Meet Elizabeth Oates
Hi Waco Moms! My name is Elizabeth Oates. From the outside looking in, I live the idyllic life of the quintessential soccer mom. I married my college sweetheart, Brandon (sic ‘em Bears!). We have five children (three biological, one we adopted through foster care, and one we are currently fostering). I live in the Waco suburbs and I drive a minivan. OK, maybe the minivan is not so idyllic, but the rest sounds pretty dreamy, right?
As a child, however, my reality looked nothing like the “American Dream” I live today. Growing up I lived through multiple divorces, and along with that came a tidal wave of abuse, abandonment, addiction, neglect, and other general dysfunction. Our family moved around a lot and I attended three elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. I have lived in Waco since 2006 . . . much longer than any other place in my life.
Growing up in a dysfunctional family gave me a passion to pursue marriage and family ministry. So after I graduated from Baylor, I attended Dallas Theological Seminary where I earned a Masters in Christian Education with a focus in Marriage and Family Studies.
Four months after graduation our first son was born and Brandon and I moved our little family back to Waco in pursuit of a quieter life. To say it took me awhile to adjust to this new season of motherhood and small-town-living would be an understatement. But I’ve grown to love our community of friends and the ministry opportunities God has given us through Legacy Family Ministries, co-teaching a young married class at our church for five years, and mentoring young married couples.
Aside from hands-on ministry, I have also authored three books, including Dealing with Divorce: Finding Direction When Your Parents Split Up; If You Could See as Jesus Sees: Inspiration for a Life of Hope, Joy, and Purpose; and Mending Broken Branches: When God Reclaims Your Dysfunctional Family Tree (due for release in October). I wrote a monthly faith column for Waco Today Magazine for about six years and now I write a monthly advice column for WACOAN Magazine. I also enjoy speaking at various M.O.P.S. and women’s groups, women’s retreats and conferences, marriage conferences, and writing workshops.
Marriage. Kids. Foster care and Adoption. Writing. All this sounds pretty perfect and fancy–just like being a soccer mom. But if you know me, then you know my life is not as wistful as it appears from the outside . . . no one’s life is (no matter what their Instagram feed portrays).
I make mistakes. Brandon and I argue. I lose my patience with my kids (because Oh. My. Word. There are so many of them.) I try and I fail. I forget people’s birthdays. I forget to plug in the crockpot. I forget to charge my phone. I forget a lot of things. But one thing I don’t forget: the way God changed my life. He made me into something when I was nothing. (1 Peter 2:9) He loved me when it felt like no one else did. He rescued me when I didn’t even know I needed to be rescued. And He wants to do all of this for you too.
To read more from Elizabeth, you can check out her website at www.elizabethoates.com.