The life we're building

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: Build.

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Days before leaving for our Peacemaking Trip, I was struggling with a serious dose of mom guilt regarding leaving my 13-month old for a week.

Intellectually, I knew she would be fine. She'd spend a great week with people who love her dearly: Grandma Nancy, Grandma Claudia, Grandpa Ron, and Daddy.

Nevertheless, I questioned what was important enough to make me leave my daughter, who I'd never been apart from for longer than a couple hours.

A few days before I left for the trip, the Storyline Blog posted Shauna Niequist's talk from Q about what she learned from her mother. In it, she describes how, when her mother stayed home with the kids, she was a good mom but not a happy one. She talks about how her mother's experience taught her to fight for her vocation, even when it's hard.

As I watched Shauna's talk, I felt released from my guilt.

I am a better mom BECAUSE I am a working mom (Not that this is true for everyone, but it is certainly true for me).

So I nursed my girl for the last time and headed to San Diego and Mexico for an incredible, first-hand look at both peacemaking and immigration.

During my week away, I became acutely aware of the life my husband and I are building for our daughter: One in which we both do work we love and are called to do; one in which we are both fulfilled, inside and outside of the home.

This life we are building is one in which my daughter sees both my husband and I make sacrifices for one another and for our family. It's one in which we all do kingdom work. It's one in which we serve... But we don't just serve strangers, we serve each other.

That's the life we've started building for our daughter. That's the life I hope we'll continue building for our daughter.

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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