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Living for an audience of one

I live and breathe for an audience of one

’Cause I know this journey is my own.*

Sara Groves, contemporary recording artist and mother of a young son, sang these words to more than 1,300 women at the Conference for Women in Ministry in Springfield, Mo., in March. That thread was woven throughout the plenary sessions, workshops and evening services as each woman focused on God’s call for her life.

Here are insights from other moms and "mothers in Israel" (Judges 5:7) who spoke during the conference:

• Jeanne Mayo, director of Cross Current youth ministry at First Assembly of God, Rockford, Ill., and mother of two college-age sons, says she "fell in love … one kid at a time" through three decades of youth ministry. "We’re raising a society of kids who are unparented. You can use your skills as women to parent them spiritually."

And, she adds, "If you need to be celebrated, get out of youth ministry."

• Alicia Chole, missions network and mobilization representative for Chi Alpha Campus Ministries and mother of a young son, says, "The trials [of life] don’t prepare us so much for what’s to come as they reveal what we have already done with our lives to this point." (Read about Vicki Qualls’ healing on page 8 to see this principle in action.)

• Jill Briscoe, executive editor of Just Between Us, a magazine for ministry wives and women in leadership, and mother of three, says, "We will finish well if we understand that He will put His words in our mouths and He’ll put His tears on our faces."

• Pauline Smith and Adeline Wichman, retired missionaries in their mid-80s who labored in Ghana, Africa, were introduced and received a sustained standing ovation. They’ve probably never been applauded before, I thought, because they loved the Africans for Jesus alone.

Their advice to the conferees: "Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged."

You can live for someone else,

And it will only bring you pain …

Only the Lord can say, "Well done," Sara’s song concludes.

Whether or not you are in a position of prominence, whether or not someone is acknowledging your efforts, live and breathe for Jesus. "Behold, I am coming soon!" He says. "My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what [she] has done" (Revelation 22:12, NIV).

Happy Mother’s Day.

*From "This Journey Is My Own."

Ann Floyd

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