30 Days of Hearing God, Day 21
I’m feeling very introspective about my involvement with the children this upcoming school year. Today is their “Back to School Day.” That is, the day we meet the new teachers, see the new classrooms and sign up for all the volunteer responsibilities. Even though the summer flew by at warp speed, I always love the beginning of school. It’s like a clean slate. A fresh start. A time to redirect.
I have so many questions for God today about my focus and His will for me over the next year. It seems ever since my children were born, I’ve had this conflict. The conflict where on the one hand, my heart longs to center every ounce of energy on the three eternal souls who have been placed into my care. To set aside all other things that concern me until the brief (?) season of parenting is over.
And on the other hand, to expand my borders to reach a lost and dying world—to use all my gifts and talents in order to have an eternal impact on the nations, not just my little clan. To do it now…while they are still young and able to participate in whatever it is that takes me beyond my borders.
It’s so difficult as a stay-at-home-mom to reconcile all of that. Part of me says, “There will be time for all those things when the kids are grown.” And another part of me says, “Seize every opportunity, because the time is short and the Lord is coming back soon.”
I’m realizing more than ever how much my children need me and how little time I have before they leave the nest. While I have always been a mother who is “present,” for me, “present” often means “in the same house but doing something else.” I’m wondering if God is moving me to be present as in “you are my focus for this season and I will not try to accomplish ten other things outside of you until God tells me differently.” Or will I become completely off balance if I spend too much time focusing on my children and not enough time in other interests?
Most of parenting for me just feels like floundering around, trying to figure it all out as I go.
It comes down to a sincere cry to God to show me where to direct my focus, where to assign my time.
As my children grow and mature their needs change.Rebekah is entering middle school this year. I remember my own 6th grade year very well. And that right there stops me dead in my tracks and tells me to stay close to her.
Elijah has told me repeatedly this summer how much he hates school. And while he does quite well academically, his mind is a million miles away from school work (and on Star Wars or the Wii) most of the time. Homework is usually the most challenging time of each day for him—and me. That provokes me to find new ways to stimulate his excitement for learning and make homework time more pleasant.
And sweet Elliana—I’ve got two more years of having her at home with me before I release her to full-day school. I just want to make the most of it.
All of that while using my gifts and talents to reach a lost and dying world to draw them into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. And write on my new fitness blog. And lose 18.8 pounds.
Phew. That can be tricky.
I do know it’s all about balance. No. Correction: it’s all about Jesus. Every single minute of my day is about Jesus and His plans and purposes. I want to be in the center of His will each day. I don’t know exactly what that looks like today, as I meander the halls of my children’s school, writing my name on various volunteer lists, meeting new teachers and helping my middle schooler set up her locker. But I’m sincerely asking God to guide and direct me.
1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
What questions do you have for God today?
This is an area, Sandy, that is so close to my heart and something I spent hours processing as a mom. I want to pray about this today and write a longer response later. My husband wants to go for coffee . . . see there will be a day when balance is should I go out for coffee with my honey this morning or this afternoon. You are in the thick of it now and it is such a great stage of momness.
I love that you wrote that it's not about balance, it's about Jesus. Yes and amen. It is tricky, sometimes, to walk the tightrope of home and ministry–a tension I often resented and resisted–and for me reconciling that tension meant realizing that for now, home IS my ministry, a season that passes all too quickly. I am encouraged by your desire to be obedient and I am confident that as you seek the Lord He will direct your steps! He is so faithful!
And it's been experience that parenting is most definitely a floundering around, especially during these teenaged years!
This is something that I struggle with daily — giving the reins to Jesus instead of living out what I feel the agenda should be. Often times what I am doing can be good, but not always best.
By the way, I think we have the same definition of "present!"