Monday, September 17, 2012
As most of you know, I'm in ministry. Even though I hate titles, I am officially the Director of Children's Ministry or Children's Minister as some call it, for Antioch. If you would have asked me 10 years ago when I graduated what I would be doing, being a Children's Minister would have been the LAST thing I would have thought. God's funny like that though. He took a broken, messed up, sinner like me and put me in the position I am today. Instantly I was transformed and became the best, most awesome children's minister anyone had ever seen! Umm, wrong. In fact my first year, I think I came home every night and cried and told Tyler, "I can't do this anymore, and I’m horrible." Now as I start my fourth year, I am still amazed that no matter how much I have fought God on what my career should be, I'm still here. I started at Antioch when Presley was only 2 months old. Everyone on staff and our board was so generous, and allowed me to bring Presley to work with me. They even sit up a play pen in my office. They even put a lock on my office door so I was able to nurse her when I needed to. Note to self. ALWAYS remember to lock the door. You will save yourself a super embarrassing moment when someone from the church opens the door and sees your boob hanging out. So anyways, Presley has/is growing up at this church. She attended staff meetings, lunch dates and conference calls. She feels comfortable here. This is, as she calls it, "her church." Because I am here every day and not just Mondays and Wednesdays like some people think, my kids are around too. They pretty much have free reign of the building, within reason of course, to run and play and be kids. I mean come on, what kid wouldn't love to go as fast as they can down a really long hallway on a Big Wheel?! But because my kids are able to do these things, it gets kind of tough when it is a Sunday or Wednesday and they have to remember we aren't the only ones there. Being a preacher's kid of a "PK" as it is referred to, has it's perks, but it definitely has its pits too. Case in point, when you are PK, everything you do is being watched. When you are the mother of the PK, the way you handle your PK is put under a microscope. If you tell your kid to chill out, someone is watching. If you pull them into the bathroom, someone is talking about it outside said bathroom. And if your child throws a fit on a Sunday morning with everyone around... Well, you might as well just write about it in the church bulletin, that way EVERYONE can know about it. I hate this kind of pressure that my kids are put under. They are kids. They are going to be loud and messy and throw fits. Just because they are PK's doesn't make them immune to any of this behavior. But on another level, there is so much pressure on me, their mom. Moms' these days have enough pressure, it doesn't matter what line of work you are in. It seems like no matter what we do, it's never good enough for another mom. You are a bad mom if you vaccinate your children, but you’re neglecting them if you don't. You didn't breastfeed your child until they were two? Well then, you are going to have the stupidest kid alive. You haven't got your child on a preschool waiting list and they aren't even born yet? Shame on you! Do you hear how ridiculous this all sounds? Why do people add so much pressure onto an already challenging task? Never is this truer than with motherhood. Early childhood is this bizarre world where we hyperventilate because another mom enrolled her kid in Spanish classes and her baby is going to be fluent in Spanish before our baby can even talk! I know this kind of thinking isn't a new phenomenon, but it sure is obnoxious. More than that, it's exhausting! Enter Jesus. "Are you tired? Worn out? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 The Message How meaningful these words are to this exhausted mama, longing for relief. No surprise there. This is our Savior. He takes the unnecessary pressure and pointless legalism, put upon by society or self imposed and He gently pushes those aside and says, "Come to me." There is rest that only exists in Christ. In His embrace we can discern what matters and what doesn't. What counts and what is simply optional and what is essential to our holy task as a mom, or what is just cultural pressure. Jesus always chose the simple over the complicated. I love that. So let me ask you. Can you hear the spirit of His voice? He doesn't want us as moms wasting away in guilt and condemnation. He hates that you wallow and doubt and succumb to unnecessary pressure as you raise your sweet babies. To some moms, you will never be good enough. You will never parent the right way. You will never raise productive members of society because they had a little meltdown at church on Sunday. Who cares? You are enough because Jesus says you are. Come to Him. Come and rest.