I thoroughly enjoyed going to the movies with my husband last night. I always love our movie dates, but this time I got to pick the movie, so it was extra fun.....well...for me, anyway. We skipped the monkeys-take-over-the-world movie, the global plague movie, and the R-rated-everyone-dies-or-blows-up movie, and went instead for "I don't know how she does it", a chick flick featuring a mom who tries to juggle a demanding career and a busy family life. (*yawn* said my husband...) Ok, so he was mostly bored, but I laughed a lot. On our way home, I talked about my takeaways from the film. My husband noted that he did not have any takeaways from the film, but here's what I got:
Be truly grateful if you're able to "stay at home" with your kids. (I use that term really loosely because every SAHM knows we don't actually get to spend that much time at home...) My husband and I decided when our oldest child was two years old that my most valuable contribution to our family was not to earn a second income, but to make a home for us. I've never regretted that decision. It was hard trading my briefcase for Blue's Clues and Veggie Tales, but I wouldn't trade that time with my kids for anything!
If you're a mom who works outside the home, you're a superhero! The mom in the movie nearly lost her family before she figured out what you already know: you can't do/be/have it all. Not really. You make choices. You set priorities. You juggle. You sacrifice. You make the most important things, the most important things. You do an amazingly difficult job, and my hat is off to you!
Don't fall into the trap of thinking anyone else "has it together". Because the life of a Pastor's wife is very busy, and we have a large family, people ask me all the time how I "do it all". The short answer is "I don't." I struggle just like you do to make the right decisions, and strike a balance between all the things competing for my attention. I focus on one area, and something else falls apart. Yesterday I spent the whole day with my husband, today the house is a disaster. (Don't tell my small group, they'll be here at 6:30!) But I do continually seek God's direction for that balance, and resist the urge to compare myself to anyone else.
Life is better together. In the movie, the main character had a supportive friend who cheered her on, no matter what. At Crossroads, we're starting our first-ever women's Bible study in October. Over a dozen women, many of them young moms, have signed up. My prayer for them is that they will love growing in their faith, and in the knowledge of God's word. But I also pray they find their "cheering section", other women who can encourage them on their journey, and point them to Christ when they don't know how to do, be, or have it all. Can't wait to get started!
Today's Verse: "I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me." Phillipians 4:13 (Phillips)
Prayer for Today: Father, help me to recognize that in my own strength, I can't hope to do, or be, or have it all. Help me make your priorities my own and, grant me the strength I need to do all You have called me to do. In Jesus' name, Amen.