In this sweet, crazy season of life that my husband and I call “our beautiful mess,” trying to find balance is a continual challenge. We have three daughters, 5, 3 and 1, a revolving front door and, like everyone else, schedules we juggle.

However, not too many years back things were different. My husband, Wes, and I met serving as missionaries in Uganda. It gave us so much life and perspective to have the privilege of being Jesus’ hands and feet to others. As a follower of Jesus, serving has always been important, but I have found it to be more challenging as a wife and mom of young kids than it was as a missionary in Africa.

One of my favorite things about Christ Chapel is that it is truly a church without walls. I can see reflected in the mission statement, goals, budget and programs how showing Jesus’ love to others in tangible ways is a rich part of the culture. There are so many beautiful things happening at all times in our church body and opportunities for everyone to “plug in,” including parents of young kids.

With the quick transition into married life and parenthood, I found myself increasingly less involved, but I realized that though serving requires time, it is one of the most life-giving and energizing experiences in my walk as a believer. When I intentionally connect, no matter how sleep deprived and spread thin I feel, the Lord takes what I give and multiplies it like only He can.

Three of the sweetest serving opportunities I have enjoyed recently are Women in the Word, being a group leader for Thrive and, together with Wes, leading a re|engage group.  I could go on and on about each one of these ministries and their value because they are accomplished with prayer, intentionality and care. I have found that through these groups I have formed a wonderful and genuine community and I have received far more than I have given. I have had the privilege of growing in relationships and I’ve seen the Lord heal and restore through the body of Christ and His living Word.  When I am engaged and serving, there is so much more sweetness and joy added to my weeks.

 

Bethany Toland

 

 

 

 

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