Monday, June 7, 2010

Does having 4 kids...

Give me permission to not serve?

The last couple of weeks have been busy ones.

My next couple will be busier still.

I am codirecting preschool VBS and am in charge of the preschool crafts for the week. One of my main people just had a close relative pass away and she is going to be gone.

I am scrambling a little.

And my baby just turned three months. And my 3 boys need to be taken out to run. And work has gotten busy. And my house has gotten messy. And my first tri is complete, but the next one is looming.

I get asked, "why are you doing VBS, SS etc with all your children?" But why not? Does having a lot of kids give you permission to not bring a snack to your kid's teeball team? Does having a lot of kids give you permission to not be useful at church? Does having a lot of kids mean that you shouldn't bring a meal to someone who needs it? Does it mean that you should be off the hook for volunteering? Does it mean you should put sharing the love of God on hold until your family grows?

Having 1 kid, 2 kids, 3 kids, 4 kids, 5 kids, 6 kids should not be a get out of jail free card. It should not mean that we shouldn't have to do anything else or benefit society in any other way.

The time for doing good, for being useful is there, in our lives, we just have to eliminate the non-useful, time wasting things.

How we spend our time shows what we really think is important. I don't think it can lie.

People say to look at how you spend your money to see what you value. And that is true, but I think that how you spend your time is more telling.

Sometimes that can be really depressing.

I do a lot of things, but there are days that I look back thinking "what have I even done today? I wasted time that didn't need to be wasted."

But I will keep trying.

And keep evaluating what I think is important.

We are not on this earth to be selfish, but to be useful.

And the ultimate goal should be to bring glory to the Creator of the Universe.

Lord, help me to be useful.


Thia said...

I think the fact that your fourth is still so small lends to people "letting you off the hook." I think you're setting a good example for the kids though.

Foster said...

I agree with you. I have one less kid than you, but keeping busy is good. Showing your kids that you love God works better than telling them. Keep it up. I only wish I had your stamina.

Rachel said...

I think we need to care for others too, but not to the detriment of our own children. It takes one a long time I think to understand the truly important things and also to learn to say 'no' to somethings. I wouldn't ever want my children to look back on their childhood and remember me as being too busy to help/love/care for them. But I also want them to see me being an active part of the body of Christ. It's hard to find a happy medium.

The Three 22nds said...

Rachel, I agree but I would also say that I think that all of us, if we actually documented what we did minute by minute on a typical day would be shocked and appalled by how much time we "wasted". I don't consider taking care of my kids etc as wasted time- but there are other things in my life that are.

LS said...

I agree that you shouldn't let number of kids keep you from serving. One of the gals I know from church does TONS of stuff and reaches out to sooo many people and works the hours you work but she still manages to keep her kids and hubby a priority and have a super strong faith. However, if I were you, I wouldn't be able to do all that with such a tiny baby and 3 other kids. When I have a new baby I always take a few months off of nursery, committments at church, etc. And though I often have taken meals to other folks, even with 3 little kids in tow, I appreciate that when I have a young baby no one asks and if they do, I don't feel bad saying no. A pregancy, and a young baby pushes me to my low-energy, easy-to-explode zone and just keeping up with the basic schedule, housecleaning, cooking, laundry is exhausting enough. If I do too many "extras" in these stages my family gets the brunt of my frustration and anger and so I need to just focus on surviving and know that it is a season and in the blink of an eye my kids will be another year older and life will seem easier.
I think I have less energy than you! I could never do a triathalon!

Heather A said...

Great thoughts J! Thanks for the perspective. No, I don't think having 4 kids lets you get out of doing other things, but I also think you have to be realistic with your time. I look at you and marvel at how you manage to fit everything in that you do! I am single with no kids and don't get that much done! So, congrats on the TRI, way to go on getting out and doing things with your kids, and thanks for the inspiring thoughts!

Karla said...

I also think that it is important to remember to not use NOT having kids as an excuse...often people without kids think that serving at VBS, SS, Awana, etc, is just for those with kids.
I often find myself wasting my time on things that don't matter. My goal for the summer is to not waste time(:

Johanna said...

how we spend our time...gosh, I agree, much more telling than how we spend our money. Where your heart is, there will your treasure be also. However, I think there is something HUGE to be said for truly being in tune with God's spirit and serving as He leads...busyness doing good and godly things can sometimes be oddly empty if we're too busy to actually take time to hear from God in the midst of all we're serving him with! So yes, let's not waste time...but let's also not just try to fill it with the first 'good' thing that comes to mind!