I feel like I have achieved none of my goals so far this year. It is like I am juggling many balls. Trying to keep them all in the air is a dancing struggle. If I listen to various people in my life, I hear conflicting opinions on what I should do, none of which I am doing. But no-one else is treading my unconventional path. My life in this season is mainly a chauffeur.
I could say no. No to driving my kids to work to start at 7 am. Let them catch the bus (which is not direct and take at least 45 minutes to get the ten-minute drive). As one person suggested, let them bike ride. True, they could bike, but it is hilly, and to arrive at work sweaty with no place to shower and then work in hospitality for 8 hours is not ideal.
No to getting up at 5 am three mornings per week and driving my 15-year-old son to two hours swimming training beginning at 5.30 am, and then repeat in the evening, especially as he is not competing. From an outsider’s view, it looks absurd. From a mother’s perspective, this son loves fitness training and the rhythm in the water. He enjoys the friendships and encouragement from the coach. I never have to get him out of bed – he is always ready to go and never complains about it. Do I take that away from him so that I can sleep in an extra two hours and start the morning comfortably in the manner I like?
The numerous driving trips I do each day affects ‘my work’ as a mother, homemaker, homeschool teacher, writer etc. It means that the ‘mother’ hat is at the forefront in this season of my life. Our daughter will have her driver’s license in just over two months, freeing me up so much. It will also mean that the informal chatting, the listening to the stories of her day, the time spent together will change. I will need to be intentional to foster that strong connection we have and make room to connect and chat. It will mean that I can, hopefully, write and focus more.
Thus, I need to be intentional in choosing who I listen to, who I allow to dominate my thinking about my use of time, my worth, my focus, my priorities.
Peer pressure is alive and well with our kids and teenagers, but it is also evident amongst parents. Pressure to contribute to society in a ‘paid’ position. Pressure to put my needs above my family’s needs. Pressure to self-care is all over the media and rolls off most people’s lips. Pressure to … and the list goes on.
I feel that when we have our eyes on God, listening to Him and His priorities for our life, then sorting it out within the family unit, it frees us up from allowing other’s opinions and voices to impact our life. It is easier to then tread the walk I am called to.
Interestingly, last week I set aside time to be a participant in some zoom workshops with friends Peter and Kathryn Yaxley from Kingdom Presence Ministries. They ran a series on priorities, responsibilities, and Kingdom assignments for 2021. Participating in this made me stop and hear afresh from God His voice for me for 2021. “Stewardship’ was the first word God revealed to me, followed by ‘discrete’. On googling the definition of discrete, I realized that these two words exemplified my current life. Many distinct areas of my life that God was asking me to steward and organize well. The encouragement from God to lean into this time of chauffeuring my children as an essential element of my current season was enlightening. It significantly reduced the frustration of ‘it is nearly the end of February and I haven’t yet done any of my planned work for the year’. Yearning for ‘my time’, for ‘achieving my goals’ changes to ‘these are part of my goals/ministry’ for this season, enables me to see the bigger picture for my life and realize that my children are an essential part of my ministry.
Thankfully, God’s direction and voice are clear for me during this season.
What about you?
How is 2021 going for you so far?
Whose voice is dominating your life and actions?
Who influences you most as a parent?
I would love to hear your responses to these questions and the choices you make. Please feel free to comment.