I’m attending the Women of Faith Conference this weekend … my first time ever. I’m going with a good friend of mine who went last year and a new face from church. I was really on the fence of whether or not to go for a long time. It was a lot of money for the tickets and it was a lot of time away from home in one weekend. Then, I’m not really sure why, but I found myself saying ‘yes’ and handing over my ticket money. It hasn’t been easy clearing my schedule for this weekend. Doug wanted to go and see his brother which meant he wouldn’t be able to watch the kids while I was gone. Knowing that I was going to be gone a lot, I tried to get everything organized so that he could still do what he wanted to this weekend. I just asked him to give me a time so I could make other arrangements for the kids. Just when I thought everything was all set to go – yesterday Doug dropped the bomb that he didn’t want to pay a sitter because he doesn’t feel like it would fit in this month’s family budget. I’m left feeling frustrated and like I just shouldn’t go to the conference. I would just be easier for everyone if I just stayed home. Doug could go see his brother and I’d have a chance to catch up on my housework.
I’m feeling really guilty for thinking about being gone from the boys that long … it’s two full days. And it’s all about “mom” time. There are house projects I could be doing or activities I could do with the kids. I know that when I get home, the laundry is going to be behind and the dishes will need to be washed. But as strong as the feeling to stay home is, there is another force telling me I should just go.
I need to do some soul searching and faith discovery. I’ve had a ton on my mind lately – just everything piling up all at once (of course). I’ve found myself re-evaluating the things in my life and how and where I spend my time. I know I need to re-center myself. Base my time on where my priorities are – rather than letting the un-important stuff take control.
So which voice to I listen to? My desire to learn about myself and grow in my faith? Or the voice of responsibility that worries about my family? How do you choose? Following my desire to learn seems selfish. Yet following the voice of responsibility seems like I’m denying the Lord’s whisper to get to know Him more. How do we, as mothers, balance our own learning with the needs of our children? So much of our being is giving – doing things for others – washing other’s clothes – packing everyone else’s lunches only to forget to eat yourself. It feels almost unatural to take time for myself. Then when you do take time for yourself, how do you not go overboard or feel over deserving of your time out of the house?
Here I sit only 6 hours before the conference starts. I’m going. I’ve got my purse packed with just the bare essentials. I’ve got the directions printed out and have made my plans on how to get my ticket from my friends who are going down town earlier than I am. Lord, I have no idea where you are leading me – but I will follow. I pray that I am open to hear your direction and guidance. I ask for help on knowing what to let go and what to pursue. I just want to please you – in all that I do and every choice that I make. I lay all that I have at your feet and I trust in you Lord. Lead me and I will follow …
Mel- you made the right choice and should not feel guilty. I have been to these conferences when my children were little and it was the best 2 days away- it will renew new, encourage you, restore you and your faith and will give you that much needed time away from being a mom and wife and time to be “you”. The cleaning and laundry will ALWAYS be there and your husband needs to step up to the plate and take care of the kids and let you go. You will come back a better mom and wife- win/win !!!!
I’ll be praying for you this weekend- that God will renew you and speak to you. Go have fun- laugh, cry and Praise! You will love it!
Can’t wait to hear about it next week!!!
oh- P.S.- Jesus took time out from his ministry often to refresh and renew and pray! When I would go to conferences I would tell my kids “mommy will come back a better mommy and needs this “me” time” .
Mel, you are awesome. You will learn, in time, to be selfish once in awhile. I do…and it’s a good thing. It did take me awhile to be able to do it though. I have already told the kids I will miss them, but “going will help me to learn more about God, and also helps me to be a better Mommy”.