Heidi Handrick Breitbarth ('99) graduated from Concordia University Texas with a degree in Elementary Education. In 2004, she embarked on her life-changing work as a wife and mother, the two greatest roles to which God calls women.
In a recent interview, Breitbarth provided valuable wisdom about living biblically as a wife and stay-at-home mother. Gifted with a strong faith in God that manifests in her joyful demeanor, she provides beneficial advice for everyone in this Q&A.
What made you choose to pursue the noble vocation of being a wife and mother?
My mom was and still is a great role model of this. As I grew into adulthood, God opened my eyes to the value of what my parents sacrificed to provide for me in my own childhood.
Because my mom chose to stay home and raise the family, she was able to pour into us in a way she wouldn't have been able to if she was working full time.
While in college, my mom mailed me personal notes of encouragement, one of which included Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV): "For I know the plans I have for you, declared the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Even from a distance, my mom took time to continue her intentional acts of pouring into me what God wanted me to hear.
She left an impression on me that prioritizing the roles of being a wife and mother was a privilege and blessing, used by God to pour into the lives of people to whom God knits you. She never preached this to me; she lived it out for me.
Please share a few ways that you glorify God through your vocation.
I provide my kids with intentional time to celebrate joys and guide them through their struggles while pointing them toward Christ.
I'm focused on how God uses me to grow them during these precious short years that they are under my roof. Many days, I cry out to Him for wisdom and strength on how to do this impossible job. I believe that it's out of His great love that He continues to put me in opportunities where I am totally dependent on His strength and wisdom to fulfill this vocation.
I'm able to meet the needs using the gifts God has equipped me within a wide variety of places outside of the home when my children are at school. I have been able to serve as a substitute teacher and a babysitter for neighborhood kids. I also take on volunteer leadership roles within the church and in service to my community.
It's important for my children to see how God can use any person's gifts to bring Him glory and that opportunities are not limited to the source of one's paycheck.
I recognize that I could fulfill my vocation as a wife and mother while also having employment outside of the home, and I'm not saying that one choice is more godly than another. For me personally, God has been glorified in that I've seen Him provide in ways that are far beyond what I could do for myself.
He is glorified when the provision for our family is more than enough, and it's not because I've overextended myself. It's because He is more than enough.
If I truly believe that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, clothes the lilies of the valley and cares for the sparrows, why would I not also believe that He will supply all my needs as I listen to and follow His voice?
What is your favorite thing about your vocation?
My favorite thing is being available for my kids in their schools and lives. They are so accustomed to my support, and I absolutely love this.
So many great memories are made during the everyday opportunities of life spent with people. I wake up each morning excited for the day and in awe that I get to use my life this way for the glory of God!
What's the most challenging thing about your vocation?
It's tiring. I'm always on call. I need to be on guard against the temptation of selfish pride and entitlement (making "self-care" an idol instead of being renewed by God daily), and I need to guard against worry.
I have seen God move incredible mountains in my life as I take these things to Him in prayer.
How has God worked through your vocation to strengthen your faith and make you more Christlike?
He has used servant leadership. My husband is a great example of this. We chose Philippians 2:1-11 to be read at our wedding. It has impacted our marriage, and it has been a stabilizing directive for our family.
Philippians 2:3-5 (ESV) says: "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus."
No job is too mundane or unseen by the Lord. He values the day in and day out of connecting with others.
When I consider the time spent with my husband and children, I don't evaluate it based on the number of fancy vacations or the number of sports in which my children participate. I want my children to grow up with a strong sense of how much God loves them and that, regardless of where they turn, they hear His voice directing them on the paths He has for them.
What advice would you give to women who desire to become or are wives and stay-at-home mothers?
God provides. If you're on a limb about considering this, I encourage you to consider the value there is in following God's direction for your life, even if that means stepping away from the world's expectations.
Instead of being consumed by the potential challenges, ask God to redirect your perspective to view these as opportunities. Allow Him to do the impossible. He is the Master at that, after all.
God is faithful to provide and will never lead you into an area in which He won't equip you.
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