Youth Group Baby!

Baby Julia this past Wednesday night at youth group in the arms of one
of our cool volunteers. Everyone asks to hold her.
She is currently in training to work the sound board.
Having babies when you are a female youth worker can seem crazy. Let's assume you are married and ready to have some kiddos. Can you be a great mommy and a full time paid youth worker? I remember when I was just a few weeks pregnant with my first child back a full decade ago. In fact I had an obgyn appointment   11 years ago on 9/11/01. Exactly 11 years ago today when terror struck our nation. I vividly remember being at Kaiser in San Diego for a prenatal appointment. 

That September 11, 2001 the news was on every TV in the waiting room at the doctor's office. Everyone seemed anxious and the atmosphere was dismal. I was nervous about being a first time mom, stressed about my job as a full time youth worker in a demanding atmosphere and suddenly very thankful for the little things. Grateful that my husband was safely at work and would be laying next to me in bed that night. 

Several months before this, I took that first pregnancy test. A few days after the positive pregnancy test in my 20's after 3 years of marriage, I had a lot on my mind. I was at church working. I can remember sitting on an office sofa for a scheduled meeting with both the Sr. and Associate Pastor.  The Sr. Pastor pointed out how happy he was that we didn't have children so we could focus exclusively on the youth ministry. He was glad that we were not starting a family yet. I practically spit my water out of my mouth with shock from his comment and then the pregnancy hormones kicked in. I did what all pregnant women do when stressed, surprised and feeling overwhelmed...I cried! That was one comment I am sure he immediately wished he could have taken back! Talk about awkward. 

When you find yourself feeling inadequate and unsure about your calling as a mom and a youth worker, I want you to know it can be done. It can also be done really well. Our kids have only benefited from being a part of a youth group family. Jenna, my 7 year old took her first steps in a church hallway with a youth group kid holding her hand. The youth group and youth volunteers have also benefited. They see a very incarnational example of what a Christian family looks like and they get to do life with us. Real life with meltdowns, occasional grumpy days, and kids playing the church drums when they are not supposed to.

Staff and students eat at our dinner table, watch America's Got Talent with us (we even have our own buzzers), trek with us to the beach and watch us miss our little ones when we are at camp too. Our kids get a church family to cheer them on. With youth group kids and volunteers loving on our kids as we love on them, we all experience the most beautiful example of community that I have ever seen.
Having kids has only made me a better youth worker. I am quite sure that being a youth worker has also made me a much more fun mom! Who else would bring a home a pile of finger rockets and goggles to try out?


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