No one can really prepare you for the life changing moment that happens when you become a parent for the first time.  I can remember holding Eva just moments after she was born.  I felt overwhelmed with love while at the same time, I felt utterly helpless in how I could possibly provide for her all that she would need to grow and to thrive.

No one in my immediate family could have fully prepared me, or coached me about being a pastor and raising kids in the church.  I had heard from adult PK's about the trials of living under the microscope of the congregation, but really had no idea what I was getting them into.

What has taken me sometime to figure out is how to juggle the expectations of being a mom and also being a pastor.  I am not sure my male colleagues have the same struggles, but we women put a lot into our expectations for what a mom, a working mom, can accomplish outside of work, and then you have a congregation that needs to meet in the evenings and early in the morning and at times when you are out to dinner to celebrate with your family (in emergency situations).

I suppose all working moms do the careful dance of learning how to balance/juggle/maintain career and motherhood.

Each time I have had a new ministry position on the horizon, my first worry is about how I will be able to meet the needs of my congregation and my children, from the reality of not being able to be in two places at once.  Will I be able to afford childcare for evening meetings if my husband is out of town?  Who will I get to watch my children?  Will the church offer childcare?  What will I do if there is an emergency on a Saturday and my husband is working or out of town?

So here is the place where I brag about my current congregation, they are so amazing in embracing my family and our needs so that I can minister to them.  When Dan was out of town, one family has on two occasions watched my son, first so I could officiate at a funeral and then to stay home with him on a Sunday he was running a fever.  When my kids have a performance at school and a meeting is scheduled they are okay with me going to the performance.  My husband, congregation and I have gotten into a nice rhythm that is a smooth symphony.  In regard to my congregation I believe it because they would do the same for anyone, not just the pastor's family.  They truly live up to the call to be a caregiver for any child, be it with a crying kid while mom is singing in the praise band, or to sit with a child when dad is reading scripture.

A lot of the solutions to making sure that my kids are being taken cared of where solutions I had not imagined before moving to El Paso.  What used to be a worry is no longer.  And I hold this as an example for how we as a church can move forward into the uncertain future, we may not have all or any of the answers right now but we walk forward nonetheless.


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