Do you ever have an extended dialogue with yourself about something that lasts weeks or months? I do. If you answered yes I think you are probably pretty normal actually. For me its often several conversations going on at one time. I think if someone were inside my head hearing audible thoughts they might feel as though they were at the table with a large family of Italians like that scene in the movie “While You Were Sleeping.”
I have been in a particular discussion with myself for a couple of months now. Its a window on my proverbial desktop screen that, although it is occasionally minimized, has remained open as I’m wrestling through the question of how I am doing at prioritizing what matters most on the most important day of the week. Sunday.
You see, my husband is a pastor, so Sundays for us look very different than what they look like for most families. We have 5 services every Sunday starting at 8:30am, so David leaves the house before the girls are up and I am on little person duty on my own. This is fine, but takes some strategic planning in order to get out the door early. (And right now I’m in that season of having to both nurse Avery and feed her solids by spoon which all together takes a LONG time. I know that season is short but you still have to orient your entire morning schedule around it for half a year! Can I get an amen moms?)
The other added layer of complexity for us on Sundays is that In addition to my husband being the Family Pastor, I also work at South Bay Church on a sort of part-time basis on the Worship Arts/Sunday Experience Team. In the past with only one child I could manage to be physically present for most of our 5 services on Sundays. But with the addition of the second baby (and oh how precious she is!) I have realized how limited my capacity is, especially early in the morning. I can’t make it anymore to be there for the preservice run-through and band rehearsal and tech meeting, etc. like I used to.
I feel torn. I want to continue to do what I’m doing at South Bay because I love using the gifts God has given me and I LOVE watching people’s lives be transformed by seeing Jesus for who He is, yet more importantly . . . I want to be present for my kids on Sundays, especially now that Ella is making things and learning things and able to tell me what she did at BayKids.
So all of this is to say that the conversation I am having in my own head is moving toward clarity. I have felt for a long time that I’ve been in a foggy place where I am functioning but not fully in the groove. (And as a parent when do you EVER get in the groove right? As soon as you do everything changes again!)
So today I made one small change that made a huge difference. Up until today I had been racing home from South Bay on Sundays with both girls (2 years and 8 months) and lugging all our stuff in and trying to get them down for naps in the same room at the same time. They share a room since our house right now is only a two bedroom. But today I wanted to try something different. I set up a borrowed pack and play in our bedroom last night so I could put them down separately. I put Avery, the little one, down first in our room and she fell asleep pretty quick because she desperately needs that morning nap that she misses on Sundays! That enabled me to have a more relaxed and quality time with Ella, the older one, where we were able to curl up on the bed together in her room and talk about her day. I asked her lots of questions and she told me she played drums and kicked a ball and learned about Jesus. We laughed together and read books and sang our bedtime song “God is so good.” Then she went to sleep.
I think she felt much better because we had more time to connect. And I felt better too because I’ve been sensing that she is getting old enough now that I can connect with her heart at a deeper level than before. She has a lot to share with me now and I don’t want to miss it! The last thing I want is for my kids to feel third or fourth place on my list on Sunday. Its a delicate thing and if it came down to it I would put the whole production thing on the shelf for awhile if it was costing my family too much. I think I’m on the path of clarity though for what my capacity can be and how I can still serve and use my gifts without missing what matters most for my kids on Sundays. This is just a minor fix for a short season, but when I see it through the lens of what my kids need, this is it.
Yay for clarity. Its one of my favorite things. Thank you Jesus for helping me see.
So what about you? What is one small thing you can tweak to prioritize what matters most? How can you connect with the heart of your spouse or kids in a deeper way? If you want to read my thoughts on the marriage thing, click here for an honest glimpse into my marriage and a practical way to reach the heart of your spouse. I read it again this week actually and it was a timely reminder!!