There is always something I wake up thinking about: sometimes I feel okay about it and sometimes I feel heavy about it. This morning, I woke up thinking about what is profitable for my family. I look at the present American family, and I see a lot of fractures. Americans go to church together, and the kids go to one class and the parents go to another. Kids go to school all day and then come home and go to soccer practice and karate and gymnastics and dance and Cub Scouts and youth group. On the weekend, there are games and sleepovers and dads go golfing or fishing and moms go scrapbooking.
And I don’t want to do that with my children. I clearly heard the Lord tell me to be HOME with my kids, and in some areas I’ve been obedient. I stay home and homeschool them, even though at times it’s hard. But because I know the Lord called me to it, I can rely on His strength and for the most part, homeschooling is incredibly rewarding and a huge blessing.
But in other areas, I don’t feel as securely that the Lord is telling me exactly WHAT I should be doing. Take church, for example. Should my kids go one away and I go another? Should I be a voice of change and advocate family Sunday school? Should I keep them with me in church? Or should we just keep the status quo and go our separate ways?
I felt God telling me our focus should be family ministry. (By ministry, I mean visiting a nursing home or handing out food or making food for someone or visiting someone who is sick or making cards, etc. It doesn’t have to be something big.) It wasn’t a specific calling like “DO THIS THING” but more of a general “Your family shouldn’t be completely inwardly focused but should reach out to others” kind of calling. But since hearing that focus, we haven’t been involved in much ministry. We don’t seem to have time or energy or, I’m very sad to admit, desire to do this. And it’s hard to combine ministry with parenting, especially when one parent has 2 jobs and there are 5 kids to parent. But these are excuses and not truly reasons to ignore what we believe God is calling us to.
But now all these other programs have started: Cub Scouts and dance and choir and other children’s church activities, and I feel fractured and not at peace. Yet a side keeps nagging me that my kids need to be with other kids. So where exactly is the line. How much is enough? And how much is too much? And if there are 5 kids going in different ways, how will I ever feel at peace and not fractured?
I have given up things that I attended or I enjoyed so that I could be home more. But now I seem to be home less than ever. I really need to find balance, but so far that hasn’t come. I welcome any suggestions, so please let me know how you handle maintaining family unity with outside social activities and ministry.