Some thoughts on being a pastor and a mother — a reverend mother?

Reprinted from the church newsletter. Enjoy (if you can get past the giant run-on sentences!)

When I was interviewing for the position as pastor at Northwood, I was very pregnant with Samuel, and it was a phone interview. I was full of nerves when I considered what would happen when I got to the stage where the committee might want to meet me in person. I had already had one church write me a letter that said “If you weren’t pregnant, you would have gotten the job” (I’m serious! I have it in a file, and I’ll show you.) I wondered what the folks would think. When I said to the search committee “I’m expecting a baby” they all smiled broadly! One person said “That’s great!” It was a defining moment for me in the process. I thought to myself. I might be moving to Texas. There is something special about this group of people. I know it must have been a surprise to invite a pastor with a 14 month old and a 2 month old. It was definitely a risk. In my opinion, however, it’s a risk that will continue to pay off. I remember one of my first weeks here a little boy from the Day School was walking by and he came running in to play with Clayton and Samuel’s toys. “There are toys in that office!” he exclaimed, his eyes bright with hope and joy.  At that moment, I thought to myself “Yes, this is going to work!” While every day is not rosy and perfect and I get overly busy just as we all do, for the most part, I love the ways my two vocations: motherhood and ministry come together. I have a supportive partner in Elias who does his share of parenting and supports my career, and a loving congregation who is proud to watch two little ones grow up before their eyes. (Please ignore Clayton’s attempts to rip the cloth off the communion table last week!) In the past two years I’ve been also working on another project, publishing a book about ways parents can bring faith to their homes through simple practices. It’s called Seamless Faith because when we bring faith to our children’s lives, it should be woven in naturally as a part of every day life. It was not easy to write a book while being in full time ministry and parenting my boys. I wrote the book in 15-30 minute snippets before bed or early in the morning. One of the reasons I was able to do it, though, and to forego most other free and leisure time while I was writing it was because I am so passionate about this topic. As I watch Samuel and Clayton receive hugs and kisses from all of you on Sundays and hear them shout HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JESUS! and say “Mama, Amen! Amen, mama!” my heart is full to overflowing. I want to do my part to make sure that families know that there are easy ways to bring faith into their lives. The book is going to the printer as I write this and will be available in about 8 weeks to hold in our hands and read! I can’t wait for you to see it, and see that you are acknowledged in the beginning pages for loving and supporting me and my family as your pastor.  I feel incredibly blessed.

With grace and peace,

Pastor Traci

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