It's so hard sometimes to balance all my roles, and today I am really struggling . . . follower of Jesus, wife, mom, social worker, student, pastor's wife, friend, daughter . . . the list of roles I can think of right now. A couple of weeks ago, a coworker asked me what my top five priorities were and asked me to list them in order. I listed the top five things I shared just now. But as I walked away, I had to turn around and say . . . "That's what I want them to be . . . that's what I know they should be . . . but that's not what my time says." And she said probably in a little nicer of a way, "Then those are not your priorities." I felt the dagger and I wanted to argue (I think I even did a little) but deep inside I knew she was right. It's such a struggle, and yesterday and today I have spent far too much time in pain over the situation. The truth is that my time says social worker then student and after that I'm not even really sure. It's all just lumped together according to urgency, which often means follower of Jesus, wife, and mom get the leftovers. Daughters is definitely dead last even after other things that should be less important. So I'm a mess. I know I need to make changes, but I don't know what those changes are or how to do it.
Some of the roles I do as part of being a good wife and mom. Some of them, while I do them, I am definitely doing them as a representative of Jesus, so it's not as linear as some want to make it, but it is still a problem when I consistently miss my own children because I am taking care of other people's children, even if it is during work hours. I never really thought I would work full time for most of my children's lives. I did have the blessing of being able to contract for so many years for the State of Oklahoma, and I thank God for that all the time, but the past few years have been tough as I have been back in an office full time. In some ways it was easier because work and home were separate. Before they were not, and in ministry they definitely are not, so there was something healthy about it. But in most ways it has been more difficult. I miss so much . . . not just don't get to be there, but actually have a terrible ache in my heart for a couple days because I am not there. Sometimes it is something significant, such as missing David's long jump yesterday; sometimes it is just a routine thing like being in their classrooms and knowing their teachers.
So I'm partly blogging this because I need to get it out, and I'm partly blogging it to ask for prayer as I try to figure out how to best handle the whole situation . . . is it just an internal thing, and I need to make some adjustments attitudinally, or are there things I need to do with regard to my schedule, and how? Pray that God will make that clear and that He will open doors if a change is needed. And also, either way, I feel like I need to have a conversation with the director of the agency where I work, but for some reason, I am really struggling with doing that. I normally don't feel too intimidated, but I do right now.
The book of James, especially James 1 is going through my head. Trials are good . . . just figuring out what God wants from it is not easy.