by Shannon BakerGod doesn't want you to be overwhelmed," Teresa Brady assured the women attending the 22nd annual Annie Elias Leavell Lectures at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, last fall. Brady, wife of Paul Brady, pastor of Oak Park Baptist Church in New Orleans, said many ministers' wives ask, "How can I play all the roles in ministry and still be a good wife and mother?" "Learn to laugh with your family," she suggested. "Sometimes we get so consumed with ministry that we forget that our children-and our husbands-would like to play." Arguing that life is too serious, she continued, "We need to be spontaneous. Don't view your family as interruptions." In what she jokingly called "His Plan ... My Party," she encouraged wives to make their home the party home for their children's friends. In addition to being able to witness of God's love to other children, Brady said parents will feel more secure knowing where their children are and with whom they are spending their time. Ministers' wives also need to accept help from others. In her 22-plus years of marriage, she has learned that everything does not need to be done exactly the way she would do things. "I don't have time to do everything on my own," she said. "I had to have help from my children. If I hadn't asked them to help me, eventually they would quit helping." Each person has a particular part to play in God's plan, she said. There is great joy in uncovering and fulfilling that personal role in ministry. She made the point that women should choose their battles by asking the question, "Am I willing to lose my relationship-my life-over this issue?" "I can't be unrealistic any longer," she added. "I finally realized that I wasn't raising perfect children. I was raising God's children. I can't make my husband the perfect pastor and preacher. That's God's job!" To her good pleasure, she said, God has been extremely faithful in her family's life. Her children are interested in the things of God. Her husband has a satisfying and successful ministry. But even if that were not true, she reminded the wives, "We can love our husbands because they love God. Isn't that enough?"