How Childhood Games Reveal Your God-given Ministry

Apr 4, 2012

What did you like to play as a child?

Our women’s minister asked us this question. Years ago a seminary professor asked her the same question. She remembered lining her siblings up in chairs & teaching them while her mother cooked dinner. She loved to teach. Yet years of abusive relationships & discouragement had squelched that talent. A gift God had given her laid dormant until she remembered a simple childhood activity.

Stop & think: What childhood game or activity did you enjoy as a child?

As I pondered this question several things came to mind: hours spent exploring the woods behind our house creating worlds & adventures, mothering my 7 Cabbage Patch Dolls, countless hours reading “The Babysitter Club books”, journaling vacation trips, writing down names from tombstones & writing stories about who they were (I know, that’s a weird one!), dressing up & writing plays…

Common threads: creativity, verbal expression & a strong maternal instinct.

This is why I continue to write a blog while I have a six-week-old newborn and three other young children. It feeds my soul and it’s how God created me.

Many people have offered the advice to consider not blogging during this busy season. Their hearts were well-intentioned. It seems like logical advice. Cut back. Simplify my life. But when I heard their suggestion it sounded like they were asking me to stop breathing. To stop being me.

It wasn’t until my women’s minister spoke about individuality and remembering our childhood passions that I understood why I felt that way.

God gave me specific gifts & talents. When I am using those gifts & talents for His glory it is not work it is worship. It is natural and brings me joy.

However, spending my time organizing people’s closets and giving fashion advice…that would be work. Or training for a triathlon… Or planning a wedding…

Jae can organize closets & she and Amber give great fashion advice. Cari loves training for Ironman races. Elizabeth and Carrie can easily plan a wedding. Kathryn and Holly are gifted singers. They all thrive in their element. God is using them uniquely.

From our mother’s wombs God has knit us in such a way to be used for His glory. My knitting pattern is different from yours. We can’t compare them. Both patterns are unique, intricate, and beautiful…but they are completely different.

Don’t assume what seems to be “work” to you is “work” for me. What may seem like a burden to you may be a blessing for me. 

We waste precious time & energy yearning for other’s gifts & talents. Let’s discover our own passions. Embrace them. Be used by Him!

I also want to observe my children. To study what they enjoy playing. To encourage them in their talents & gifts. To remind them how they can be used for Kingdom Building work.

What did you enjoy playing as a child? Are you able to do something similar now that feeds your soul & ministers to others?


  1. LaurM

    Oh I love this! It’s so true! Thanks for sharing this great encouragement to keep on even in the difficult and busy times!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      What’s funny is that until I read your comment I didn’t even think of it like that…but yes…when we are doing what God created us to do, then we can keep doing it even in difficult & busy times.

  2. Jacki R

    My husband and I were just talking about this two nights ago! He asked me ( while I was busily hopping around house planning a lesson plan for the next day)… “Don’t you ever get tired of doing that? You teach most of day, and then spend time at night getting ready to teach again. Sounds exhausting!!”. I do get tired, but my response was…I love this! It comes so naturally to me to create and bridge ideas…my body is tired, but my mind and heart are not!”. Love this post!!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Jacki for sharing! I love what you said…your body is tired but your mind and heart are not. Exactly! I would love for you to be my boys’ teacher. 😉

  3. Holly Ramsey

    I had to chuckle when Peggy Banks said that, because my sister and I used to invite our neighbor friends over to do a production of “Annie” and we would promptly assign ourselves the lead roles – ha. We used to sit on our green shag carpet for hours singing with records of classic musicals. I really encourage people to think about this and how it can revolutionize your attitude toward whatever serving role you put yourself in. I cannot believe I wasted literally 17 years not singing when it used to be such a big part of my life. What was I thinking? Lesson learned!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Thanks Holly for sharing your experience! Isn’t it amazing how we can forget what we used to love to do? When do I get to hear a solo?

  4. Christy

    This is so true. I would play teacher and literally taught my brother to read when he was 4. I loved to play with my little people and my baby dolls creating elaborate family situations. I taught and I am a mommy. My brother built model airplanes and played military games and ended up in the Air Force. My kids love to play family too so I bet they will be awesome moms.

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