Friday, September 23, 2011

When Minstry and Mommyhood Collide – Part 2

In my previous blog, I described that fateful Thursday night when ministry and mommyhood collided and a choice had to be made…I of course chose to be a mommy, but as I was at home nursing my sick baby I had a serious conversation with God. It went something like this:

Me: God, when I was pregnant, you promised me that our baby would be able to join the life you’ve called us too.

God: Yes…

Me: And there have been moments of that (like taking her to Europe and learning to schedule groups at our house), but God I’m still struggling with a guilt that seems to be constant. When I’m at work or doing ministry I feel guilty that I’m not with her, and when I’m with Selah I sometimes feel guilty that I’m not taking care of ministry responsibilities that you have entrusted to me. This can’t continue.

God: You are right.

Me: I am?

God: Yep.

Me: I’m right about what? Feeling guilty or needing this to change.

God: The second one.

Me: How do I make this work?

God: You don’t.

Me: Huh?

God: I promised you that Selah would join into the things I’ve called you to do. I promised you that I would give her the gift of flexibility and joy. I promised you that the collision of ministry and mommyhood could actually be a wonderful thing.

Me: Oh…

God: You are the one who started to believe the lies of society that guilt would always be a part of motherhood. You are the one who is thinking this can’t work. You are the one who is frustrated because You are trying to figure this out in your mind or trying to find an example of a family who looks like you. You need to stop.

Me: But…

God: No more buts…you need to trust me. I have designed a rhythm for your family. I’ve designed a rhythm of grace for each family on this earth. I will show you how to parent, what choices to make, and how ministry and mommyhood should look for you. Stop looking to other’s cues and look to me first.

Me: Really? I can do that?

God: You know it’s always best when you look to me first! Sometimes I’ll speak to you through others, but I’ve given you the ability to hear my voice. Don’t limit that voice to Bible reading time or counseling or sermon prep…that voice is also speaking about how to parent Selah…about how to make this collision in your life a joy! Listen.

Me: I’ll try…and thank you.

So, for the last few months I’ve tried to listen more closely. And you know what, I believe the Lord really does have a beautiful rhythm for my family. I’ve discovered that there are days when Selah is sick or needing mommy time that ministry needs to be put on the back burner. There are other days when I need to work extra hours or listen on the phone as a girl cries…and in those moments I’m actually amazed how God gives Selah the grace or provides others in my life (like my awesome husband) so that I can do what I’m called to do. For example, a young woman just left my house – we chatted for about 30 minutes about some things God is doing in her life…and 15 minutes before she arrived, Selah came to me with her blankie & sippy and pointed to her crib. We dropped morning naps about a month ago, but I put her down anyways, and she’s been asleep for an hour now. God gave us both the grace for this morning so that He could accomplish what He wanted.

I may make this sound too simplistic. There are still crazy moments and mishaps, but the constant guilt is fading, and it is making life so much more sweet – just the way He intended.

This past weekend, we took our college students on an annual camping retreat into a near-by canyon. My first inclination was to leave Selah with my mom, but when I stopped to really pray about what would be best for Selah, I felt like we should take her along! And oh what fun we had!

One of these things in not like the others...
Selah LOVED running around outside.

She loved hanging out with the cool college kids.

She loved that the cool college kids would give her anything she wanted – like Cheetos!

And I LOVED having my girl with us. I had to make a few concessions (like our lodging – she wasn’t going to sleep the night in a tent), but it went smoothly & it was one more reminder that the collision doesn’t always have to bring chaos or division. Instead, this collision of ministry and mommyhood can be an opportunity for God to demonstrate to us how His ways are not His.

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

That deserves a knuckle-knock.


Jessie Head said...

Paige, I loved reading your last two posts! Guilt somehow always finds a way into every mommy's head sometimes. It doesn't matter the postion we are in. I am glad you are learning to find a balance. I too prayed that my child would growup learning to sleep on the back rows of pews and that they would love being at church while mommy and daddy were serving and worshiping.

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