After months of prayer, I recently had to make a serious decision that impacted a lot of people. My decision affected not only my family, but people in my church and the children I was serving in our community. I had to decide if I should keep working for my church, running a program for at-risk elementary school children, or quit and dedicate that time to my family and homeschooling my children. In the end, I decided to give my notice to the church that I would finish out this school year and then step down. After seven years running the program and being the face of our church to a local public school, I wanted the elders of our church to have plenty of time to find a replacement.
When I started this job I had no children; I could pour all of my extra energy into making a difference in the lives of other kids and their families. Once we had our first child, I still managed to keep up with everything, because she was small and I could easily take her anywhere I needed to go, even into meetings. We had a second child, and while I have been able to manage everything, I haven’t been managing it well. Like so many others, I was doing it all, but none of it as well as I wanted to. More often than not, I was also finding that I declined to take on any other volunteer work that my heart was drawn to because I was already being pulled in too many directions.
I know this is the best decision for my family, but it was hard in some ways because every choice involved a good thing. Being a wife and mother is a good thing. Homeschooling our girls is a good thing. Reaching out to those left behind in our community is a good thing. Encouraging people in my church to volunteer with at-risk kids is a good thing. Working with the children directly is a good thing. Letting my children see me care for others is a good thing.
What I had to accept is that there are always going to be good things trying to get a hold of the time you have to offer. The reality for me is that I have entered a season in my life where my family needs to get my undivided attention. Even on weeks when the program doesn’t require a lot of hours, it’s always on the back of my mind. Starting this summer I will be able to focus that time on my family and include them when possible in volunteer work rather than leaving them behind each week as I go to mentor and serve.
I am blessed to have been able to run this program and help so many children in our community, but I am very excited to see what this new season of “good things” brings.