What lessons have you learned growing up in ministry that you want to pass on to your child? What advice do you have for other moms in ministry?
I grew up a preacher’s kid. Yeah, yeah, I know often times that is filled with negative connotations but for me it’s been a great thing. As look back on my life I can very gladly and openly say that I had a great life. I had two parents that loved me and did everything in their power to teach, guide and train me in the way I should go. My life as a preacher’s kid was a happy one. I found it filled with many positive opportunities I would have never gotten any other way. I accepted Christ when I was seven and knew from an early age that God had called me to do music. Because of that dream I’ve been working hard at my music for most of my life. Because of what I felt God had called me to do in my life it required me to have a relationship with Him. The church is where I found a place to belong. A place to serve and a place to use my gifts.
I am now a mom myself. My son, Sparrow, will be two in February. I can’t believe how much time flies. It’s been an amazing and joy-filled almost two years. I am also in ministry. I travel doing family concerts at churches all over the country and throughout the world. I have many different CD’s, DVD’s and devotionals that focus on different ages like preteen and preschool. I train kidmin worship leaders through workshops and articles. I write and produce the music for Standard Publishing’s VBS and help with www.AmberSkyRecords.com. Plus, I serve in my local church on a couple different worship teams.
I can be honest and say most days I feel like I’m at least ten to fifteen “things to dos” behind. Everyday I wake up with the idea that I can accomplish so much in my day only to realize that I am not Super Woman and by the time I do some Mommy things with Sparrow and around the house my work to do list is well, not going to get accomplished like I thought.
So, at this stage in the game as I reflect on the many things my parents did right and follow their model as I parent Sparrow here’s a few things I want to share:
1. Include your kids. It wasn’t just Dad’s ministry but something we did as a family. Every Saturday I’d go to the church with Dad growing up and help prepare the classrooms and kid’s ministry for Sunday morning. Whether it was straightening chairs, filling buckets of candy, making Visitor packs or many other tasks I was right there in the middle of it and spending time with Dad in the process. When Dad traveled to conferences we’d either all go as a family or take turns going on special trips with Dad. Sparrow travels with me to all my concerts and he loves to play with cables and plug stuff in and he’s awesome at carrying a megaphone.
2. Make special focused time for your kids. Time with Mom was many shopping trips. Time with Dad was usually a lunch or dinner. The point is they made special, dedicated time that was about me. They made me feel important in their world. One of my biggest challenges is stopping to acknowledge Sparrow when I’m in the middle of responding to emails. But I’ve read that if you want your kids to share important stuff with you then you need to not ignore them when they try to talk to you.
3. Allow your kids to experience, try and fail in protected environments. My parents were super strict with what we watched and listened to when I was young. In our teen years they were great about taking us to the non-Christian concerts we were interested in and allowing us to see the world in a controlled environment. They were with us when we smelled pot or saw people gorging in PDA. It was a controlled environment and we were able to see how ridiculous someone is that’s drunk or living a lifestyle that is not God honoring. In those environments it made us only want to live holy…instead of wondering what the world was like, we saw it with our parents. Even on into making some career choices. My parents helped guide me to seek God and listen to His voice to guide my steps. They let me make the decisions. Great lessons learned at young ages on how listening to God’s voice and doing what He says always pays off. I want to help Sparrow make Godly choices as he navigates his life. I want Him to learn to hear God’s voice and obey what He says.
4. My parents blessed us. They didn’t spoil us, but they did bless us. When I was a kid my parents didn’t have much to go around so spoiling wasn’t an option. My Dad is a giver though and he strived very hard to be loving and giving just like our Heavenly father is. He said He doesn’t’ want to get to Heaven and have God asked why He didn’t do more to help his kids answer the call of God on their life. Even as I write this that is a humbling statement. I am so blessed to have such giving parents that sacrificed so we could take the dance and music lessons we took. They made sure we had great keyboards, guitars, drums, lawyers or whatever was needed for that season. I want to be giving like that to Sparrow. I want to support Him as He dreams the dreams God has for his life. I want to teach him that God provides for all of our needs!
5. Love God, Hate Sin. Both my parents repeated things over and over to us through the years. Of course, sometimes I rolled my eyes hearing the same stuff again but you know what, it stuck with me. Those things got down in my heart and are here to stay. One of those things was “Love God, Hate Sin.” It’s an old 80’s CCM song by Mylon LeFevre. My Mom signed every birthday card and letter at camp with those four words. It’s kind of funny and I’ve already started signing things to Sparrow the same way. If I can get those four words down in his heart as he makes the wise choice then I think we’ll be off to a good start.
Happy New Year! Many blessings on you, your family and your ministry in 2013.
Learn more about Yancy at www.YancynotNancy.com