Today, is an otherwise "normal" Friday in the Gaffner house.
It started early and involved crashes, bangs, breakfast messes, and yelling at the dog.
I have changed diapers, rotated laundry, and swept floors.
Lunch was prepared and consumed and naptime kisses have been issued.
All in all, a typical Gaffner school day with Christopher and Dean.
Well, except for the packing and organizing I have done in preparation for a weekend retreat.
One of the hardest parts of being a mommy and a minister is juggling the normal activities of mommy-hood and youth ministry. I was talking with my Pastor and mentor earlier this week and admitted that at this point in my life, calling myself a "full-time" stay at home mom is not completely accurate. Unfortunately some of my time at home is spent preparing for Bible studies, events and activities, and communicating with parents, students, and volunteers. I have been known to carry on a ministry related phone conversation while changing a diaper or soothing a "boo-boo". It is also hard to claim to be a full time youth minister because I have often juggled a toddler on my knee while teaching a lesson or had my own posse of Gaffner children accompany the youth and I on a local event.
The constant juggle can be exhausting and confusing.
But it is also endlessly rewarding.
One day maybe I will take a "break" and focus on my children and my children only. But for this moment in our lives, I have been called and equipped to do both... sometimes at the very same time. It is my hope and desire that my sweet babies grow up respecting those in ministry and understanding what it means to serve the Lord with their lives. I also hope that my ministry students grow up respecting parents that work hard both inside and outside the home and have a refreshing perspective of what it means to be a mom striving after the things of God.
Perhaps my greatest weakness in ministry is that I am also a mommy.
And likewise, my greatest weakness in motherhood, may be that I'm also a minister.
Amazingly both weaknesses are also both strengths. To follow my Lord in service both inside and outside of my home can be stressful and exhausting, but knowing that I am doing what God has asked me to do is what fuels me to work feverishly at both amazing responsibilities.
Maybe you can relate.
We all have "hats" that we are juggling, multiple jobs and responsibilities that demand our time and energy. How we juggle them determines our level of sanity and commitment.
I may have a difficult juggling job in front of me but I believe I have found a healthy balance.
Later this evening I will be surrounded by high school students that are screaming, rowdy and rambunctious. For now... I am home with toddlers that are screaming, rowdy, and rambunctious. Maybe both jobs are more alike than I thought. :-)
PS. Say a special prayer for me tomorrow morning... I'll be giving the morning message to several hundred students!! Woot Woot!