Profiles of moms who are making a difference
You know how sometimes you “meet” someone online and feel a connection with them? That’s how I’ve been with Stacey Pardoe — and it’s not just because we share the same first name!
Stacey is a fellow blogger and freelance writer who I came across in faith-based blogging groups and gotten to know a bit. Stacey’s blog posts are encouraging and uplifting. Her blog, StaceyPardoe.com, is all about encountering God in the ordinary.
Along with being a blogger, Stacey is a certified special education and elementary education teacher. Right now she’s is taking a break from the classroom to focus on raising her three little ones. When she isn’t writing or taking care of her babies, Stacey also mentors other women.
I know her insights and journey will inspire you as well!
Families with Grace: What is your God-given mission or passion?
Stacey Pardoe: My passion is to walk in Christ’s love and make His love known to the world. I believe all ministry should flow from a personal relationship with Christ. My hope is to encourage others with the hope Christ gives to me on a daily basis.
FWG: How do you work to live out that mission right now?
SP: Right now, most of my energy goes into raising my own little flock of three blue-eyed children. Bekah is 9, Caleb is 5 and little Aiden will be a year old in May. While there are days that drag on – days when the mission of motherhood feels too hidden and humbling – I regularly remind myself that shepherding this little flock is among the highest callings in my life.
In addition to long stroller walks down our country road, afternoons spent chasing frogs in creek bottoms and campfires under hemlock trees with the kids, I also lead Bible studies, mentor women and spend the in-between moments writing.
Writing fuels my soul in a quiet way that fills me up while I pour out. I began my freelance writing career three years ago. This opportunity to share the hope of Christ with the world nourishes my soul as I follow Christ into vulnerability and the uncomfortable realm of authentic, heart-level sharing. I have learned that one of the greatest gifts I can offer the world is the gift of my vulnerable, authentic self.
FWG: What are some of your biggest challenges in living out your mission?
SP: I love being a mom, but if I’m completely honest, there are days when the mission of motherhood is very challenging. While I thrive on routines, the cyclic nature of performing the same tasks again and again sometimes wears on my soul.
I thrive in the warm months of the year, when we can get outside for long days in the woods, but there are winter days when the walls close in. There are days when I lose my patience and forget all about being thankful for this calling.
There are also times when I struggle with balancing the callings to write, mentor and parent. At times, I find myself stretched thin from ministering to the world and neglecting home; however, at other times, I am restless from too much time pouring exclusively into my own little flock. I’ll share more about this below.
FWG: What have been some of your biggest blessings in living out your mission?
SP: I am very blessed by this mission of motherhood. After seven years as a high school Life Skills Support special education teacher, I am grateful for this season of pouring into my own children. The miracles of watching them grow, teaching them about Jesus and simply enjoying them are true blessings to me.
I became a mentor somewhat by accident. Throughout my years as a high school teacher, I was also a youth group leader at our local church. I led countless Bible studies and joined teens on mission trips and retreats across the country and beyond. Most of the younger women I currently mentor are now in their 20s; they are the teens who once helped in my classroom and bunked next to me on mission trips. I am blessed to count these young women as friends in this season of life.
When I picked up writing a few years ago, it quickly became a wonderful ministry that fuels my soul in a different way. God uses writing to nudge me to look at what He’s teaching me and articulate it in a way that speaks to the needs of others. I am deeply blessed by writing.
FWG: How do you balance motherhood responsibilities with your work/mission?
SP: There are certainly times when I struggle to keep a balance between how much I’m ministering to people outside my family and how much I’m pouring into my own family. This is a week-by-week journey. I generally find that God whispers to my soul based on how stretched I’m feeling.
I can tell when I’m pouring out too much outside the home. I snap at my kids, feel a low level of anxiety and feel like I’m always in a hurry.
In the same sense, I can tell when I’m not reaching out enough. I have a restlessness in my soul and deep desire to connect in community. That can mean heading to the local university campus to take a walk and mentoring a younger woman or slipping to a quiet spot in the house to work on a writing project.
FWG: What’s the best advice you have for other moms who are following their passions?
SP: Don’t lose sight of your passions. There will be seasons when you might need to put them on the back-burner as you tend to your family, but this doesn’t mean you have to throw them away altogether. There is no formula for finding the balance between ministering to the world and ministering to your own family.
The key is to stay close to the heart of the Father. He will whisper to you – through his written Word but also through your energy levels, or just a deep place of “knowing” – about when it’s time to push out and offer more to the world and when it’s time to pull back and give more to your family. The key is a relationship with Him. Keep your love for Him first, and He will help the rest fall into place.