The Beautiful Collision of Family and Calling

December 17, 2013


Rebekah, me and Jen dreaming for IF last week.

It is almost a new year. When Zac and I drive home from visiting family after Christmas nearly every year I pull out scratch paper and I make categories, portions of  our lives and we dream. For years I was overwhelmed and lost when it came to my dreams, discouraged as I looked at the categories and wondered if it was even ok to dream?

I was overwhelmed with young kids and a lot of those years I would numbly write my to do lists for the year and the extent of any personal dreaming was hopes to work out more.

So now it’s different I’m living a whole host of dreams with an army of kids in tow- I’ve learned there are no easy answers to how to do it all. It is a dance, a deep dependence on God’s Spirit. But it is of great comfort to have many friends who dance well around me.

Rebekah Lyons  is a dear friend and was in town last week helping finalize some things for IF:Gathering. She is the author of Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning. She is a mother of three and married to Gabe, and is the cofounder of Q Ideas, a nonprofit organization that helps Christian leaders winsomely engage culture.

And I interrupted Guerro’s Mexican food for ya’ll to get to join our conversation. I just knew you all needed to be a part of us processing these tensions.



Conversation with Rebekah Lyons from Jennie Allen on Vimeo.

Some of the things we discuss:

“Ambition is seen as something for ourselves but bravery is advocating for others.” -Rebekah quoting Sheryl Sandberg from Lean In. 

“What I was so anxious about in the past… all of the sudden I was just doing it.” -Rebekah

“I am at least showing my kids what it looks like to faithfully obey in a way that is not buttoned up with a pretty bow. And what they saw before was a house that was never dirty and a voice that was never heard. I would rather live in a house that is messy…” -Rebekah

“We want to raise brave kids who will sacrifice for others but we are scared to have our kids sacrifice.” -Jennie

“There is a risk to retreat.” -Rebekah

Want to start the new year dreaming? Let’s do that. Restless launches January 7th.


Restless Book Trailer from Jennie Allen on Vimeo.

Where are you being called to dream and risk?

And what is holding you back?

20 Responses to “The Beautiful Collision of Family and Calling”

  1. I’ve been wrestling with all of this lately. Thank you for this important conversation.

    “The risk to retreat” is the perfect explanation and something I will ponder heavily. I have been feeling that tug so much lately.

    Thank you for interrupting your burrito for this 🙂

  2. Jennie,
    You have changed my life. Period, end of story! God is doing SO many things because if your book “anything” and I am teaching my first women’s bible study in my home this January on your study “Chase”, I’m terrified of all God’s doing, but know in my deep soul it’s exactly where I should be. Thank you for changing my life and helping me to let go of all my worries, fears, etc and just TRUST HIM

    • THIS is exciting! It will be awesome! I had tried for AGES to get my neighbors in to my home for social gatherings. They just would never come. Finally I went around and invited them to do STUCK. Honestly, I was just being obedient and didn’t think any of them would come. TWO came every week! It has completely changed our connections! Praying for you RIGHT NOW!

  3. Thank you for posting this and encouraging and strengthening and inspiring through the beautiful muddied journey! xxxoooo

  4. When God called, years ago, I was scared. I was in so far over my head and there was no guide. I was the one forging the trail. People were following me and I was running, trying to stay in God’s footsteps.

    It was amazing what God did in my life….in my husband’s life… in our marriage….in the lives of our children. It was scary and hard obedience but HE showed Himself faithful! I am thankful for the foundation HE laid. He has narrowed my call now to teach and shepherd women, but me following Him will never change.

    It’s not always easy. My hubby and I (now empty nesters) still have to work through the details, but we know that we know I am following Gods’ call for my life!

    • Karen- this is so powerful. I think the biggest thing some people need are faithful examples of those who have lived brave and faithful and still love God.

  5. Thank you for giving us a virtual window into your conversation! So encouraged by you! I have three kids ages 3 and under and I’m wrestling with how to move on what I Know God is calling me to when I feel so tired just caring for my babes and loving my husband. He gives us what we need when we allow Him to-that’s what I’m working towards choosing.

  6. Hi Jennie,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Honestly, I’m just so glad I found you and your bible studies over a year ago. I am going to watch the video now. I’m anticipating beautiful things in Austin (see you there) and honored to walk with you as we embrace our callings and walk the road with enthusiasm and joy to love and serve our Lord. 🙂

    Fran Thomas

    • Fran- how long have we been online friends! Forever. I so hope we meet this year. 🙂

  7. Thank you girls for sharing part of your lunch conversation! I’ve been wrestling with what being a Godly wife and mother looks like while using the gifts God has given me and I’m thankful to sit in on your conversation to hear a bit of what runs through your mind and how God is working that out in your families, for His glory!

  8. I have been wrestling with exactly this for a while now and keep coming back to 1 Samuel 15:22 … The Lord delights in obedience more than sacrifice. I am seeking what that looks like in my life, in my family’s life. And I am restless for the vision, the answer, whatever it is that will bring Him the most honor, the most glory. But i’m daring to dream big.

  9. Just what this tired heart needed to hear.
    I’d rather pass down a legacy of faithfulness to my children than something moths and rust destroy.

    • Oh Cara- are you coming to Noonday Ambassador conf? Hope to see you.

      • I wish.. I really wish. I can’t even talk about it without getting sad. Going to Ethiopia in Feb and Uganda in March so I just can’t make it happen this year. it’s a tragedy really. praying for If: Gathering! It’s so close!!


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