Tell us a little about yourself – your family – how long have you been involved with Navs? Past and current roles?
Doug and I have been married 34 years. We have three adult children, two daughters and a son. Beth Ann and Eric live in Denver and have two kids. Lauren and Hank also live in Denver and have two dogs! J Our son, Will is finishing his undergrad at Univ of Nebraska in Lincoln. Doug and I have been on staff for 23 years. We both had various jobs and roles in our early-married years outside The Navigators. We began our staff time on campus at the University of Kansas, then we were with Edge Corps. Later we moved to what was called “Metro Ministry”, our work in the cities, before Doug was asked to serve in his current role as US Director in ‘09.
When you were a mommy missionary – what did your ministry involvement look like? If you were involved on campus, how did you make that work?
I loved our years on campus! When we joined staff I already had our three children ages 3, 6 and 8. My involvement varied but I usually had one Bible study and met one-on-one with staff and/or Edge women. As we could, we opened our home to staff, students and the community. When hosting large groups I used lots of food prepared ahead and had our staff/Edgers help with food prep, set up and clean up. I also “traded” childcare with close friends to prepare for Bible Study or meeting with women.
What did you do in your 20s and 30s that helped you stay engaged? What did you do then that helped prepare you for your current role now that your kids are grown?
In my 20’s and 30’s I learned to set a schedule and plan. I was not naturally good at that but found some tips and talked with others to grow in this area (Gal. 5:16). I tried my best to be in a women’s Bible study to continue my own growth and have accountability with close friends (who were not students).
How did you keep your marriage strong in the midst of the demands of littles and a busy ministry?
Doug and I were intentional about carving out time together after the kids went to bed and date nights (we of course had seasons where we slacked off). We also committed to have at least one weekend, if not two, away a year without the kids. We had some difficult years where we really had to work at our marriage and friendship with the demands of ministry and children. These weekends especially were helpful during these years.
If you could pass on one piece of advice to mommy missionaries, what would it be?
Take time for your own ‘soul care’ and spiritual growth (Psalm 51:6, 2Cor. 12:9). Make time for deep peer friendships and learning from those ahead of you in life.
One or two life lessons God has taught you regarding ministry, marriage and mothering?
The words “gratitude” and “contentment” stand out to me. When I don’t have them, negative attitudes grow in my life and spirit. I will compare kids (and husbands!), homes, relationships, and successes, etc. These two words affect my heart- how I love, serve and live. Remember you are created, chosen and dearly loved by your Abba.
Thanks, moms, for loving, serving and sacrificing for the sake of Jesus and our Nav Calling. I know there are many things that go unnoticed or recognized by others, but Jesus sees and knows. I am grateful for your important roles in this season of mothering and ministry.