• Brenda Schaefer

HANDS DOWN! My Most Challenging Moment In Ministry!

Shortly after Scott took his first position as a Worship Pastor, we welcomed Talia, our third child into our family! At that time, Tara was 9 and Nate was 6. We were a busy homeschooling family, involved in community activities and serving constantly at church!

Overwhelmed with schooling, schedules, appointments, music lessons, ministry responsibilities, and bottomless piles of laundry, I remember feeling like I was losing myself. One day, as I folded the mountainous pile of socks and underwear in the laundry room, I cried out to God,

“Is this all that there is for me? Is this all that I am good for?”

I was sure that no wife or mother had ever felt like me. How could anyone else understand? I was haunted by voices from past friends, teachers and lecturers throughout my years of schooling that in essence were saying,

“You aren’t worth anything if you are a stay at home wife and mom. A career is the only way that you will be satisfied and be able to contribute to your family in a way that matters.”

In my own personal search for significance and affirmation, it was so easy to gloss over the obvious, dismiss the value and importance of the mundane, and get caught up in my pity party! As I stood there sobbing, loving my family but feeling trapped, there was a gentle voice that spoke to my heart,

“Whose feet will those socks go on? Where will they go? What will they do? How are you taking care of them? How will you pray for them?”

I stopped to ponder those questions and realized that my husband and my children were a gift from God to me, and I wanted them to have what they needed to be able to go and do the things that He had for them to do. I began to understand that I have a part in all of that by taking care of their needs and praying for them to follow God's plan for their lives with love, devotion and zeal! My focus had been on ME and what I could do to meet MY need to feel important and valued, instead of what God could do through me for the people that mean the most to me!

At that moment, I knew that I needed to back out of everything at church and any other place outside of my home to make my husband and my children my primary ministry. I didn’t know how long it would be. One year? Five years? Twenty years?

When I told Scott, it didn’t go well at first. He was NOT happy but eventually he began to see the fruitfulness and value of that decision not only in our children, but in our marriage too.

INVESTING SACRIFICIALLY in my marriage, and the way that I treat, teach, and train our children for a later return on that investment had to become my PRIMARY MINISTRY!

You have heard the phrase, “The road to good intentions doesn’t lead anywhere.”

Well let me expand on that a bit! “Good intentions without investment equals nothing!"

My PRIMARY MINISTRY is rooted and established in MY investment in the COVENANT relationships in my life. Promises that I have made to love, honor, and cherish, grow up, teach, and train up in the Lord! These were the new priorities that became my guide for decision-making:

First Priori