Friday, October 12, 2012

the not-so-balanced act {part 2}


working hard is a big value in my family.  my parents are highly educated and accomplished people.  they could never be characterized as lazy.  when they do something…they do it well.  
{even as grandparents they excel}


my parents' work ethic has rubbed off on me and i’m glad.  however…this strength can also be a weakness for me at times.  let me explain.

in our culture you hear a lot about ‘balance’.  i believe that in some aspects of life balance is good…but there are some instances in which it simply does not apply.   i think a lot of times we take the events and opportunities in our life and decide that we could have a ‘healthy balance’ if we put forth a really good effort and then ask God to put forth his good effort too.  if we both share the burden of responsibility 50/50 we can count on a good outcome.  we couldn’t be further from the truth.  when it comes to parenting the balance equation doesn’t work.

the truth is this…
for the things that really matter we must give 100% and…
we must count on God 100%.  
when it comes to leadership {and being a parent is the ultimate leadership position} we strive for 'balance'.  but maybe we shouldn't.

remember that old saying:
Work as if everything depended on you. 
Pray as if everything depended on God.
i think we may have gotten that backwards.

when i work as if everything depended on me i feel the need to read every parenting book ever written, limit my kids t.v. time to less than 30 minutes per day, plan educational activities to fill all our free time, slave over 3 deliciously healthy meals every day...i find myself staying up way too late and setting my alarm way to early to try and be the best mother there ever was.  and i am majorly disappointed when i still fall short.  
but...
if i work as if everything depended on God i find freedom.  i can still work hard but in the freedom of knowing that God is the one who will ultimately produce the results...not me.  What if we did our part to the very best of our ability because we weren’t responding out of fear or doubt that our efforts would never be enough but instead were trusting that God could take whatever work we did and produce something beyond what we could hope or imagine.

when i pray as if everything depended on God i take myself out of the equation completely.  
but...
if i pray as if everything depended on me i submit myself to God and acknowledge my dependence on him.  what if in the moments when fear and doubt crept in because i was faced with my own limitations i immediately prayed desperate prayers to God.  Father – if this thing is dependent on me it is going nowhere.  I don't know enough.  I don't have enough patience.  I don't possess enough resources.  I am not enough.  I need your wisdom and power to work through me to produce something of value because on my own I cannot do this.  

have you ever prayed prayers like that?  prayers of desperate dependence?  if you have you know they are a beautiful thing.

when we give 100% of ourselves to the task God has called us to and expect him to do 100% too we don't restrict the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives we multiply it.  

we find ourselves face to face not with 'good' results but with God-sized results. 

and because we serve an omnipotent God the traditional equations don't apply.  when i trust God with the results i can give 100% to my role as a mother and 100% to the other roles he has called me to during this season...and i miraculously don't fall over and die from exhaustion...in fact - i am energized.  some days 100% takes a lot of preparation and i look a lot like superwoman...other days i'm working on the fly and i'm just doing good to take a shower and then take things as they come.  in both cases i am giving it the best i've got and i can trust that God is doing the same {and his best is always infinitely better than mine}.

so maybe when it comes to being a mother i need to give up the balancing act and expect more from myself and my God.


{this is day 12 of 31 days of mommyhood.}