Olivia Stear

On a mission

Olivia Stear
On a mission

Rollin’ deep with two toddler boys, life was filled with crafts, reading books, hitting up all the play dates and making homemade food.  It was a beautiful life. My party years in the big city were far behind me and my life as a Catholic missionary on a college campus was now in the past. There was a struggle trying to live out this ideal Catholic family life, having never grown up Catholic or in an intact family.

I was reunited with some old missionary friends at an event and I was face to face with a person I really admire. When he asked me how I was doing, I knew I couldn’t just give him a casual “ok.”  I was not ok, but what came out of my mouth was this, “Well, this week we glued tiny macaroni to a large can and painted it purple and green.” This was the little way of life I had embraced giving up that big career in the big city.  

He looked at me and said, “Why don’t you consider leading a Bible Study?”

My mind was flooded with objections.  First, who am I to crack open the Bible and lead anyone?  I am not an expert. Second, what do I have to offer others as an imperfect wife and mom?  I am not holy enough. Third, how in the world would I ever have time for that? I can hardly manage two toddlers and the work of managing a home.  

Looking back, he asked this question because he knew something about me that I had forgotten about myself.  I had forgotten my journey to becoming a wife and mother. Had my life not been changed by Jesus Christ, I know I would not be in a family.  He knew how much I loved God and how much joy it brought me to see other people encounter Him.

Although I was a Catholic missionary on a college campus at one point, it wasn’t clear how I could continue to live a missionary life with sippy cups and car seats in a Parish.  With permission from my pastor, I began experimenting with life as a wife, mother and Catholic missionary in the Parish. Thanks to great resources online, I no longer have to be an expert. As an imperfect wife and mother, I can walk closely with others as we struggle together to be saints.  Did I have the time for this? I made the time for this because it gave back so much to every other area of my life.

So what does it look like?  Some days I am at the kitchen counter sharing Scripture over coffee with wives and mothers.  Other times I am having heart to heart conversations with women who want nothing to do with religion.  Other days I am working closely with a Pastor. Very often if I don’t know what to do, I fall to my knees and pray in a pile of laundry.  

If you are Catholic, you are called to mission and if you are called, there has to be a way.  Let’s learn from each other and be creative together. Together we can discover what this looks like.  Keep coming back to this page so we can share in this wild adventure!