Girls of Purpose Week – Keri Welch

When I was around 8,  my family attended a church that was expanding.  Which meant…you guessed it…we met at a school.  My parents took upon themselves the arduous task of setting up and tearing down the “sanctuary” every weekend.

Every Saturday evening, my Dad backed the large Smurf colored A-team van up to the school auditorium.  The fun part was when we had to get the van through the 6’ clearance and it often scraped, leaving my brother and I to wonder if one day the roof would be stripped off.  (Now, THAT would have been cool!)

As my Dad unloaded the plastic crates, I quickly got to work, carefully placing the hymnals in their appointed spaces.

After ensuring that I had appropriated the entirety of the hymnals in each row, I retraced my steps to be sure that every third chair held a cherished blue book, slightly tilted to the right.  That was my signature placing, tilted to the right.

After hymnals, I went to work setting up the microphones, connecting the wires, twirling them around the mic stands, ensuring they were in the “off” position until sound check.  And, of course secretly pretending that I was Crystal Lewis, preparing for a concert.

Come Sunday morning, my Dad took his place on the piano bench.  Sometimes I joined him, just to watch him play, or to survey the congregation from his seat on stage.

Anyone who has ever heard my Dad on the keys is awestruck by his talent, what many describe as sheer musical genius.  The way he transforms a simple song into something you want to move to, with a bit of a Gospel vibe thrown in for good measure, just adds a bit of electricity to the air during worship.

You would think that someone with such talent would find it above themselves to do the grunt work that could easily be assigned to someone else in the church.

But, my Dad is dedicated to his craft.  He values the place of worship in the service.  The idea of ushering the congregants into the presence of God is not something to be approached nonchalantly.

As a stay at home Supermomma of three boys, my days are filled with grunt work.

Wiping little tooshies.  Slicing bananas.  Washing bottles that have 5 pieces!  Finding matching socks.  Locating a missing blankie.  Taking out the trash.  There ain’t nothin’ glamorous about it.

It’s so easy for me to look upon the tasks of domesticity with disdain and self-righteous indignation.  {And, some days I do!}

But, then I think of my Dad.  Who has the heart of a servant, who by example, trained me to have the heart of a servant.  He did so much for our church family, never complaining, never tiring.  But, fully living out this commandment:

3Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.  (Colossians 3:23-24)

If there’s one thing my Dad taught me, it’s that there is purpose in all aspects of work.  Most especially the grunt work.  Because without someone to carefully place the hymnal, how would we know the words to the songs, to offer our praise to the King?

Without someone to wipe the messy faces, how would my boys become men of God?

His purposes are higher than mine.  His design greater than any I could imagine.  All He asks is for me to do a little grunt work, and surrender it to Him. 

Find Keri on Twitter @popparables and while you are at it, check out her blog Pop Parables

I’m Keri, wife of 10 years to Mike; stay at home supermomma to three handsome boys, Lukas, Kaleb, and Korbin; and (sometimes) trainer to my lovable weiner pups Pikake and Ikaika.  I’ve lived quite a nomadic lifestyle, planting roots in North Carolina, Hawaii, Seattle, Louisiana, the Netherlands and New Mexico.  A few years ago, Mike and I finally settled down and made our home in Federal Way, WA, a suburb of Seattle.

The course of events in a typical week for me includes chauffeuring my boys, attending a Seattle Sounders game with the hubby, checking out what’s new and cute at Target, or chatting with friends over copious amounts of caffeinated beverages and chocolate.  At the end of the week, you’ll find me hanging out at my local church where I’ve connected with so many amazing people who have genuinely encouraged and challenged me in my journey of faith.  If I had more time in the day, I’d spend it doing yoga, walking my dogs on the beach, and getting back to scrapbooking, photography, traveling, and trying new recipes.  As you can tell by the focus of this blog, I also love to read, watch movies, and play one song from a new album so many times that it makes my hubby scream.  I’m a little obsessive that way.  🙂  I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology which helps me to (over)analyze anything and everything that crosses my path.

While I don’t consider myself an expert in any sense in theological matters, I have had the blessing of being raised in a Christian home.  My parents taught me by word and deed what it means to be a true Christian, and provided many experiences and community to nurture my faith. But, I’m still learning what it means to live out that faith authentically and practically.  You get to hear all about those lessons here on Pop Parables.


About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

13 responses to “Girls of Purpose Week – Keri Welch

  • Moe

    Fantastic post and insightful look at the life of your dad. It’s so humbling how father’s change lives (for the good or the bad). Just 3 days ago I got a Facebook friend request from (ready for this?) my father. Yes, the guy who left me when I was a little kid. When I needed him he wasn’t there and now when I no longer need him wants to be my Facebook friend? I think you would agree that’s just weird.

    I’m glad your dad was a great example of a good dad. Thank you for sharing him with us Keri.

    • Keri @ Pop Parables

      Moe, that really is weird. The fleshy part of me wants to go all crazy on that and maybe say a little $*($%* AND )*@#^, get my Momma Bear dukes out. But, I’ll try to refrain. I think I’ve shared some stuff with you about my pastor and how he never knew his dad. Around the age of 50, he finally met him after God himself Jesus-juked him with this: how can you say you’ve honored your father if you’ve never shared Me with him? #ouch He led Him to the Lord on his death bed. Pretty amazing story.

      The question is…did you accept, deny or ignore the friend request?!

  • Dustin

    Keri, enjoyed reading this! I love that your earthly father taught you so much and you were able to see some of his everyday things and apply them to your walk with your heavenly Father. Enjoyed learning more about you!

    Chris, great feature!

  • Keri @ Pop Parables

    Thanks for letting me hang out here, Chris. I had fun writing this post and reliving my glory days as a “Levite minister”. hehehe

  • Cindy Holman

    Keri – I totally realized that I spelled your name wrong on the comment I just left on your blog! Sorry. I hate when someone does that! So glad you are featured on here – great to read more about you.

    • Keri @ Pop Parables

      LOL, Cindy-I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it. People never get my name right-I got over it years ago. At least you didn’t call me Kelly or Karen or something that wasn’t my name. hehehe

      Thanks for checking out the post. It is fun to share a little about my real life from time to time. 🙂

  • My 10 Favorite Things I Learned on Oprah | Pop Parables

    […] for my friend and fellow Westsiiiiiiider, Chris, on his blog Goforth’s Journal.  Stop by and read my post in his series about Girls of Purpose. Don’t forget to tell him I sent ya.  If you're new […]

  • Andrea

    Great post Keri! You always have a way of posting something that is just what I need at that moment. And after a wild and crazy morning at McDonalds’s with my difficult little darling…..reading your posts always reminds who we are serving even in the little things. So good to see you! 🙂

    • Keri @ Pop Parables

      I love the way God leads us right to the words we need to hear. He’s always showing us His Truth…even through a blog post. 🙂

      It was really nice to see you, Andrea. Seriously, we should do it on purpose sometime-surely, they’ll be some opportunities this summer. I’d love to get to know you more. 🙂

  • Joe Sewell

    I’ve done the “church in a box” thing, too. At a school, even. Thankfully we didn’t have hymnals (we’re one of those “pop churches” that use a projection screen and, later, widescreen monitors).

    My father was involved as a servant at our old town church, until the leadership quite rudely told him they no longer needed him. I never set foot inside the place until after I got married (which was after Pop died) and decided to visit where I was born & raised. (No, it’s not “home” at all anymore.)

    • Keri @ Pop Parables

      Yeah, “church in a box” is rough. Unless you’ve been a part of the set up/tear down (which everyone should!), you have no idea how much work it is, week after week after week. It can very easily lead to burn out. And, hymnals are heavy when you pack them in a crate!

      I’m saddened to hear of the hurt your father suffered from the church he served in. These things happen more often than not. Have you been a part of the “House Church” disucssion at Project Mathetes? There’s been some interesting brought up about these ideas.

      Thanks a lot for reading, Joe. 🙂

      • Joe Sewell

        I’ve been trying to catch up on too many things this past week, including my book, which will probably include a section on the “House Church” movement. Sounds like I need to get my virtual self over there.

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