I’m a project person. I like lists to check off and gold stars (even if they are imagined) placed on my jobs that are well done. As an author I like to type “The End”at the completion of my novels. As a Teen MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) leader, I like getting into my car after a meeting and letting out a contented sigh, knowing the speaker’s message touched a great need.
The problem is that kids don’t like to be projects. And even if I’ve created the perfect “moment”as a mom, they’ll do something crazy like cut their American Girl doll’s hair off with no warning. (Just like two of my daughters did just last night!)
As a project person, I tend to gravitate toward things I can fix or manage. If faced with cleaning out the refrigerator or coloring with my three young kids, my natural tendency is to let the fridge win. After all, the fridge looks so shiny when it’s done … and the kids’ papers? Not so much, especially when they don’t color in the lines!
Even worse is when a “God Project”is involved. You know what I’m talking about. Doing a good thing for God, like planning a Sunday school lesson or writing an inspiring blog post (ahem). Those things draw me even more than the fridge, mostly because I don’t have to deal with moldy food, but also because I’m doing something for God. Didn’t He say to go into all the world and preach the gospel? Sign me up!
God Projects are good things, but I’ve discovered that as a mom of young kids I can only do so much. There is only so much time in the day and days in the year, after all. In recent weeks I’ve stepped back from writing for a few blogs I contributed to (not this one!). I’m also stepping down from working on my radio podcast, Living Inspired, something I find great enjoyment in. I’ll be wrapping up my taping within the next two weeks, and it’s not going to be easy to say goodbye.
These are good God Projects without a doubt. They are ways to share the gospel. They are worthy of time and effort … but God’s been reminding me I don’t need to do everything (even great things) in this season of life.
My kids are only little for a time, and I don’t want to miss them. And yes, I’m still involved in other ministry things, like writing books and leading a Teen MOPS group, but I don’t want my calendar so full I can’t take my littles for frozen yogurt (with extra sprinkles) or watch them ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac, around and around again.
It’s easy to miss our kids, even though we’re in the same house. It’s easy to miss their hearts, even when we’re off on our mission to impact the world. These days God is reminding me my mission starts within the messiness of everyday moments first. And even though spending time with my kids isn’t (always) on my to-do list, spending sweet moments with them are worthy of gold stars—for only time will tell how these moments touched heart-needs I couldn’t see from the outside looking in.