28 Jan 2016

Dear Church, If There Was One Thing I Could Tell You About Working Moms, This Would Be It

Q Ideas: What Do Women Have to Say About Motherhood

There are 4 things you may or may not know about me:

  1. I’m South African, but my accent these days is mostly just confused. Unless I’m using words like, tawlk or cahn’t.
  2. My husband married me knowing I emphatically did not want to be a mom.
  3. Sixteen years later we have 3 VERY loud kids
  4. I have always been a fulltime, working mom.

I love my kids and I love my work. And I no longer believe that we women are defined either by our business cards or our children.

Instead, I am convinced that we are defined by the God who has ransomed us, redeemed us and placed His own calling on our lives.

And I am utterly uninterested in anything that pits one mom against another. I am an equal opportunity cheerleader for all types of motherhood.

For years I wrestled with the tension of being a mom who also works.

I’ve lived the guilt and the worry and the fear and the resentment that we couldn’t afford for me to stay home with my kids.

But I’ve also been set free by a God who came to bring us freedom. A God who knows me and my story and who entrusted these children to me.

The same God who entrusted your children to you.

In November, Q Ideas asked if I would come and give a talk on the topic of The New Identity of Motherhood.

I am certain that the Holy Spirit was the one who came and nudged an extra word into that title – The New Identity of Working Motherhood.

This talk is all my deeply held beliefs about the sacred calling of motherhood as well as the emphatic mission of Jesus that we must, “love our neighbor as ourselves,” all wrapped into one.

I feel like this talk has been nearly a decade in the making.

If you’re a working mom, this is for you.

If you’re a stay home mom who doesn’t understand why some moms would choose to work, this is for you.

If you’re a women’s ministry leader who wants to serve the moms in her church better, this is for you.

If you’re a single woman who hopes to have kids and a job you love one day, this is for you.

If you’re a husband trying to understand the tension your wife lives in, this is for you.

If you’re an exhausted working single mom, constantly weighed down by guilt and other people’s opinions, this is for you.

If one time or another you’ve been all of the above, this is for you.

I am for you. All of you. Please watch with me:

Click here to see the video:

Q Women: What Do Women Have To Say About Motherhood

PS1: I’ll add that it’s scary to put this message out there. I know what strong opinions we can all have on these tender topics. But I can’t not share what I know and point out the statistics that show a tectonic shift in the landscape of motherhood today.

I can’t stay silent when there are such necessary ways that we as the church can love the working moms in our midst. Let’s pause to deliberately and intentionally love them long before we begin to have an opinion about them.

PS2: Meet my friend Liz from the story in the video and her blog specifically meant to encourage Christian working moms, over here.

PS3: What moms are saying about this message:

From Brittany:

I was listening to this as I sat in my car, putting on makeup because I arrived early for my work appointment. Thank you for speaking up for us. I was trying not to tear up as you spoke of our challenges and the obstacles we face. Not just culturally, but logistically! Finding quality care, planning on how to get kids to and from, all while worrying about our next work project and mentally going through the fridge, deciding what I have to make for dinner tonight. As I listened this morning, my car battery died. Just one more thing, right?! Thank you.

From Megan:

I’m hoping that 2016 is the year that we will finally capture the hearts of the moms who walk through our doors every day. I know there are more out there that feel like me and yearn for fellowship with other moms- just not at 10:00 on Tuesday morning. We all deserve opportunities to grow, serve, and fellowship. I can’t wait to see and share where it all leads.

Click to watch the video too.


{ Leave a Comment }
  1. 1
    Heather D says:

    Thank you so much for this. It showed up in my inbox with perfect timing (having a rough day 4 weeks into my return to work after having my second child). I needed to hear all of this but especially to be reminded that Jesus calls me AND my kids. He hasn’t forgotten them. He doesn’t lack provision for them in this. Thank you for continuing to be such a cheerleader for women, especially mums (can you tell I’m a Brit?!). X

  2. 2
    Dominique says:

    I haven’t been a working mum due to health reasons. In the last year though God has called me into leadership within our Church which I was totally not looking for and has provided the mental strength (although not yet physical strength to do this). My 12 and 10 year olds have voiced dissatisfaction a couple of times at having to wait around for us after services when we have had to quickly meet with someone. Your whole message spoke to me hugely and I am going to use your explanation of “loving our neighbour” in my talk next week as God’s timing is perfect and your words are exactly right. What hit personally though is that in following where Jesus has called me to go my children are following too. I don’t need to feel guilty at my son’s annoyance. I can totally understand and empathise with it whilst trying to keep it to a minimum but I am showing him what it looks like to follow where Christ leads and how to love my neighbour.
    Thank you for the truth that is always in your words and for sharing this with us all, even over in the UK.

  3. 3

    I LOVE this and thankyou for being a voice to the many working women. Your message is the message I have been saying for ages and I am tired of the negative comments from Christian bloggers that are judgemental, hurtful and down right nasty at times. I work and I love my job – o’dear that gets me into lots of trouble, but its true. My husband is retired but my income is much needed and I do as God has requested of me and I do it joyfully, thankfully and gratefully – when He tells me different, I will follow.

    They only verse these women seem to see in the bible is the one in Titus about being a homemaker and it would appear that all other verses are secondary. And to them only women who are home full time to can a homemaker. I disagree. I love my home and I spend much time making it cosy and homely for my husband and adult children (and cats!!). I cook for them, I get up early on weekends to take my 24 year old son to work because buses aren’t running, I do the washing, I clean and I work outside the home. We are ALL homemaker, just that we do it differently. Thanks Lisa-Jo :)))

    In Gods wonderful and perfect Grace



  1. […] home on my husband’s company and part-time growing my photography business. All this to say, in this talk Lisa Jo shares her deeply held beliefs about the sacred calling of motherhood as well as the […]

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