I’m so gooooood at my ministry. Each day I seem to get better at it. Sometimes for a brief second I think maybe God is giving me a different focus…but then almost immediately I realize, “Nope, this is my calling.”
My ministry – my calling – seems to be to make other parents feel better about themselves. Seriously, I’m so gifted at this. Give me an assignment and watch me work!
Today I realized that I’m particularly equipped – or ill-equipped – to do this well…or not well….
This is Teacher Appreciation Week at my children’s school. I’m room mom for one of my kids, which was a dumb decision in the first place! Someone should have known better than to allow me any organizational responsibility. I can only assume it’s an assignment from God so that some other room mom will feel better about herself.
As I dropped off my children this morning – running later than I planned (as usual) – I rushed in with my trays for the chocolates and cookies the children were supposed to bring in for today’s treats. Some other mom had already collected the treats from my students – thank goodness!! I had about 3 minutes to assemble the trays and deliver them to two different classrooms all with my 5 year old meandering behind me. I say meandering because I could NOT get that girl to move faster than snail’s pace. I’m sure I looked as harried as I felt. She and I needed to race to her tutoring which of course was on the other side of town.
I had an awful realization as I took all the goodies into the kitchen to assemble them. The other room moms were decorating the trays!! I mean REALLY decorating them. Doilies, ribbons, bows, cute candies….ugh. I had NOTHING to decorate and NO TIME to do it. I decided to just rush my pathetic trays to their respective classrooms and hope that the teachers didn’t notice how lame their trays were.
Thankfully everyone knows me by now. They know my situation, that my heart is in the right place (most of the time), and that I can’t give the illusion of having any part of my life “together”. The bummer is I really want to be that awesome room mom – the one that does everything well. The one that blesses with her creativity. I used to be a creative and organized person – now I’m a gitterdone person, a please-let-me-just-do-whatever-it-takes-to-check-this-off-my-list person. Oh well…maybe my teachers were still blessed. The trays DID have chocolate on them. It’s the thought that counts right? (And the chocolate.)
Just to prove my point, I’ll give you some examples of my ministry successes :). When my little girls are wearing mismatched clothes, sock and shoes (on purpose), other mom’s smile, nod and feel a bit better about their clothing battles. (It appears that I lost my battles but in reality I didn’t fight them – as long as they are clean, I’m cool.) When my children are often 5 minutes late because it’s difficult to be in 3 places at once – it’s got to make someone feel great about being on time. When my kids are getting out of the car and papers, hairbrushes, water bottles and various odds and ends fall out behind them – someone has to think, “At least my car doesn’t look like a giant purse!” When my yard looks like I’m raising the Beverly Hillbillies minus the oil money – my neighbors must cringe, but their yards look great in comparison. When my youngest daughter is used as a sermon example not once but twice – other parents just gotta think, “Thankfully my child doesn’t say stuff like that!”
It’s funny (kinda). I used to be that parent – the one with well-behaved kids, a beautiful lawn and a life pretty much in order and on time. But God allowed all that to change – my children are still well-behaved for the most part, but now I have two precious little girls who challenge all my previously-attained parenting wisdom. I used to have a well-manicured, weed-free lawn but then the lawn caretaker (a.k.a. husband/father) left and I decided it was better to work on keeping my family weed-free in the spiritual and emotional sense. So now the yard is clover green – which my girls think is just beautiful because the weeds have flowers! Life used to be what I expected it to be until suddenly it wasn’t …
Thankfully God works miracles even through me and my difficult circumstances. And I’m up for however God wants to use me – whether it’s words that encourage or a life that blesses through its brokenness.
Tomorrow is the 4th day of Teacher Appreciation Week – wonder how God’s going to use me next?