For many parents, the advent of the school year brings with it a familiar and difficult dynamic: cycles of interruption. Is it possible God is calling us to be generous, even with our time?
By Tina Osterhouse, Christianity Today
As mothers, in particular, we learn to be flexible with our plans and structure our days to bend to our kids’ needs. Nonetheless, as Michelle Radford notes in her recent CT interview, the unique challenge of parenting often precipitates a crisis of identity for many women.
When my two kids – born 14 months apart – were young, I felt as if I’d never get ahead in my career because I was too busy changing diapers, waking up in the middle of the night to feed my children, or running to the store for a bottle of baby Motrin. I struggled with the incessant interruptions and spent much of my time relinquishing well-made plans.
Now, however, as my children move into their teens, I’m beginning to recognize that, in those early years, God was teaching me to be openhanded with my hopes in order to serve others. What I thought hindered me from real ministry was, in fact, God’s tool, instructing me to be present to the immediate needs around me, and what felt like falling behind in my career was just the character formation that Christ had been looking for.
In sum, those early days of parenthood were teaching me to listen to the voice of Jesus. All of us – mothers, fathers, pastors, teachers, and everyone else – are part of God’s ministry of interrupted plans, his kingdom of “on-the-way.”