IT’S MOTHER’S DAY: Dr. Judith Christie McAllister Shares Insights on Motherhood
Dr. Judith Christie McAllister is known worldwide as a dynamic woman of God. She is a powerful Minister of Music, leader, entrepreneur, recording artist, and wife: but today, as she prepares for her Mother’s Day presentation at West Angeles Church of God In Christ in Los Angeles, “Dr Judy”, as she’s affectionately known, shares with writer Karen Lascaris her personal insights on what it means to be a mother, and how it’s helped to make her the woman she’s become.
KL – Dr. Judy, as you look back, in what ways do you think that God prepared you for motherhood before you became a mother?
Dr. McAllister – I was always the motherly type, even when I was very young. As a matter of fact, in high school, friends called me “Mother” because I would dote over all of the kids; even some who were years older than me. I think it’s because I grew up in a very small church among very wise, older women who I loved and I hung around. They taught me much wisdom.
KL – How did motherhood change or transform your relationship with God?
Dr. McAllister – Of course, you come into motherhood with a sense of awe, but also a sense of trepidation when your children begin to grow, to go to school, and to gain independence. You don’t have the same kind of control – and I use that word very loosely; yet, intentionally – as you do when your child is right in your arms. But, I also realized that God has just loaned my children to me and that, ultimately, they are His. That means being able to put them in God’s hands and trust that He will take care of what is His.
KL – Many women feel that they lose themselves when they become a mother. Please share something you learned about yourself, or unique qualities that you developed, after becoming a mother.
Dr. McAllister – Actually, I believe that, to a certain degree, there is a time when losing of oneself to care for another is a noble attribute. “Sacrifice” is one of the middle names of “Mother,” if not the first name. However, there should be a balance. One of the things that I’ve learned is that, rather than allowing my children to take all from me, I can give what I want to while really reserving time for myself. I’ve even taken personal trips on my own, just to have time to myself.
KL – You and your husband, Darin, have both had demanding careers while you were raising your family. Please share insights on how you maintained balance in your relationship along with the demands of parenting.
Dr. McAllister – We may not have the chance to do all that we did when we didn’t have children. But every now and then we steal away and we take time to recalibrate, to refocus, and to ensure that we’re on the same page. Life happens, but if you have a foundation of love, support, and of course God, it makes life a little bit easier.
KL – We are in very tumultuous times, and children are especially vulnerable. Many parents have concerns about their children; getting them through safely, keeping them strong in spite of outside influences, etc. Please share insights which may help bring peace, strength comfort, direction.
Dr. McAllister – In realizing that God has loaned my children to me, I’ve tried to make good on the investment. It’s kind of like the Parable of the Talents in the Book of Matthew, where a master gave three men different delineations of talents, then expected something different from each one. Well, I see my children as talents. It’s my job; my responsibility to develop them so that when God calls for the gift in them, they are more developed than they were when He gave them to me.
KL – Please share anything which is on your heart which may inspire our women readers, and help them to navigate life’s challenges a little easier. I would like to encourage and admonish all mothers that they are the crucible for the world to change. Women are made to carry; we are the “wombed-man.” Whatever seed is inside of us is a cause which needs to be brought forth, or birthed, into the earth realm. So we have to ensure that the seed that goes into us is a seed that is good because a woman has an innate ability to take whatever is given to her and to make it bigger:
- We take a house and we make it at home.
- You give us groceries, we make a meal.
- We take the seed of a man and we’ll give you a baby.
A woman should not be a thermometer: a woman should be a thermostat. So I would encourage and admonish all mothers to know that you’re special, you’re lovely, you’re wonderful! So celebrate you: because God certainly does.
Often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship,” Judith Christie McAllister is probably best known for her impact as one of the forerunners of the Praise and Worship movement in the African American Church. In serving as International Minister of Music/President for the Church of God in Christ as well as West Angeles’ Executive Director of the Music and Worship Arts Department under COGIC’s Chief Apostle, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., she’s developed a style and approach to Praise and Worship which has earned her accolades worldwide. She’s married to Brother Darin McAllister, and together they have 3 children.