02 February 2014

Every Mom Has A Story: Abby Helms

Meet Abby Helms

I just love Abby.  She exudes wisdom and grace, and is one of the most craftiest and creative people I know.  (Hence the art teacher).  She is married to Paul who is our lead worship leader at church.  Paul is so gifted at what he does and I really feel that God has blessed these two with talent and creativity and has a lot in store for them!

Abby has an 18 month old Silas, and is currently preggers with her daughter Ollie, who I believe should be here any day now (her due date is Valentine's Day).

After I interviewed Abby and really read through her answers I felt God stirring in my heart and destining our budding friendship.  Abby thank you for your wisdom and honesty and sharing your story with us!  

Here is Abby's story...

1.    Abby when/where did you and Paul meet?

I met Paul while visiting my brother and sister-in-law in New Jersey the summer of 2010. I’d gone to church with them and afterwards Paul came up and introduced himself. Paul had been the worship leader at Jacob’s Well from the beginning of the church but every other time I’d visited my brother, someone else had led worship. So that Sunday was the first time I’d ever seen Paul even though I’d been there four or five time before. God’s timing I guess…

2.    How long were you engaged for?

Not long! Once we decided to get married, neither of us wanted a long engagement. So, four very short months after he proposed, I walked down the aisle.

3.    Did you always live in NJ?

Not at all. I moved to NJ in 2011 but I was born and raised in Tennessee, and while I have come to appreciate NJ and call it home, I’ll always be a southerner at heart. :)

4.    How do you feel about being in leadership at JW? Is it hard/fun? Did you know that you and Paul would be in ministry together from the get go?

Serving the church brings a lot of joy to our lives, but it is not always easy! Paul works part-time for Jacobs Well as the Deacon of Worship and Arts. We also lead a Missional Community Group for Rutgers students together. We do both of these things on top of our regular jobs (Paul works full-time for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and I teach art part-time at the Wilberforce School.)

Paul and I work well together, and we love merging every part of our lives, but I’ve found that most of the time Paul needs me less as a business partner and more as a wife. So, I’ve learned to focus on keeping our schedule manageable, planning family days and down time, and keeping things under control at home. These things might seem trivial but I see them as vital to our sanity and ultimately our ability to serve others.

5.    You and Paul have an adorable 18 month old Silas...and soon baby Ollie will make her debut...what motherhood joys are you loving right now?

To be totally honest, this mama is in survival mode. I’m three weeks from my due date with a long list of to dos before baby comes. Needless to say, I’m worn out! In the past weeks though I’ve loved letting Silas be “my little helper.” Whenever I can, I let him get involved in my to do’s. Whether its cooking, cleaning, or crafting there’s usually a way to make it fun and assessable for him. I’m always impressed by what he can do, when I give him the chance.

6.    How have you prepped Silas for becoming a big brother?  Does he get it?

Silas has no idea what’s coming! We talk about Ollie with him a lot, but honestly he’s not that concerned. Usually he’s more interested in Mama’s belly button than sister’s kicks. He’s in for a big surprise!

7.    So you have been through labor and delivery once, how did Paul help you through it all?  I couldn't have done it without the help of John and my doula!

I tend to be the more steady, stoic one in our relationship, so to be honest, the first time around I worried the whole thing might be too much for Paul. I have never been more wrong! Paul was a total champ. He was calm but focused from the first contraction. He even bossed me around a bit, and thank the Lord he did because when I wanted to continue laboring a little longer at home, Paul made the decision to overrule me and we headed to the hospital. Silas was in my arms one hour later! I am so grateful that Paul went with his gut and led in that moment. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have made it.

8.    I know you and Paul love Jesus and are teaching Silas all about Him...what legacies as parents/ as a mom are you hoping to leave behind?

I hope my kids would say that their mom was wise. Wisdom only comes from God, so I hope that throughout their life my opinion would be one that they valued because they knew it was one that came from meditation on scripture and Spirit truly dependent on the Lord.

9. What is your one bit of advice for a pregnant mom out there or newlywed?

Well, with Silas, I was both a newlywed and pregnant. Things didn’t happen according to the plan Paul and I had set for ourselves, and to be honest, I wasn’t too happy about that. My first pregnancy consisted more of fear, doubt, and depression than sweet anticipation. But from that one place, I couldn’t see very far. From where I’m sitting now, I am so unspeakably grateful that God gave us what He knew we needed rather than what we thought we wanted. My advice would be to not feel bad if in marriage or pregnancy or motherhood, you don’t always feel the way you think you’re suppose to feel. Be honest with God about these things and let Him “deliver you to your desired haven.” (Psalms 107:30). He has good plans. Plans that will make you whole, even if its hard. 

I cherished your answers Abby!!! Thanks so much for doing this!  --Love, Kristi


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