The good stuff

Today, I'm linking up with Kate Motaung's Five Minute Friday. The rules: Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 

This week's prompt: Surprise. 

Five Minute Friday 4 300x300

My husband was ready to have kids long before I was.

I was hesitant – partly because I was unsure how to be both a youth pastor and a mom and partly because I was unsure what to do with a baby.

I mean, I'm an only child. I have no cousins on my dad's side of the family. My cousins on my mom's side live 2000 miles away. There's also a 20 year age difference between the oldest and youngest.

All that to say that prior to having a kid, I had NO experience with babies.




As a youth pastor, I was fairly confident I could figure out what to do with a tween or a teen. But a baby?

That I wasn't so sure about.

But then, Hope arrived.

Hope In The Treehouse, March 2016

In the 10 months since, I've learned how to care for a baby. I've learned what Hope's cries mean. I've learned how to nurse. I've learned how to comfort her, bathe her, and change her diaper. I've learned how to make her smile and how to make her laugh. 

I've learned that loving her is something I didn't actually have to learn at all. From the moment the doctors laid Hope on my chest, I've loved her with a fierceness and intensity that scares me.

And much to my surprise, I've learned that the baby years I once thought I'd just have to survive in order to get to the good stuff are actually filled with good stuff themselves.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

Now Available!

A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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