Cemented, A Flawed Mom’s Journey to Balance.

On October 23, 2017 by Bethany

FYI I wrote this blog post 2 months ago and just never got around to posting it. And here we are 2 months later and I’m just smiling and laughing at how God works. So I thought I’d go ahead and post it, 2 months late.

Again, here’s another long one – you made need to grab a snack. 😉



A wise woman once said, “when you try to post an instagram for 8 days straight, but you can’t seem to say what you want to say, you might try writing a blog post” -Beyonce (probably)



That’s the word that I keep coming back to.

Over and over and over again.

When we are in Haiti, we often ask our team participants to think of one word to describe their experience.





The thought being that everyone has a story or a few moments throughout the week that stands out in their minds. And when you get home, people will ask you “How was your trip?” And that question can leave you grasping at straws, trying to remember English and figure out how to answer that question without just simply saying “fine! thanks!” or doing the complete opposite and going on and on for hours on end, not really making much sense. It gives you a story to tell and prepares you to share the meat of what God has taught you during your time serving.


Before this summer in Haiti, it may not seem like it, but I was really struggling and wrestling with God about His calling on our family and missions. There was so much pressure from every angle from people (who had the best intentions), that our family would always be a “missionary” family. That we would continue traveling back and forth and spending 4-6 months abroad each year. And I was starting to struggle under the weight of that expectation.

Especially because it sounds so wonderful, The Missionary Mom – I can hear it now, the title of my first book or my next blog – connecting with the heart of moms on mission, near and far.

But in my heart of hearts, that phrase was making me nauseous.

I love my children and I love Haiti. But I didn’t quite know how to do both of those things 100% in life. I didn’t understand how it could/would work. So I would tell myself that there was room for both, that neither of those things had to cancel out the other.

I think in the beginning, my mindset was pure and healthy. It was this thought process that I wouldn’t allow my life to center around my kids lives, but in fact, the opposite. I would guide them into having their priorities straight, into trusting God above all with our plans for life… that they would come alongside Eric and I in our ministry and that they would be folded into the fabric of our calling as a family. And that is very healthy, don’t get me wrong. But as time went on, my mindset became skewed. And my desire to continue balancing both became a pride-issue for me.

“I am strong enough for this. I don’t have time to slow down, I can do it all. I can be the example for other moms out there, everyone is watching. I can’t let them see me fail. They say this is amazing, this is inspiring… I have to keep inspiring people, right? This is what God wants, right?”

But then, I got pregnant a second time in Haiti and Zika sent me home to the USA. Nbd, I’ll just do missions within the USA. I was PUMPED for that. A little nervous, but excited. I loved the thought of putting feet to my words that “the mission field is everywhere” and showing people that God is up to things everywhere in the world – yes, even in Memphis – with ordinary people doing normal American, everyday life.

And then I had my hemorrhage and being high-risk kept me from missions in the USA

and travel for work

and travel in general…

And I was like – what is even happening right now? What am I even supposed to do with all this time in the USA, not on mission trips? It was suffocating. (fyi, that summer was incredible and God did so much in our lives)

I feared that my future was panning out before me and that God was closing doors for a reason. That maybe He was sending me signals that I needed to get out of the ministry, that my role was to have this next child and be a stay at home mom. And I couldn’t deal. How could I possibly quit this ministry when so many people were watching me? When they were counting on me to “forge the path” and “lead by example?”


And so without any clue how to proceed, I buried this piece of me deep within my heart and soul, where only the Lord could see. And I would ask Him to make his desires for my family clear, that He would help me with this balance of passions. Fearing loosing one for the other.

And this summer, He wrote things out in BIG BOLD letters for me to read.

You. Need. To. Stop.

Re-group and Re-evaluate.

Priorities and Identity. 

What are yours? 

And so I began listening for His voice to make clear what He was teaching. And I heard him tell me this:

There will never be balance, until you change.

Your identity is skewed. You’re allowing others to dictate who you are and you’re allowing the ministry to become a part of your identity. You can’t have healthy ministry without a healthy identity. 

I am your identity. I am your identity. I am your identity.

Your priorities are skewed. You’re allowing others to dictate your priorities and desires, placing this ministry above Me, Eric and your children.

I am your priority, he is your priority, your kids are your priority.

Are you listening?

If you trust Me, it will balance. I promise, it will balance.

And so I wrestled and I worked and I fought for clarity.

It wasn’t an easy journey. I spent many nights yelling at God and crying in His lap, or sitting in plain silence, begging for Him to right it all within me.

I had the head knowledge of what He wanted from me, but I couldn’t fit all the pieces together within my soul.

“What if I allow this ministry to “become less” in my life (read: have less of a hold on my identity) and then, my kids consume our life with their activities and hobbies and schedules as they grow up?”

“Will I become “that mom” who is resentful and bored and anxious and angry because she is pushing down all these pieces of herself just so everyone else can live happily?”

But the biggest questions loomed like a dark shadow:

“Am I sending a testimony of failure to my kids in the future? I know how important it is for them to see their parents following God’s will and expanding His kingdom… Will they see this as me being weak and not working hard enough to make it all work?”

“God, what if I adjust my priorities and then you call me to adjust them again, even more?”

And so we wrestled.

And after a summer of wrestling, I found peace.

And I came away from it all a new woman. A new woman with an internal peace. This profound incredible balance in my soul that was only and could only be orchestrated by God.

And I re-connected with the truth that “The Missionary Mom” is everyone. It is so many women (and men) everywhere, focusing on their personal mission field in their homes, raising their children everyday. And that, is the first (after God and marriage) mission field. And that includes me and our family.

I have this tendency to speak things over people that are grounded in truth and passion… but then when it comes to applying them to myself… well, I really, really stink at that.

I allow the expectations of others to constantly fuel my desire to be better and to do more. And ironically, I have spoken out against that very way of thinking in one of my friends in the past month.

But God is good and through Him, I found freedom in relinquishing the dreams everyone else had for our family and instead, realized that Eric and I don’t even know what the future holds, but that it is okay, because He does.

And with our new priorities in check and our identity firmly grounded, we found ourselves ending our summer feeling surprised at God.

We trusted him to help us figure it all out, but we basically assumed that this would mean giving up Haiti for a season, so we could focus on our family unit and life in the USA. And if he changes His mind and calls us to that, we’ll be ready. But for now, we feel cemented in our calling as a family, and personally for me as well. That we want to be here, in this ministry, for as long as God allows.

I found myself C E M E N T E D in the fact that this ministry is my passion and is still just as incredibly important as it has always been, and an integral part of the eternal kingdom work.. but it’s not my main priority, and it will always come after my children.

And I finally feel at peace with that.

And I finally recognize the HEALTH in that.

It just took me a while to get here.


I’ll trust you Lord, wherever you lead our family. In ministry, in life and in Spirit.

Wherever you lead me.


We found out 2 months later, God’s already testing our trust and faith.
And we’re ready for it Lord, You lead.

7 Responses to “Cemented, A Flawed Mom’s Journey to Balance. ”

  • You inspire me ! You awe me ! You and Eric are my mission heros. Your mission work right now should be your family. What greater testimony to God than to raise your children in His ways ? !
    And, congrats ! Another little blessing . Keep on keeping on , Bethany. Sam

    • Thank you Sam, I love how you are always such an encourager! <3

      • Off to Ukraine for another medical mission in Nov 5 through 17th. If you think of it please offer up a little prayer for our team.

  • WOW! You just wrote what every Mom in the world feels – inadequate, struggling, balancing, wondering, second guessing….you let us see your “humanity” and not your perfect spiritual answers to life and ministry. You just inspired me to be a better mom, wife, Christian, employee, committee member, etc, and it starts with my submission to HIS will and direction, then all else will fall into place.
    My devotion this morning called for me to “Lie down in green pastures of Peace.” Ending with “Depend on Me more and more, and i will shower Peace on all your paths.” Sounds to me God is reiterating His message to me through you by reaffirming the message for today.
    Thank you, Bethany, for being right on time and listening to the Lord’s prompting! 🙂

    • Oh Holly, I’m right there with you, sometimes God shows me things from multiple places in my life just to help it sink in – and most of the time, it’s because I’m not listening! haha. I am so thankful for your continued understanding and wisdom and love. <3

  • I always thought there was no greater mission field for a mom than the home. May God continue to guide you in His will; may you continue to be still and listen for His still, small voice. Love you