Women in Kidmin is about bringing together some of the leading 
women in children's ministry to share their knowledge and passion. 
For us to gather and learn from each sharpen each other.
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17

- Brook Hickle
I love God’s sense of humor. So much that it often makes me actually laugh out loud. One example: Just a few short weeks after being asked to share about balancing family and ministry, I raced off to Group’s 2012 KidMin conference in my typical travel frenzy…leaving my purse behind. My husband’s reply to my Facebook post regarding the mishap was pretty telling: “And you still try and convince me you’re not too busy.” Hmm…maybe it was time to evaluate my own balance between wife & mom and ministry worker (But on the bright side of my absent-mindedness, I learned that the contents of my purse aren’t actually necessities, and I can survive happily without them.)

So how does a woman balance family and ministry? The word “carefully” is an understatement. I’ve tried “recklessly” …it doesn’t work so well…and yet I still struggle to keep myself out of the reckless pit all too often. Then, top that off with feeling guilty over the ongoing struggle to get it right. Great stuff…

If you search resources for balancing family and ministry, you’ll see *5 WAYS* and *10 TIPS* and *SECRET FORMULAS*. I don’t think so. Here’s the truth: all those methods are written by people who are, themselves, struggling with the balance.

We are single, married, divorced, and widowed. We are mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, and more. Balancing family and ministry looks different for each of us, but whatever it looks like, and as unique as our own situation may be, I believe the answer lies in these three words:


Finding our middle ground is not a one-time solution. Every day we need to come to God. Come to Him before we wake our children. Before we answer e-mails. Before we make phone calls. Before our staff meeting. Before we have to ask forgiveness for losing our patience with a certain 6 year old for the tenth time today.

“Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him.”
―J. Hudson Taylor, Missionary to China

Just the thought of that one squeaky violin makes me think of the days I race ahead without letting God lead the way. For me, I must remember that God sees the full picture of my motherhood and my ministry. And He can help me to see both in His divine daily balance. If I look to society or even the most well-intentioned advice from others to help maintain my balance, I’m doomed to feel inadequate at best, and fail miserably at the worst.

If I could offer my own personal bit of advice on keeping a balance between family and ministry, I would ask you to think about who you are. What do people respect, appreciate, and love about you? What do they see in you and want as their own? For me, that is joy. As long as my memory goes back, I have been full of joy, and even when serious on the outside, I am aware that my heart is filled with joy. So that’s who I am. Who are you? When I’m losing my balance, the joy begins to fade a bit. And on the tail of that comes the not so happy household and the not so effective ministry. 

Embrace both callings…your family and your ministry. God has put you right there on purpose. Listen to Him carefully, and walk His way. What a blessing to know that He sees our big picture. He sees the needs of our families, and see sees the needs of the world. And he will help us to meet both.

If I let God lead me, my whole life – and each day – is in the hands of the One who cares for me the most. So it becomes less about me struggling for an elusive balance, and more about me faithfully following him, moment by moment. And if I do that, then my family, my ministry, my friends, and everyone around me, will be incredibly blessed by the God who’s leading me. That sounds like a plan I can follow, whether or not I remember to bring my purse.

Brook loves to run, ski, hike, garden, and chase the sun when it’s out in her small hometown of Enumclaw, WA.  She and her husband, Keith, have the great privilege of raising 3 boys on their small beef cattle ranch.  Brook directs children’s ministries, VBS, and loves her involvement in women’s ministries, too.  This time of year, you’ll often find her hand wrapped around a Starbucks salted caramel mocha.  Brook blogs at  


  1. Thanks for the encouragement Brook. I really needed your wise words today!

    1. Thanks for reading, Melissa! That's all God's divine inspiration...nothing of me! :)

  2. I have made a conscious effort to spend time with God my priority every morning for the past 7 days.. What a difference! The awesome thing is, once I go about the rest of my day, I don't think to myself " ok, God time, check, time to move on".. But instead, I find myself wanting to go back to it throughout the day.. Instead of turning on the television after I do the dishes, I find myself turning to the Bible.. I find that i crave it.. It's a wonderful feeling!

    1. I love that! What a difference even one week can make! And I agree...the more time I spend with God, the more He becomes the forefront of everything in my life. Just the way it should be. :)

  3. Now following with Google Friend Connect and Twitter. Also shared you on Google+1. Hope to see you following back very soon! Found you on "Follow Me Wednesday!" Ephesians 2:8 is my favorite verse! Check out my site and while you are there click on my google ad to help a starving law student make money! Thanks


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