True confessions time:
I've been realizing lately just how much I as a mom have let society influence me, even with my efforts to resist it.
Actually, let me rephrase that: I've had an idea for quite some time that I/we needed to change some things, but lately God has allowed circumstances to be such that I have no choice but to honestly look at some things, including my own motives, and decide what I'm going to do about them. I've had to recognize some flawed thinking on my part, share it with my husband, and see what his thoughts and leading were.
So here's our conclusion: We're dropping out of the rat race! So to speak.
For awhile there will be no organized sports for Little Mister, few, if any, club-type things and (gasp!) no Wednesday night Awana for any of us! Awana's the hardest for me, for a variety of reasons. First, it's an excellent program and Little Mister has learned so much from it. Second, I love working with Cubbies. Third, I hate to let Pastor Josh down because I know volunteers are needed. Fourth, I feel like I'm doing something wrong by not participating.
Okay, so actually number 4 is what has bothered me most. I mean, the first three are true, but they all have solutions. We can give him extra Bible training at home, I have other ministries with children, and God will definitely see that Pastor Josh has enough volunteers. I'm certainly not irreplaceable! :) That fourth one, though, is not so simple for me. It's where my hang-up is.
See, I've had it in *my* head all along that Little Mister would be at Awana every year like he's "supposed" to be as a good little SGC boy! He would earn all his ribbons and trophies and pins and patches and "store bucks" (or whatever they're called) throughout the years until he had that Timothy Award sitting on a shelf in his room. That's what SGC kids do! And what kind of parents would we be if we allowed that not to happen? What will people think of us now that the decision has been made? Where did this false guilt come from? No one from church has ever said or implied anything that should cause me to even begin to think this way.
Don't get me wrong. It's always been vital to me that LM understands the verses he learns and I pray that they make their way to his heart. That is the most important thing. But those other aspects have weighed strongly on my thinking as well.
And sports--Little Mister likes them and likes being on a team. Won't "people" (who are these people, anyway?) think we're really mean for having him take a year off?
I'm ashamed of my attitude, but it's reality. It's not born of truth by any means. It's based on lies I've believed.
The truth is that God is the One we want to obey, not society's whims.
We've allowed our family to be too busy over the years despite our flimsy efforts at preventing that very thing. New circumstances are forcing us to make changes. I won't bore you with the details, but mostly because of Kevin's current work schedule, we now don't have a choice in some of these matters. But this caused us to look at some of the things we do have choices in, and, for me, brought to the surface some of the motives I've been needing to face for awhile.
This doesn't mean we won't be doing anything! Kevin and I still have ministries/activities we will continue to be involved in. Little Mister still has friends and activities--just not so heavy on the activities. Although it's hard to give up Awana for now, I realize I'm actually very enthused about having the time we would normally be working on Awana (lots of time!) to teach him other Biblical truths that I have found myself sweeping under the rug because of time issues. I'm excited for him to have more time to focus on one-on-one relationships, or a few friends at a time, rather than so much time in larger groups (though he'll still have some of that, too). As for sports, he enjoys them, but he doesn't live for them. I love the idea of all of us taking a breather and enjoying one another more while we have the time.
I know people like to be busy. I do, too. But does "busy" maybe sometimes take away from the most important things in life? Might it be an "escape" from having to figure out how to relate with our family members? Maybe a status thing or a way of feeling important? I know, for me, I don't want to someday have an empty nest and regret being too busy to savor the precious gift of family I have been given. No matter what other ministries we may be involved in, our ministry to our families comes first!
It seems, though, that there's this pressure to always be going somewhere or to make sure our kids always have an activity after school. We don't want them to get bored. We don't want them to miss an opportunity. Well, what about the opportunity to spend "quantity" time with their parents and/or siblings? God ordained "socialization" to begin at home in the family unit. I find myself thinking of Laura Ingalls Willder. We have been reading the first book in her series, where she writes of living in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, and, along with her sisters, having never seen two or more houses next to each other, or a town or a store. Even her extended family lived far away, though they were able to see each other sometimes. Did she grow up to be a weirdo? No, she grew up part of a close-knit family, which is something that was once valued.
Call me old fashioned, but I value that, too. I come from a close-knit family. Imperfect, but close-knit. Let me tell you, that closeness helps bring a family through the imperfect times. All families are imperfect. But if we don't nurture the close-knit side, it will slip away. Then what is there to carry a family through the imperfections?
Just to make this clear, I am no judge of what constitutes another family being balanced or too busy. Kevin and I are responsible to make those decisions for our family. My main motive for sharing this is to share my own heart and encourage others to look at their own families and honestly perceive how time is spent. What are your thoughts about this subject? Leave a comment below or message me! :)