Every have one of “those” days? Of course you have. We all have. Well, last year on this day, I had one of those days. One of the days where the morning starts out on the wrong foot and from that point, recovery seems impossible. On that day, I wrote this:
My daughter made Honors Chorus (yay) and today is their big day.
Why, oh why, didn’t I pray with her on the ride to school? Why didn’t I tell her how proud I was and how much I loved her and that everything was going to be all right? Why didn’t I hug her close and bless her like I do EVERY OTHER morning? Why didn’t I really see her until it was too late?
So, have you ever had one of those days?
I felt broken… like a total failure at mommyhood. And a family minister at a church? Forget about it. I cried through the morning. I prayed through the day. I waited for 8:30 pm when the concert would be over and I could wrap my arms around my precious child and say, “I’m so sorry!” Imagine my relief when the young woman that met me that night was anything but sad. In fact, she was downright giddy.
And He said, “Do you truly think that your failure would keep me from doing My work in your daughter’s life or that her lack of obedience to you would keep me from doing My work in yours? You both have room to grow and I will use you both to do My work. Trust me. I’m bigger than your mistakes.Let Me do My thing in the middle of your mess because my best work comes in the form of redemption.”
As you know, if you’ve read this blog for any time at all, I have a genuine heart and I believe, call from God to serve in encouraging family ministry and discipleship in the home. Over the past few years, I’ve watched the area of family ministry grow in popularity as studies have bolstered the need for the home to be the primary place of discipleship. I have also seen fellow ministers and churches attempt to start family ministry and have it seemingly “not work” in their environment.
Because I firmly believe that the ideas that fuel family ministry are ordained by God, I also believe that family ministry not only can but absolutely should “work” in any church. It is my hope that this blog will provide a place of support, equipping, resources and encouragement for churches who are embarking on the transitional journey from traditional age-segregated ministry to intergenerational family ministry. I go into this knowing I will make mistakes. I will fail at times. But I am also learning that my God is bigger than my failures. And my prayer is that He will use this blog/ministry as a place for others to come, to rest, to find hope and to keep moving forward in their own faith journey with Jesus.
As for my daughter.. a year later, we don’t really have the whole cleaning of the bedroom figured out yet and we’ve got fun new areas that we are growing in together, but God is with us…even on the days we are broken. Beauty isn’t always found when everything is put together and perfect; beauty is often found in the everyday moments of normal life, in our imperfection and in our brokenness.
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For more information about practical discipleship in the home or transitioning to a more home-focused, intergenerational ministry at your church, go to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page.
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at ChildrensMinistryBlog.com, Seedbed, and D6 Family.