[blockquote] This week features posts from Angie Lewis. She is the wife of our lead pastor, Dhati, and proud mother of six. Angie's unique voice and perspective promises to encourage and strengthen those who read. We hope you enjoy and are blessed.[/blockquote] "What do I do?" you ask. Well, I am a part time chef, I own my own cleaning business, and I’m a teacher, accountant, and secretary. I am a babysitter, a maintenance person, part-time cake decorator, event planner, manager, photographer, nurse, fashion coordinator, counselor, grounds keeper, crisis specialist, chauffeur, and coach. I am a mom of 6 children. But, my full-time (also unpaid) position is being a helpmate to my wonderful husband, a church planter.
I get asked this question all the time, do you just stay at home? Well, yes I do, but the 'just' part is not so true. I have six children, all born in a 6 1/2 year time frame. And, I have a visionary, integrity-filled husband who believes we can start a movement, and transform this world with the gospel.
[pull_quote_right]I get asked this question all the time, do you just stay at home? Well, yes I do, but the 'just' part is not so true. [/pull_quote_right]When my children were younger, I saw them as a herd. Feed them, dress them, play with them, and teach them, everything could be done at the same time, in the same way. But, as they get older I am realizing that I cannot raise them as if they are all the same person. The girls are turning into little ladies with incredibly different personalities, strengths, weaknesses, fears, etc. And, the boys are transforming into little men with their own personalities, their own desires, and their own designs. My oldest daughter is confident, intellectual, logical, truthful, a great dancer and pianist, integrity-filled, and will fight for the gospel to go forth. My second oldest daughter is compassionate, the most amazing helper I have ever encountered, athletic, strong, a nurturer, fluent in sign language (just because she made a friend at school that is deaf), timid, and so sensitive. My youngest daughter is artsy, fun, thinks outside the box, mature, outgoing, social, and a follower. My oldest boy and fourth child is smart, strong, bossy, definitely a king-type, leader, struggles with speech, super athletic, and my shadow. My second oldest son and fifth child is compassionate, sneaky, a hard worker, desires to please, funny, growing, an overcomer, super fast, and also a follower. My baby boy and sixth child is persistent, compassionate, a lover of all, loud, loves food, loud, persistent, and oh so silly. None are the same. They require so much intentionality, so much of my prayer life, so much wisdom, so much time, energy, effort, love, and patience. They are the joy of my life, my arrows.
And then there is my husband. He is a man who LOVES the Lord, and LOVES His people. My husband sees the best in people. He will give his last for anyone. He takes the Word seriously, and allows it to guide us. He is a leader, and a visionary. He is the guy that moves his family 13 hours from home to start a church where we were told needed a healthy church. He is the guy that is planting a church, starting a network of urban church planters, working on his doctorate, raising 6 kids with me and is devoted to our marriage—all simultaneously. He is an easy man to follow in that he leads well and leads by example. He is a hard man to follow in that he is always challenging us out of our comfort zone, and encouraging us to trust the Lord.
So...what do I do? I identify and encourage all of the amazing attributes that God has given my family. I see the good, the bad, and the ugly that lives in my family; I love them through it all, and receive love from them by God’s grace. I am a mom and a church planters wife. I don't get paid a dime for anything I do, but I work tirelessly. As I type this, I have about 30 minutes until I put on the hat of event coordinator for my daughter's ninth birthday party. And, I haven't even touched on my roles as a friend, daughter, discipler, mentor; or my roles as a church lay person (cleaning bathrooms, helping with the children ministry, leading women); nor have I touched on what my roles are in my community, with my neighbors, at my kids’ school, with our missional community, with the new moms in our midst, with marriages that need encouragement, and with the people that need help with their finances.
My world is different from most, but I know if you are a church planter's wife, you can completely relate to many of the things that I am saying. I have found that I have a full-time job without holding any titles. Sometimes I lack encouragement, and I don't get any raises or promotions. But my role is important, and it’s exactly where God wants me. He is my strength, my portion, my encourager, and my Boss. Much is required of me, many are watching, many are depending on me. "So, what do I do?" you ask. I'm a wife of a church planter, a helpmate. Gen 2:18 "Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."