Balancing Ministry and Motherhood

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I am a mom of four kids and I am a Pastor. I run my own business and I am a wife. I am a sister, a daughter, a graphic designer, and a mac-n-cheese lover. I am tired just thinking about all of the hats I have to wear every day! Can I take a nap now?

Having now been in full-time ministry for 23 years, there have been seasons where my pace slowed down and I took steps back, but never once did I feel the need to shelf the call of God upon my life…and neither should you!

Some of us have been led to believe we can’t do both well. But what do you do when you feel the call to ministry as much as you feel the call to motherhood?

Can we successfully balance it all and do them well? You bet! Here is how:

1.   Make Sure Your Kids Know Your Priorities

No matter how passionate you are towards your ministry, your kids need to know they are MORE important. If you don’t get this right, then what’s the point? The family God entrusted to you is the nearest and dearest to His heart. He gave you these kids to show them His love and to grow them into Christ-followers.

In our family it looks like this; God first, spouse second, kids third, church fourth. We communicate this to our kids and prove it with our actions.

When we honor and prioritize our marriage and family above ministry, I believe we honor God. So go ahead and make your ministry important, just never more important than your family.

2.   Include Your Family in Your Ministry

Pastoring our church isn’t dad and mom’s thing, it’s  “our” thing. They serve along side of us and find joy and purpose in helping others. Don’t exclude them from ministry, thinking they will grow up and resent it, instead, include them and allow them to celebrate the wins with you.

When we get to do special things and go to special places, we let them know, “these are the perks of being Pastors’ kids!” We ask them questions about what they would like to see changed and what they love about our church. We listen, and many times we implement these changes because they have really great ideas!

Give them responsibility, celebrate the wins and make it a “we” thing so you have their buy-in.

3.   Have a Sabbath Day and Make it Holy

Sometimes one of the hardest things we can do is pause and rest. But when we don’t rest with our family, we are communicating to them and to God that we can accomplish everything in our own strength. Pausing and taking a Sabbath is a faith statement that lets God know you trust Him with the fruit of your labor.

Every week you may have a different Sabbath day, but every week you need one. Create the culture of honoring the Sabbath in your family now and see the rewards of it with them for years to come. I believe honoring the Sabbath is the key to overcoming burnout in you and your children.

4.   Create Margin and Boundaries

In ministry, it’s not a clock in, clock out kind of job. It’s all of the time! But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have down time. I have had to learn that I can’t throw every baby shower or attend every kid’s birthday party. If I did, I would never have a Saturday to myself, let alone enough money to put food on the table!

Create boundaries within your schedule that are off limits to others. The exception may happen every now and then when there is an emergency, but it should be that…the exception and not the norm.

Family dinners, date nights, and Sabbath days should be away from your emails and phones. If you and your family want to survive “ministry” you are going to have to say no to lesser things during these times. People and problems will still be there tomorrow, but you have this one life with these little souls God has entrusted to you. Don’t sacrifice them on the altar of ministry because you don’t know how to say “no” to others. If at the end of the day you said yes to everyone else and look around and your kids are not loving the Lord and don’t want to be around you, did you really win…and did they?

Mothering and ministry CAN both be done well. But we must make deliberate and intentional choices for the sake of our family.


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Sabrina is a mother to three girls and one boy. She is also a pastors wife, freelance graphic designer and mom coach! She resides in beautiful San Diego where the sun shines every day. She prefers chai lattes over coffee, mac-n-cheese over vegetables and staying in over going out. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!


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Sabrina Schlesinger

I am officially middle-aged! I have gone up the hill and am now SLOWLY going down the other side.

I am married to my best friend! No really! Our first 10 months of dating were spent entirely in group settings, either working along side each other in ministry or at our families homes. We never had alone time. We never held hands. We never kissed. So we had a great amount of time to talk and really get to know each other. We read books, received counsel from our pastors, discussed our strengths and weaknesses in front of our parents, and built a foundation of friendship that I am forever grateful for. And let me tell you...when we did have our first kiss 10 months in....there were fireworks baby!!!! We are approaching our 17th anniversary and co-pastor Grace Church in Oceanside, CA. We are living out or dream and calling side by side.

I am a mom of 4. We have three girls and a boy.

When we gave birth to my first girl, Sophie (now 16), we thought we were amazing parents. She slept through the night, hardly every fussed, was beautiful and easy. First child syndrome...I know.

When I gave birth to Mattie (now 14) nearly two years later everything changed. She was colicky from the start, she had red raspberries on her face that turned BRIGHT RED when she screamed...so that was all the time, and as she grew, it didn't get any better. I seriously thought at one point she was demon possessed because her outrageous fits where over the top. I could often be found in a fetal position crying when Matthew, my husband came home. Little did I know then that Mattie and her over-the-top fits would be the catalyst for so many future ministry moments with other moms in desperate need of help and advice on raising toddlers...who too were crazy!

We thought we were done. After Mattie I was like, "No way, I can't risk having another kid like that! The only way I will get pregnant again is if God speaks to me directly, and I don't think He is planning that." Welp....I was wrong. I heard God speak to me one night as I was at a conference that we were to have a third child and He spoke some very special promises to me about this child. So out popped Lillian (aka Lily - now 11).

Lily wass one of those babies that everyone gravitated too. She had and still does have a spirit about her that is so welcoming, loving, and kind. People just love her and she loves people. I am so glad I obeyed the Lord on this one. After Lily we felt done. This time Matthew said, "If we are supposed to have any more children, God is going to have to speak to me directly." Fast forward 9 years!

In August of 2016 we were on a much needed family vacation, the five of us. It was at this time that God whispered in the ear of my husband that we were to adopt a child from our county. Matthew told me what God said and of course, I said, "Let's do it!" I will write another post about our adoption story later, but November 1st, 2017, at age 4 1/2, Shawn (now 6) came into our home and became our son.

I am a freelance graphic designer by trade and a pastor by calling, but I felt like there was something more I should be doing. Recently I asked myself a question..."What brings me life?" It was easy for me to answer. I LOVE helping young moms navigate through motherhood. I love giving advice to help moms get through tough and trying seasons of life. There is a generation of moms out there who have broken relationships with their own mothers and feel like they have no one to turn to. That breaks my heart. No mom should have to go through life alone with nobody to lean on. And this is where Mom Mentor was birthed.

So that is me in a nutshell. I am pretty simple, not high maintenance, a lover of mac-and-cheese and chai lattes, and slightly obsessed with all things dystopian. I am glad to have met you and I look forward to our journey together!

Love & Blessings,

Sabrina