Priscilla has the same concerns as most working moms about balancing life. She remembers walking through my neighborhood one morning about eight weeks before my second son was born. I prayed, “Lord, how do I balance being a wife, mother, and a woman in ministry? If You do not supernaturally balance all of this, then I don’t know what I will do!” I will never forget His answer to me. I watched as the sun rose in the sky, the birds began to sing and the world came to life that morning. He whispered, “If I can balance all of this, I can balance your life!” I have trusted Him ever since to help me, day-by- day, to figure out how this should all work.
I cannot begin to tell you how difficult this balancing act is physically and emotionally. Jerry and I firmly believe that God has given us clear direction that this ministry is what He wants us to do (at least for now), so we assume that He will provide the means for us to do it and He has.
My husband and I are in ministry together. Jerry and I both work from home all week long. This means that we get to spend a lot of time with the boys throughout the entire week before we go to a women’s conference on Friday and Saturday. The Lord has provided me with a mother-in-law that is a professional grandmother! She doesn’t want to do anything other than be with our children. She keeps them when we travel. Our trips are normally 1-2 nights so we are not away from our little ones for long. Any trip longer than 2 nights (which is rare) means they come with us. She comes too to help us with the children.
If I didn’t have a husband who worked with me, and a mother-in-law to help me with my children, then I don’t know that I could do this. But God has constructed our circumstances to support the calling that He has on our lives.
Still, I worry like all mothers about whether or not I am balancing everything well, and I am sure that I will never be perfect at it. There are many nights that my dinner dishes don’t get washed, my laundry takes a couple days to complete, and toys are scattered on my living room floor. Things around here are far from perfect, but I believe that as long as I am taking care of God’s business by keeping my family as a priority and then focusing on the women to whom I am to minister, He will make up the slack.
I must admit that I have little time for other things. I say, “No” most often to invitations for lunch and get-togethers. That is the sacrifice that I am making for this season of life. A friend and mentor recently encouraged me by saying, “Priscilla, you can do this (ministry, wifehood, and motherhood), but you CANNOT do anything else!”
If you are a mother and are also considering serving the Lord in a full-time ministry capacity, ask the Lord for clarity on how you should proceed and when you should proceed. He will clearly tell you whether now is the appropriate time for you to move forward or whether you should wait until you are in a different season of your life. If He calls you to do something, He will equip you with the necessary tools to do it while at the same time allowing you to keep your priorities straight. It is and will always be a prayerful, day-by-day process of relying solely on Him to keep everything balanced and orderly.
Priscilla’s father is an extraordinary man, with an extraordinary purpose. God has used him all over the world to do wonderful things for the Kingdom of God. She has been privileged to sit under his anointed exegetical teaching of the Scriptures since she was a little girl. She is still a member at the church he founded and serves as senior pastor for over 30 years. In fact, all of her siblings are still members and now our children.
Dad and Mom have always had a true heart for ministry, but Priscilla and her siblings never got lost in the passion. They were their priority! And even today, they are still a very close-knit family. They see each other at least once a week (when their schedules allow) and they make time for huge family gatherings often. Priscilla can honestly say that they taught them the true meaning of integrity, ministry and integrity in ministry—as all of the siblings are in some form of ministry (speaking, teaching, singing). The same people Priscilla’s parents are on radio and television are the same people they are when no one else is around. This kind of lifestyle is what true ministry is all about.
If you are interested in staying connected with Priscilla’s dads’ ministry, log on to www.tonyevans.org for information regarding his national ministry, or to www.ocbfchurch.org regarding the church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.
Thank you for understanding that Priscilla is in a very unique season of life right now. Between writing and studying, she usually spends most of her time cleaning up after and trying to satisfy the appetites of her three gargantuan sons! She’s such a relational person and would love to spend personal time with you but she wants to be certain that she doesn’t crowd out time for her family and that there is ample time to prepare for messages she’ll be teaching or books and resources that she’ll be writing.
Please know that we welcome your email or call to our ministry. And while Priscilla sees some of them, she is unable to review them all. But be assured, a highly compassionate woman who loves the Lord, and you, will be happy to respond.
We want to congratulate you on accepting God’s assignment for you. There are so many of us who run from what God wants us to do because it isn’t what we had in mind for ourselves. Priscilla has certainly tried to, but she has found that true contentment and peace comes only when we surrender to His will for us.
There are so many women who ask Priscilla about how to pursue ministry. Her response is always the same—give back to God the gift that He has given you. Let God continue to be in control. In other words, if you believe that God has called you into ministry, you can be sure that He will be faithful to open the doors and make a way for you to serve Him. He will continue to give you clear guidance as you walk in obedience to Him. All He asks you to do is obey His instructions that He gives you moment-by-moment and day-by-day. As you continue to follow, He will continue to lead.
Think about Abraham’s “call.” God told him in Genesis 12:1 “Go forth. . . to a land that I will show you.” He didn’t give him any specifics, just a command to follow. Abraham had to walk in faith and trust that God would continue to guide. Time and time again we see this same pattern in Scripture. God continues to guide as His children continue to obey.
So the question becomes twofold: what has God asked you to do right now? Are you being obedient to it? When Priscilla began in ministry, she certainly didn’t know the future plans that the Lord had in mind. She just knew what her passion was. She asked him to open the doors where He wanted her to go and she would go. Since she made herself available and yielded to Him, He has faithfully opened the doors of opportunity for His ministry to take place through her. In the past, she has made the mistake of trying to force doors open, but she has learned that her part in His ministry is simply to surrender, be available, and prepare herself to be used of God when the opportunity arises.
One more word: Remember the Lord has a specific ministry in mind for you. Don’t allow what you think the ministry should look like to replace His desire. For example, there are so many women who desire to be a speaker and seek opportunities to minister at large events. They spend money, time and energy trying to “create” opportunities and in doing so they are missing out on the ministry God has for them in their own back yard. While Priscilla was in seminary, her audience for 5 years was a group of 10 college age girls in a Bible Study. At that time, He hadn’t called her to the masses just to a group of women at Southern Methodist University. Ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes to see the opportunities that He will place in your path and the grace to accept them no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
Most of all, keep pursuing Him…not the ministry. True ministry is always an outpouring of your relationship with Him. The more you know Him, the more you will fall in love with Him. The more you fall in love with Him, the more you will be able to minister to others.
Priscilla highly recommends: Warren Wiersbe’s book on “Becoming a Servant of God.” Read it and be blessed!
We understand how it can be easier to read books about the Bible rather than the Bible itself. But we believe that God wants to speak to you personally and specifically by the Holy Spirit through His Word. The Bible says clearly that HE is our teacher (1 John 2:27). When you got saved the Lord gave you a personal Bible professor in the person of the Holy Spirit. He searches the mind of God and delivers His message personally to you (I Corinthians 2:10).
When reading Scripture, your goal should not be the QUANTITY that you consume, but rather the QUALITY of what you actually digest and assimilate into your life. Priscilla normally just picks 1-2 verses at a time and reads them several times, very slowly. Mull over each phrase and write down your thoughts that come to mind about what those phrases means. Pray beforehand and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through those verses. Recall them throughout the day and ask the Lord to call them to your mind at the precise moment that an opportunity arises for you to implement the principal of those verses in your current situation.
Remember, reading His Word is not about the AMOUNT of words you read but rather about the impact that those words have on you. This is why ONE or TWO verses are often better than many. The Lord can and will use Scripture to speak to you in a very personal way and make an indelible mark on your life!
Why don’t you start with some of these verses. Remember, just one passage a day. Meditate on it and journal what the Lord speaks to you. Ask questions about the passage and determine to believe what it says and live accordingly. You will be surprised and amazed by the voice of God as He personally leads you into closer relationship with Himself through His Word.
Terms like contemplative prayer and meditation can be controversial as believers try to understand their place in our faith. Just to be clear, we believe in prayer. And the type we are referring to is the kind described in the Word of God. The kind where believers in Jesus Christ can engage in communion with God in which we speak to Him and by the Holy Spirit, He speaks to us. We are convinced that the Bible describes prayer as a two-way street. Clearly, Scripture teaches us that prayer does involve meditation in which the believer chooses to “listen” to God by contemplating and concentrating on Scripture and God as He is revealed therein.
This is what separates Christian meditation from all other types. The Christian has much to gain from the command of God Himself that we “meditate on [the Scriptures]” (Joshua 1:8), “draw near to listen” (Eccl 5:1) and “be still” (Psalm 46:10) so that we can see God far more clearly then we can in the normal frantic rhythm of life. Quiet meditation (on Scripture) and the discipline of listening is a real part of prayer that I believe Scripture clearly promotes and encourages. By participating in the “Be Still” project, we by no means meant to convey our agreement with the theological viewpoints and positions of other participants yet we did believe (and still do) in the over-arching theme of the resource and that is why I agreed to do it.
The Psalmist himself said that not only would he bring his requests to God in prayer but then “wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3) for God’s response. The prophet Habakkuk mirrors this philosophy of prayer when he says that after speaking to God he would then “climb up on the watchtower and wait to see what the Lord will say to me.” (Habakkuk 2:1). We are a proponent of the Christian encountering God in a fresh way that is relevant to his or her life, and we believe this can occur when we wait for God quietly with our Bibles outspread before us. As we ponder His Word, the Holy Spirit applies it to the circumstances of our lives. There is nothing mystical about this! In the New Age movement and Eastern religions the goal of meditation is to reach a state of “nothingness” or “emptiness” by clearing the mind. In Christianity, the focus of meditation is to fill the mind with thoughts of God as one ponders (the Hebrew definition of “meditate” from the Old Testament) the Scriptures and God Himself.
Practically speaking, the disciplines of solitude and silence have made a big difference in the life of this busy mother of three who, like so many others, is caught in the frantic pace of dinner dishes, errands and the demands of work and ministry. Priscilla has found a sweet peace in making time to be still in God’s presence. Taking Jesus’ own example to “depart to a lonely place to pray”(Mark 1:35) causes her to turn off the distractions that seek to steal her attention from Him and focus on God as He is revealed in His Word (even if sometimes it’s only for a few minutes at a time). She is not perfect at this – not nearly as consistent as she would like to be – but it is her goal.
We encourage you to try it for yourself. Any believer that carves out time to meet with God in the secret place of prayer will find Him waiting there with open arms to receive them (Matthew 6:6). What a great treasure.
We are certainly no experts on marriage! Priscilla and Jerry have only been married for 10 very wonderful years. However, having shared these years together, they have seen that there are several things that they could have been more prepared for as they walk this road together. They are happy to share those things with you.
If Priscilla were single again and on the cusp of being married, she would prepare and train herself to be a true servant. Women (and men for that matter) should go into marriage knowing that service to others is the heart of the marital relationship. If you are getting into the relationship looking to be served, then you will be shockingly surprised at all that is required of you, and your spouse will soon be burnt out on all his attempts to keep you happy.
The most successful and loving marriages we have encountered are those in which both parties are fully engaged in the task of serving the other. When both husband and wife go into marriage with this mentality, then both are happy and content, because the other is continually meeting their needs. So, right now, take a personal inventory. Are you a servant? How can you begin to develop that characteristic in your life?
Prepare yourself to follow the leadership of your husband. Don’t take the reins of the relationship after you say, “I DO.” If he planned dates and took initiative in other areas of your life together before marriage, then allow him the same courtesy after marriage. Let him lead. If you become the leader in your relationship at some point, then he will stop fighting for his role and let you have it. Only then will you realize the huge mistake you have made. You will wake up one day and wonder what happened to the strong man you married. Allow him control even if it means he makes decisions that you don’t particularly care for. Follow Him graciously even as he learns from his own mistakes. You will be rewarded with a husband who is secure in his leadership, and as a result wants to romance you, love you, serve you, and value your ideas and opinions in your life and marriage.
Priscilla highly recommends: “A Marriage Without Regrets” by Kay Arthur, “Liberated Through Submission” by Bunny Wilson and “The Surrendered Wife” by Linda Doyle.
We are happy to share it with you. It has impacted our lives as well. Priscilla did not write these statements, they are the words to a song called, “He Is.” Enjoy them and pass them on!
In Genesis, He’s the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He’s our High Priest
In Numbers, the Fire by Night
Deuteronomy, He’s Israel’s guide
Joshua, He’s salvation’s choice
Judges, He’s Israel’s guard
In Ruth, the kinsmen’s Redeemer
1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted Prophet
In Kings and Chronicles, He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He’s the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the Re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He’s Mordecai’s courage
In Job, the Timeless Redeemer
In Psalms, He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom
Ecclesiastes, He’s the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover’s dream
In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet
Lamentations, the Cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the Call from Sin
Daniel, the Stranger in the Fire
Hosea, the Forever Faithful
Joel, the Spirit’s Power
Amos, the Strong-arms that carry
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great Missionary
Micah, the Promise of Peace
Nahum, our Strength and Shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He brings revival
In Haggai, He restores that which was lost
In Zachariah, He’s our fountain
And in Malachi, He’s the Son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings
AND THAT’S JUST THE OLD TESTAMENT
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, He is God and Messiah
In the spirit filled book of Acts, He is the reigning fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the Power of Love
Galatians, Freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our Glorious Treasure
Philippians, the Servant’s Heart
Colossians, He’s God and the Trinity
Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, He’s our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the Everlasting Courage
In James, the One who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our Faithful Shepherd
In John and Jude, He’s the lover coming for His bride
AND in the Revelation, in the very end, when it’s all over, said and done, when time is NO MORE. He is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Lamb of God, The Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, God and Savior
He is Jesus Christ the Lord
HE IS EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED!
Priscilla’s latest Bible study is The Armor of God. Have you done it yet?! We sure hope that it will be a blessing in your life!
Priscilla is currently praying about the direction God will lead her next. Will you pray for her – that God will give her clarity on which Biblical personality or theme He would like for her to concentrate on and the best timing for it to be released? Then, ask Him to give her creativity, insight and revelation as she studies. Thank you so much!
The best way to get in touch with Priscilla is to write her a letter. You can send her a letter to P.O. Box 2122, Cedar Hill, TX 75106. Priscilla would love to hear from you.