31 Days:: It’s a Season Thing

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Day 23: It’s a Season Thing

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.” ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 4-5, 7

I was hanging with a group of girlfriends the other day and we got to talking about how so many of us have felt like we were “on hold” until our kids had gotten beyond the toddler years.  For so many of us, this season of early childhood rearing is so draining, so patience-testing, so financially straining, so moment-by-moment and day-by-day that it simply sucks all the energy out of us.  We just don’t feel like we’ve got much else left to give at the end of every day.  Or at the beginning of the day after a long, sleep-deprived night.  Or in the middle of an exhausting, constantly-dodging-tantrums-and-trying-to-keep-your-kids-alive day.

We get so emotionally fried, so over our heads in responsibilities and learning how to do this mothering thing well, so challenged day in, day out, night in, night out…  that we just can’t find it in ourselves to figure out how to do anything besides just surviving.

This mothering gig is a tough journey.

And so often we hear folks encourage us to get out there and try this or serve here or give of our time there… and it’s really hard to say no.  We not only feel like we are disappointing others, we also feel like we are disappointing ourselves.  Because honestly?  A lot of the time, we would like to join in some of those activities.  A lot of the time, we wish we could serve or give or get out there and be of help to others in a greater capacity.  But so often, we just don’t have either the time or the emotional resources to take on one more project or to be somewhere at a certain time to help out with something that really is a good cause.  Whether it’s due to nap time or hangry toddlers or someone crapping through their clothes or simply because we the moms are just too darn tired to do anything but crash on the couch and catch a few moments of sleep while our kids entertain themselves— the bottom line is we are spent.  In every sense of the word.

And what makes it even harder is that, so often, we feel like people are looking at us and thinking we are lazy or selfish or self-centered or maybe even just plain ignorant.  Which hurts.

But, I know for me: I’m just really trying to focus all my best energy on raising up these kids to the best of my ability.  And the fact that I’ve got issues and baggage and old wounds and hormones and simple, good old fashioned exhaustion makes adding one more thing to my plate just not doable.  Not healthy.  And, most importantly, not what God is calling me to do right now in my life.

I’ll get there.  I’ll come join the ranks and help make this world a better place just as soon as I can.  But right now?  I’m just trying to make my kids’ world a better, more healthy, more whole, less frazzled place.  And I’m crossing my fingers and praying that this great good I’m doing— here in my home with my precious little God-gifts— is one small part of making the world outside of my home a better place.

 

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What about you?

Have you ever felt that tension between wanting to give outside of your home yet not feeling quite like you’ve got the bandwidth to do so?  Did you ever push beyond your perceived limits?  If so, how did that work out for you?

Please feel free to share your journey in the comment section below.

 

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