Some of the moms in MOPs have started praying about using one particular word to define a direction that God seems to be leading them. My word for the summer was “less.” While I still need to make progress on letting go sometimes of my planner and my agenda, there was a lot my family did NOT do this summer that I would have really enjoyed. Jazz in June (still haven’t done that ever), summer reading events, Ribfest and most recently the Phil Stacy concert. Instead I have been trying to not cram our schedule with so much that we can’t even enjoy our events. Trying to let my kids just be and enjoy playing with each other or just doing nothing. Now before you feel sorry for kids, I promise that there has been plenty that we DID do. But, they were blissfully unaware of what could have been happening – it was only my heart that twinged sometimes knowing what we could be doing instead of just staying home. Did we really miss out? Now I don’t think we did.
For many of us, fall is a busy time of starting up all of the activities that we put on hold for the summer. There are SO many possible ways that we could spend our time. And spend it we will – once time is gone it is not retrievable.
In this month’s Thriving Family magazine (from Focus on the Family), there was an interesting article adapted from Kevin Leman’s book, It’s Your Kid: Not a Gerbil, where he discusses how family busyness and overcommitment. The possibilities for families today are so endless, they are exhausting. So, how do we manage it all?
I think we really need to pray, “What God would you have our family do?” The thought of less is carrying on for me into the fall – our family decided to postpone some fun Friday activities for another year. When I told the kids that we were going to stay home and do less, I was shocked that they didn’t even seem to be disappointed.There is a time and a season for everything. Right now for most of us reading this blog, this is our season for MOPs, but eventually even that will change (yes, when your last kindergartener graduates, you do too!). Sometimes we can focus too often on the immediate rather than thinking about long term goals for our family. I know my daughter would enjoy dance, but since she probably doesn’t have the word “prima” in her future profession, she can wait a few years. And since we have four kids, they will miss out on a bit because we are unable to go that many directions at once.
Now I am not suggesting that you quit everything (especially not MOPs :-)). And I am not trying to make you feel guilty for the times that you have said “yes” when you maybe should have said “no.” God can work in spite of us! As for me, I need to find the balance. I do need to be fed (so that I can grow in Christ), and I also need to serve my fellow believers. For now, MOPs is fulfilling much of that for me. But how I grow and serve and how my family does that, isn’t going to look the same all of the time. I know that there will be times that I will wish that I could be in that Bible study or that our family could go on that outing. But I think overall, I will enjoy having less stress and less running around more!
To read the full article: http://www.thrivingfamily.com/Features/Magazine/2011/overscheduled-kids-and-busy-families.aspx