As a mom with young kids, I struggle to find the balance between investing my time, energy, and attention into them vs. being involved in church activities and pursuing some dreams that God has put in my heart. I am a firm believer that it is unhealthy for any mom to give herself 100% to either side. But finding the balance is difficult...and it's different for everyone.
Tedd Tripp, in his book, "Shepherding A Child's Heart" says it this way:
"You must regard parenting as one of your most important tasks while you have children at home. This is your calling. You must raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord...There is nothing more important. You have only a brief season of life to invest yourself in this task. You have only one opportunity to do it. You cannot go back and do it over."To say "Yes" to this approach to parenting is to say "No" to other interests or opportunities that I might otherwise pursue (at least during this season). To be the mom I want to be, I have to accept that this is not my season to train for a marathon, or be as involved in hands-on ministry and leadership as I'd like to be, or to have a lot of lunch appointments and coffee dates with girl friends. I will have less time to read books, develop my writing & teaching skills, follow TV series, or maintain a perfectly orderly home. Parenting the way God calls us to parent is costly. But the cost of not parenting this way is so much higher.
The reality is that if I don't invest now, I don't get to invest later. If I don't develop trust and establish my authority with them when they are young, they will not allow me to influence their decisions when they're teenagers. If I slack off on training them now, I might get to "enjoy" having them around a lot longer...like when their 27 still living at home and can't hold down a job!
At the same time, I am still seeking to be as involved in ministry as I can without negatively affecting our family. I may not be able to organize and lead a mission trip to Ethiopia right now, but I can disciple a couple ladies one night a week. I may not be able to write a book this year, but I can update a blog. I may not have a very public ministry to women, but I can love on our staff wives. I may not be able to schedule lots of lunch appointments, but I can schedule a play date with my neighbor who is not yet a follower of Christ.
I want to embrace this season of motherhood (as exhausting and trying as it may be at times). I truly want to be the best mom that I can be to these two mighty warriors God's given me. And I am also committed to not use my kids as an excuse for my inactivity in the Kingdom of God.
So my lesson