Sunday, June 28, 2009

Giving More

Right now is a peculiar time in my life. On one hand, I drop down in my bed at night utterly exhausted. I have never felt like I have such a strong sense of purpose, such a strong sense of being needed, such a strong sense of extending myself to others, such a strong sense of living out our call to live love with these beloved beings under my roof. But as I interact with others in my community, whether that's strangers that I meet, people at church, or even friends, I can't help that I'm not really doing that much outside of my family. Of course, part of that is me reacting to cultural stereotypes about motherhood-- being a mother is not something that is considered to be a valid or worthwhile occupation in and of itself. Women are made to feel like they're inadequate simply because they're doing one of the most important jobs in the world: caring for their children.

But I think that there's a little part of this feeling that is grounded in something healthy. Infancy is an extremely demanding time of parenthood-- probably the single most demanding time. Which means that while one's kids are little, there really isn't any extra time or energy to devote to other ministries, to social justice work, even to other relationships. But sometimes it's easy (especially for introverts like myself) to continue that inward focus even when kids are moving into less demanding periods of childhood. And so I think that my longing to be able to do something more-- no, not more, because I don't think that giving much more of oneself would really be healthy, so maybe just giving of myself differently-- is partly just healthy and necessary, because during my life, I will be able to give of myself in different ways. And I hope that my kids will get to see me giving of myself in different ways. But, I'll be honest; probably not right now.

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