As I sat with a group of moms this week and listened to their conversations I noticed that they were all talking about what I’ve been thinking a lot myself. What commitments will I make or not make for this upcoming school year?
This is what I heard one mom say, “Of course I’m going to keep being in charge of XXXXX. I’m already here with my kids anyway.” What she said, stuck with me because I’ve said it before myself. In fact just this last year, I did it and had to learn the hard way that just because I am already somewhere with my kids is not a good enough reason to add another thing onto my plate. You see, at the time, I was already over committed and knew I shouldn’t do one more thing, but I justified it with the same thought as the mom above, “I’m already here on campus so why not do something while I’m here?” The problem with that was that my plate was already spilling over and the reality is that when you decide to be the in charge of something…it takes more than just that one night when you’re on campus. It takes planning and preparation outside of that time and it takes time to care for your leaders and it takes time to field phone calls when those leaders need something–like calling in sick. But of course we never think of those things when we sign up. If you are like me, you get a few weeks (or maybe just a few days) into it and wonder what in the world you got yourself into!
I ask you, why do we do that? Why do we sign ourselves up for so much more than we can handle? Isn’t our home life enough? I know I often times sign myself up for something outside of my home because I’m looking for significance, a pat on the back and because of guilt. For some reason I fall into the lie that says my family alone is not a ministry. Therefore, I must sign up for something with an official title at church. Maybe that’s even how you got yourself signed up for a part-time job that is now overwhelming you. Whatever it is you do…I think you get the point.
As I get ready to embark on a new school year, I have been reading a book called, “The Mission of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson. Honestly, this book has been sitting on my shelf for a few years collecting dust. I haven’t taken the time to read it until now, but I’m glad that I have. It is reminding me of my purpose as a mom and where my focus should be–even if it doesn’t come with a title.
“Few things will last after we die, but our children will live throughout eternity. What we do as mothers, therefore, has eternal significance.” – Sally Clarkson
How much more significant can our job as mothers be than that? Significance throughout eternity. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a legacy that lasts well into the future–for many generations. Of course I want to be remembered after I die some day, but if future generations forget me and my love for the color purple, Twix candy bars and a chocolate donut with peanuts on it, then I’m okay with that. But if I can leave a lasting impression through the spiritual lives and the character of the people my children and grandchildren will become then I’ve accomplished the most significant thing I can do.
With that in mind it leaves me to regain my focus and not become distracted by the many things that are offered me even if they sound like a good or logical thing to do. I love reading the story in the Bible of Nehemiah as he rebuilt the wall. He was so focused on what God had called him to do and did not give into the distractions and he accomplished amazing things. In Nehemiah 6:3 he responds this way to distraction:
“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.”
I think that if I approach my life with this verse as my motto then I will accomplish my goal–to make an impact on eternity. So next time someone asks me what I do for a living or I am tempted to sign up for something that will give me that temporary feeling of fulfillment, I am going to whip out the new business cards I am going to create for myself. It will state my name, title and what I do. Now that I think about it, I guess I better hand out a magnifying glass with each card since that will be the only way anyone will be able to read it. Fine print will be the only way to fit it all on the card!