Kelly Russell Shares Why She’s More Than Mom

By Leigh Harper, August 4, 2017

Seminary grad Kelly Russell loved her job as director of volunteer development in outreach at Mariners Church in Irvine, California. Tasked with recruiting, equipping and managing volunteers at the church (with an average weekly attendance of 11,000), in the community and abroad, she thrived.

During her first pregnancy, Russell never considered staying home. She even worried her 12-week maternity leave would be too much time away from the job she adored. Once her daughter was born, she was ill frequently, which threw Russell for a loop. Eventually she and her husband decided that her being a full-time mom was the best option for their family. While she was confident she was making the right decision, Russell was heartbroken to push pause on her career.

“It was really hard to give up my job,” says Russell. “I loved it, but I knew I couldn’t do it full time anymore.”

Once she’d left Mariners, Russell says she felt restless. She missed her job every day and was discouraged to no longer be growing her skillset or engaging in ministry beyond her family.

“Those days of staying at home with my daughter were busy yet boring, lonely while never alone, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time,” she says.

Eventually her husband’s job prompted the family to move to Ventura, California, where they began attending Mission Church of Ventura—at the time, a church plant of 200 people. The urge to jump back in was strong, so Russell offered up her skills and experience as a volunteer.

“Three months in, I told [the leadership] I’d love to help with whatever needs they had,” she says. Grateful for her help, they gave Russell responsibilities immediately. But it became tricky to balance these once again and she struggled to be fully present at home and at the church. She had two children, plus a husband in the medical field with a demanding schedule of his own. Despite the needs behind her own front door, Russell says she was so happy to be involved in this kind of ministry again that she nearly ran over her family.

(Visited 378 times, 1 visits today)
  • Yessss, a beautiful start to a beautiful plan God has for your life, Kelly. Exciting to walk with you during this season.

  • Ailie Baumann

    Fantastic post. Thank you. I enjoyed reading how moms can follow their dreams and passions in a way that works for their families. This is something I would love to see more women doing especially young moms. Great message you’re sharing Kelly Russell.

    • Thanks for reading Ailie, glad you enjoyed it! Yes, let’s run after our purpose and passions AND enjoy a thriving family.

Rebecca Crownover, a popular keynote speaker, discusses her family’s journey depicted in “My Daddy Is in Heaven.”

A recent report from The Experience Institute confirms that conference attendees are acting more and more like vacationers.

International relationships take time to develop. Try these tricks the next time you’re working with exhibitors or suppliers from abroad.

Corbin Bernsen, star of “My Daddy Is in Heaven,” discusses his journey to spiritual filmmaking.

Learn the ins and outs of negotiating banquets and catering costs.

Read More