This last week was one of the busier weeks for the family. In the midst of my husband’s church meetings and mine, we have to fit in soccer games, dance lessons, tae kwon do, and play dates. A typical weekend can look like this: My husband leaves Saturday morning to set up for the food pantry at his church while I take the kids to my son’s soccer game. My husband then meets us after his food pantry for the second half before he leaves to officiate a wedding. I then take the kids to my church so that I can set up for church on Sunday, making sure that I have enough movies, snacks, and entertainment to last a few hours. The next day, we switch. My husband takes the kids to his church, while I go to mine, then leave immediately to fly to Chicago for a conference. Divide and conquer has been our mode for balancing family and church life. No doubt about it my kids are champs. I guess that is part of having parents who are pastors. I guess you can say it is a family business.
It reminds me a lot of when I was a kid and my sister and I would spend countless hours at my parent’s business – after school, summers, and holidays. My parents worked six days a week and twelve hours a day at the dry cleaners. I hated it. Our lives evolved around it. There was no balance between work and family life. The business dictated family life. And while that was hard, my parents worked to give us a better life. I try not to take that for granted – my parents or my children.
I make sure that my children know how much I appreciate their cooperation when they have to go to a meeting.
When my son says he is bored, I try not to tell him about the olden days when there were no iPhones, Nintendo 3DS, and iPads. I try not to tell him that when I was bored as a kid, my mom would give me tons of tasks to do at the dry cleaners that ranged from sewing on buttons to sweeping the floor.
I am learning to say no to the busy-ness of church and say yes to spending time with my kids.
I remind myself to make room for grace when schedules get overbooked, double booked, and forgotten.
My hope is that when my kids look back on the family business, they won’t remember it as hard times like I do. I hope that they will look at it with fondness and that my husband and I did our best.
Lately, my 4 year old daughter has been carrying around her children’s bible and “reading” it. When I eavesdropped on her, I heard her singing a made up song, “I guess I have to love my mother.” While I hope that she will love me naturally, I guess I will take it anyway I can get it – knowing that there will be times when I will have to depend on that love when life gets too busy.