I love my church. I love the gospel, I love Jesus Christ.
But there is one thing that mystifies me.
How much is enough, and when do I know that I’ve hit my limit. How do I balance the ability to parent/mother and still do acts of service, do my callings, do my other volunteer work. How do I not feel like I am in a whirpool of my own design sucking me down.
I have 3 children, and a husband. I know they are my top priority. Their needs come before my own most of the time. I do this to my detriment, but it’s the mom’s way. Honestly, we HAVE to put their needs before our own, or I would stay on the couch and watch TV/play with my phone all day long. All. DAY. LONG.
I love serving my friends. When a friend is in need I sometimes put this on my top shelf. I love them.
I have a calling. I may not be the biggest fan of it right now. Our program went alright, but I feel like I am surrounded my children who want to suck my blood all the time. I am SO thankful for conference weekend. Otherwise I may have needed to go “out of town.”
I do volunteer work at the school. I feel like this is important, and besides the simple acts of serving children, I also get the perks of knowing the teachers/principal/school.
I have a job that isn’t just a job. I think it’s a calling of mine. I take it really seriously, and it can be extremely stressful at times. I don’t give myself allowance for that.
Drew is an assistant scout master, and we have a son who loves scouting. But it can eat your life too. Conner asked D to help pass sacrament yesterday, leaving me with the 2 kids and jitters and questions inside. I also had a nervous P next to me who wanted to be held, touch all of my jewelry and crawl into my rib cage. I wanted personal space. Guess who won. Drew takes on service while sometimes not thinking how it may affect me. I don’t blame him, there are so many good things out there and I often look like I have it together even if I am wilted inside. Why didn’t I just say no?
Do you ever wonder if the reason Jesus didn’t get married, is that God didn’t expect any of his daughters to suffer along with Christ, or to have him gone all the time, or to have Him worried about being home for her. He was 100% able to focus on service.
I am drowning in a tub filled with good things. I have no idea when to say no. I always feel like I can shove a little more in my life, and I can just move to accommodate it, and a lot of times I can. My jar is currently so full I have lost the love of Christ in it all. I’m not enjoying the service. I’m tired of children (both my own and others), I am tired of marriage and the work it entails, I am tired of all the other things I have roped myself into.
And while you’re drowning the light of Christ leaves you. Things aren’t fun, I am not enjoying my life. I am getting sucked down.
I went to Women’s Conference hearing “serve, keep your covenants, serve some more” and I have covenanted to serve others. I just don’t know when serving others, becomes a dis-service to myself. I have prayed to know the answer, to be willing when it’s really important, and less willing when it’s not.
But it’s all so much shades of grey to me.
How do you balance service and centering yourself. Do you know me, do you have tips for me personally? Should I quit the church? They would still find me. and ask me to bring a casserole to someone….
Angie Henderson says
They would find you, because you don’t really want to be lost. I love you. You, my dear, always put everything else on your top shelf. Take some time for you, and cut back. You’ll be amazed at how the world still functions, and quite well, without you driving everybody’s bus. Seriously. No is a beautiful word, and it is not always as negative as you think it is. I tend toward the opposite. Unless it fits comfortably, I’m more likely to decline than to accept. That’s not always good. I miss some things that I’m sure would better me and those around me. I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed. You have got to find some time for you, and probably not on your couch with your phone. Just unplug. Walk, write, read, have a day just to take care of your own home and self. I wish I could help take your load, for you I might say Yes, sometimes 🙂 You are better for everyone else, when you are a whole person and not just an available piece. Anyone who thinks they will just die if they can’t crawl into your ribcage might need to experience how well they actually do when you aren’t there, for a minute. Love you!
Simply, Sarah says
Remember to check out the talk that’s about Good, Better, Best.
Also, I know you’re doing better now.
But, think about if there was a catastrophe in your family. What would HAVE to be cut out?
My son was diagnosed with leukemia nearly 4 years ago. Treatment required our family to be split up for over a year, and I had to cut my service to ANYONE to only half being a mom for the other children, a half wife to my husband, and NO VOLUNTEERING or having any callings for a long time.
I am not saying you’d have to do anything that drastic, but what activities and service would you miss least if you had to give something up for a time?
*Sorry, your post just made me think of that time. When we arrived in Seattle, it took me 3 days to cancel all the volunteering I had scheduled and arranged to do the following week, not to mention various other childrens’ doctor appts, etc. No one should need 3 days to cancel their life happenings! Life lived simply is life lived happily.