I’ve not yet learned what it means to have true balance. I feel like I never really will!
It’s something I’ve strived for on a regular basis since the day I combined the roles of mom and pastor.
What does a mom in ministry look like?
- Ever miss Easter Sunday morning at home?
- On Mother’s Day you don’t get breakfast in bed like all of your Facebook friends because you’re gone before the rest of the family even thinks of getting out of bed.
M4 takes it’s toll on us and, at times, we find ourselves envious of our male counterparts who seem to have luxuries like attending a meeting without worrying about what to do with kids that we’ve had to pick up sick from school with a fever. Or attending a conference without worrying about the schedules, lives, and upkeep of the rest of the family seems like an ideal that you’ll never experience.
A study among Episcopal clergy with young children found that “84 percent of clergywomen said balancing the dual roles was difficult, compared to 61 percent of clergymen”(USATODAY.com “Minister moms split between pulpit, potty training”)
As a little girl I remember believing often that I could have it all. I’ve come to realize with certainty the past few years that it’s not really possible for me to have it all (at once).
What if that’s not God’s plan/design for me?
What if God wants to use the seasons in my life and the life of my family to strengthen me?
The term balance means equal distribution of weight. What if we were never meant to live our lives as moms and fulfill our call to ministry by obtaining balance? As I type this, that thought scares me. I want to wear the Super Pastor cape and the Super Mom cape at the same time. I don’t like to show my weakness and to think that I can’t do it all well.
In order for true balance to take place, a fulcrum must be present. A fulcrum is defined as a “support or point of rest”. In order for us to obtain this balance we so diligently seek, we must be using the correct fulcrum.
The world’s fulcrum tells me that I am not worthy unless I am doing.
It says that if my house isn’t perfect, or I don’t have my kids in enough activities, I’m worthless.
As pastors, we often feel the pressure to prove ourselves. Sorry that your toddler just threw a temper tantrum in the foyer in front of the entire VBS staff; the show must go on. Did you teenager just post something mortifying on Facebook that you know the entire church body just saw? Sorry about your luck. That must mean that you aren’t very good at balancing your life. You appear out of control. The world’s fulcrum does not give an accurate measure of balance. The scale is always tipped to one side or the other.
I hate this sort of pressure cooker lifestyle. When I truly step back and look at my life, I am left realizing that the pressure cooker feeling comes as a result of using the wrong fulcrum.
If God is to be glorified in my ministry and my family, He must be my fulcrum. It’s Him who orders my steps and calls me to lead in my church and family. It’s His weights and measures that matter. In Him I will find a feeling of true balance in the day to day chaos of being one who suffers from M4 Syndrome.