Thursday, April 11, 2013

Whose Kingdom?

Today is the day before I leave for our church's women's retreat.  I look forward to the retreat all year long.  It is, by far, my favorite women's ministry event I get to help plan.  It is such a nice time to get away from everything that happens at home and enjoy the fellowship and blessing I receive from being with other women.  I commiserate with those in the same life stage as me and I take much comfort from those who are a little further on in life when they tell me that, indeed, "this too shall pass".  

However, I have to laugh because every year the day before the retreat and the day that I actually leave for the retreat are some of the most trying days I have with the boys all week.  Every year I inevitably think "Is this really worth it?  Maybe I should just stay home".  The first year this happened, I was almost serious about staying home.  Now, 4 or 5 years later, I know that it is most definitely worth it and I need to just suck it up. 

The boys didn't alter the traditional behavior this year at all.  Trying to do laundry, clean, run to the grocery and just generally get the house in order for my weekend away was challenging, to say the least.  I think this is the way it supposed to be for us mommas before we leave the kiddos so that we remember to make the most of our time away.  In the midst of the craziness this morning, I came across this old blog post about avoiding mommy burnout.  Number 19 really struck a chord with me:

When you feel your stress levels rising because of your task
list, take five to ten of those critical minutes and “go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Matthew 6:6). Completing your task list with Godward joy and worship and peace means the difference between tasks that make His Kingdom come… and tasks that make your kingdom come.

I had to do that today.  I actually told Kaleb that Mommy needed a time out.  He said "doo dooo doo doot" and pretended to set the timer (like I do on my phone or the microwave when it's his turn for a time out), then the boys left me alone for a few minutes to get myself together.  After that, we were able to go about our day much more calmly and lovingly. 

I never want my boys to think that I'm getting everything done at home just so that I can go and spend time away from them.  Yes, I want them to know that mommy needs this time with her friends but I also want them to experience me living in the moment with them, even when they are, let's face it, a little bit annoying. I want them to know that everything we do, even chores, we do for the furtherance of God's kingdom.  Their every day experiences and the way that I deal with them in the midst of the every day challenges are to be done for the glory of God and His kingdom.

In this post is a really good list of ways to avoid mommy burnout.  I would highly suggest reading the list and seeing where God speaks to you today.  Each of them have had some relevance in my life at one time or another.   

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