What is Your Calling?

I’m so often conflicted by needs that arise around me. Who isn’t, right? There are dozens of worthwhile causes that tug at my heart and conscience.

Church Steeple in Country FieldI’m blessed to be a part of a true body of believers at church. We have a gazillion committees to ensure that all goes off without a hitch. It’s very awesome to be a part of a healthy and active whole.

But I’ve always struggled with the feeling that I’m either doing too much or not enough. Too much, meaning that my family is feeling neglected, or not enough, meaning I love volunteering for everything until it all collides at once and I wonder, yet again, why did I sign up for this?

In all honesty, my calling is as wife and mother, first and foremost. After God and family, my calling is homeschooling. I really don’t believe the church should rely heavily upon young mothers. Period.

Yes, people believe stay-at-home moms have much time on their hands, or they like to believe this. I’m not saying people at my church believe this, it’s just a fact of life that when most people work outside the home, they have little time or energy to devote to extra stuff. Especially when they’ve got kids enrolled in little league, soccer, music lessons and high schoolers with hectic schedules of their own.

It all boils down to: everyone is busy. Maybe we’re all too busy on our own agendas and not the Lord’s? Or maybe the church has its hands too full with programs to notice that the workers are stretched thin. That said, I’m so thankful for the ladies on the education committee at my church…they truly have their hearts set on serving and desire the children in our church to be getting real teaching, not fluff.

Back to my dilemma. Because there are so many committees at my church, and so many willing women and men, you’d think every job would be covered and then some. But new opportunities continually spring up like leaks in a hundred year old farmhouse during a thunderstorm. These are worthwhile activities. With so many hands already full, I feel guilty keeping to home and hearth.

Bottom Line: My husband likes me keeping to home and hearth.

Our culture likes to ask, “What would Jesus do?” Well, prayer is always right on in any situation. Jesus had a work to do, and He did it. What work has God given you to do? What is your calling?

Holly at Seeking Faithfulness made a profound statement the other day. She said,

“Instead of making a shallow difference in the lives of many, I pray to make a monumental difference in the lives of a few.”

What is your calling?

19 thoughts on “What is Your Calling?”

  1. I am a stay at home mom as well. I have a 10 year old daughter, 2 year old son, and a little girls on the way. My daughter attends the elementry school near our home, I am very involved in her school, (before my son was born I taught at her school for 2 years). While I don’t “homeschool” I believe that all parents are teaching there children every day!!!! My calling is of course first to follow God, Love and serve my family, and then serve the church and community. Sometimes you just can’t do it all. If we as mothers and homemakers are called to Grow and Nurture a family we must let that be our priority, and sometimes we have to say no. I love being part of a church, but the people in a church are human, and sometimes when an individual is willing they will be taken advantage of, if they don’t learn to draw boudries for them selves.

  2. I’ve also been toying with this thought in my current job, when I took the job last summer I was confident this was God’s will for my career path, but I feel it shifting with having a family now and needing to have more time at home.

  3. Dee Light, thanks for stopping by and making such a thoughtful comment. I agree, of course, that all parents are their children’s teachers. It’s wonderful that you make being involved in their education a priority. I definitely need to get better at figuring out my boundaries. So often, I’d choose to be as involved as possible, and then my husband pulls me back. He’s right to do it, I just need to figure out how much is enough for me, for my family. It helps to not look around at others and how much or little they are doing. That’s when I start to feel like the scales are really tipping.

    Colleen, as you step into marriage and parenting with one fell swoop, I’m sure you’ll feel overwhelmed at times. Time really becomes important, the more people you have that are important to you! I hope you can figure out a happy medium for your career and family life. Scott seems like an all-around dad, loving to cook, etc. That’s going to be a great help.

  4. I KNOW what you mean – I’m constantly being asked by my church to join various groups and I don’t have the time – and really, I don’t want to spend that much time away from my husband in the evenings, either. But no one understands! It’s frustrating!

  5. I was doing “too much” at my church and even though, my pastor’s wife got upset with me, I did what I felt was the right thing to do for my sanity and for my families.

    Let me explain, I am on the worship team, so I have to be at church an hour early before bible study, then stay for it. Thursdays was Intercessory and altar ministries, I would get there about 6:50 and not get out until after 9:00 PM, then Sundays, 9:00 am for practice and not leave church until well after 1:00 pm. Then be back at church for practice at 5:00 pm, not get out until after 9:00 pm. I am also a nursery teacher/worker.

    My sons were exhausted and hubby was not happy. I was exhausted from working at the office and then home, then church.

    What is my calling? I wish I knew. I do know that I want a closer relationship with my Lord.

  6. Beck and Leticia, I think if husbands were on the committees as well, and it were a family calling, that’s different. But when it’s taking you away from your husband (for whatever reason), and especially if he resents it, or disagrees with it, then that’s our answer, right? It’s a tough call. I love being involved, but I also love being home, as Beck said, in the evenings. I’m not really gung-ho on day meetings either, b/c everything has to be filtered against meeting the home school “quota”.

    Then there’s the whole thing of wanting to be more involved in my non-church friend/families lives. Nieces, nephews, sisters, parents, in-laws, etc. Forget 4H and music lessons, etc.

  7. God’s beautiful plan for young mothers is spelled out in Titus 2:4-5. Can you argue with Him? Sounds to me like you dear young Moms are really longing to go back to the bottom line as spelled out in the Word. God’s plan, done His way, with His provision, will produce His results. If we love Him, we’ll keep His Word. John 14;21

  8. “I really don’t believe the church should rely heavily upon young mothers. Period.”

    Amen to that! About three years ago I was so burnt out with working in the nursery after ten years of service I wanted a break. Plus I was homeschooling and the joy of serving other children died years ago, but our church had a policy. If you have kids in the nursery, you have to work one Sunday a month.

    I resented the rule, yet stuck it out for a while even working on Mother’s Day. After a while I had such a bad attitude I wouldn’t want my children in the same room with me if I was a mom of the kids I taught. So we decided to leave the church (that wasn’t the only reason, it was just time to move on) and we haven’t volunteered since. Yet, after several years of trying to find a church and just attending, I feel refreshed and ready to give in some way.

    Like you Mary, sometimes I do too much. I have seasons of feast and famine, even with school, so I’m trying to pace myself and not do too much.

    My calling…hum…not totally sure. My calling is to be real, not hide who God has made me to be, and especially not try to be like others. I don’t like housework or keeping a home ( and hubby doesn’t mind), I’m not lost without my children 24/7 (actually looking forward to sending them back to school) and I’m wired to do things…

    So not sure what my calling is. It changes with each season of my life. Yet ultimately, our calling is to become more like Jesus in everything we do. That’s one thing I’m not always successful at. Okay, hardly ever successful, but it’s something I’ll keep trying for!

  9. I’m definitely a home and hearth mommy. BUT, I love to write, and thankfully my family is supportive of that so they don’t pressure me to do tons of heavy-duty cooking etc. I did for a season, and now it’s a different season. Great post.

  10. Mom, you always say it so well, in so few words! Why didn’t I inherit that ability from you? Of course, laying it out along the principles of Titus 2 brings it home that much more. Obeying God or pleasing man? No choice there, but still it’s so hard to back off from these things. Once done, I know the peace will follow. Like we talked this morning, things at church will slow down a lot for me once my commitments for August are over…

    Gina, thanks for sharing that. Being in the service is so important. I really believe if a church can afford it, they should hire a nursery worker or two. Our church has plenty of volunteers (I think the rotation is once every 2 or more months), so they’ve never seriously considered this, but I know missing the service feels huge to me. Especially when I’m teaching Sunday School also, and not able to be in the adult SS class. Anyway, I’m glad you took the time to relay your struggles in this area and affirm that times of “feast and famine” are normal in the surge of service. And you’re right, our first calling is to be more Christ-like no matter what we’re doing. Great point.

    Georgiana, you and I are a lot alike, and thankfully my family encourages me in this endeavor also. I pressure myself more than my hubby does, to make it all work…I don’t know which would be worse! My problem is I want to stay a bit longer in each season, to have it all!

  11. For someone who is infertile, I was faced with this question in a way that hurt sometimes. If God didn’t want me to be a mother then what was I supposed to do with my life. Thankfully He showed me that I was to devote myself to my husband. Now I know that even if He does bless us with a child, my husband is still my calling. My husband comes first.

  12. Bethanie, my husband and I had been trying to conceive for six years and after many tests and a small exploratory surgical procedure, I was informed that having babies was just “not possible.” This was almost 8 years ago.

    Guess what? I have two beautiful boys! I never gave up and I kept on praying along with others. I even asked Him to bless me with boys and He granted me that request.

    So, please don’t give up.

  13. That’s incredible, Leticia, I never knew that about you guys! What a miracle, and so encouraging.

    Bethanie, I was a stay at home mom for 4 years before the babies came along, and so I know how it hurts, at least from the respect of people not understanding why your husband is such a priority…and after all, what DO you do with all that time, right? 😉 I so respect you for the way you love and honor your husband, and am praying for the miracle of children in your lives. Thanks for sharing about it here.

  14. Oh, Mary, reading your post about church responsibilities pulling you in too many directions terrifies me!!! But, I’m probably one of the people pressuring you – I hope not!!! I’m so scared you’re going to burn out, by what I’ve read. And I don’t know the answer. What is my calling? For me, all the things I do at church ARE serving my husband. But, I forget my husband is a rare one – thanks to my in-laws modeling a great example for him. Its been my prayer for a long time that families would commit to a ministry together, so one spouse wouldn’t be left at home, left out. That’s one of the things I like about Awana – the potential for an entire family to serve and learn at the same “event”. But, I admit that I often feel there’s little time left for us – meaning just my husband and I – at the end of the day, or the end of youth group, or the end of awana, or…I could go on and on. Each family’s needs are different, too. I guess in the end, know that I’m praying that your family finds balance…and please don’t drop Awana! Anything else at church, just not Awana! :) (Boy, that really does sound desperate, doesn’t it?!) :)

  15. I’m sure it does feel very overwhelming at church right now you guys have lost two active families. The work load will balance out though people will step up and fill the gaps. As wonderful as Cubbies would be this might not be the year to start it. Or start a much simplified version. Having it just for the children of AWANA workers.

    I have to say it is very cool when couples can volunteer, together. At one of the churches we visited every position was filled as a team. One person did not just teach a Sunday school class the couple taught it together.

    I think the most stressful thing is taking care of someone else’s children, especially when they are not as well disciplined as your own. I could never run a home-day-care you would never get any relief. Even watching children at church can be very tiresome.

  16. Haley, thanks for understanding and weighing in on this. I’m not planning on giving up either AWANA or the other things I’ve committed to, I really love being involved. These posts honestly stemmed from me realizing how many areas of service there are at church in which I’d love to be a part of, but life, my life, won’t let me. I think I made a comment above, about how if it’s a *family* calling to serve, that’s ideal. I so admire the core couples that started AWANA, for being in it together, even when most of you didn’t/don’t even have children AWANA age yet. I have to constantly be careful that I protect my contentedness with my hubby and his tendency to remain “behind the scenes”, because serving solo amongst a bunch of couples does tempt me to do some “wishful thinking”. You have honestly not pressured me, Haley! Honest. :) I love working with you, and my activities at the church are close to my heart. That’s why I’m agonizing over this question so much. That, and some pressure from God and hubby!

    You’re right, Andrea. A huge part of what motivated me to write on this subject is that I had the dickens of a time finding willing workers for various programs/classes this fall quarter. We’re all too busy, and my personality hates to pressure people. I’d rather do it myself, and then I get into trouble. I felt a huge release when I decided I just couldn’t do the Christmas program this fall. I need to keep my school year church activities mostly limited to AWANA, and remain active in the summer with summer Sunday school and VBS. I’m going to help in AWANA no matter what, because my children are involved and it’s one of my favorite programs. But back to finding people free to serve, everyone already feels maxed out at church. When I finally found someone happy to take on the Christmas program, I could have fallen down and kissed her feet. People that volunteer freely, as you always did, are very hard to unearth from their daily responsibilities. I don’t want to be that way, but I’ve got to get better at balancing both.

    Keep praying, Haley, about the family’s committing to ministry. You and David already do so incredibly much, and this is a real need, no matter how many willing couples we already have serving. To many churches are run mostly by women. It’s something I’ve always appreciated about our church, that the men are there for one thing, and not just on Sunday morning.

  17. Thanks, Mary, for the links and the kind words. Having spent so many years as a pastor’s wife, I probably communicate a kind of….skewed…..viewpoint. I’m coming from have our lives so completely over devoted to church things that we see our children growing up, missing out on “us,” and desiring to change that. We’re also at a place of stepping out of full-time, paid ministry – and it is so odd after all of these years. So good to know that we are following God’s lead on this – not our own.

    In some ways, it feels so wonderful. In others, it feels strange. Ministry, for the believer, does not stop. God does NOT stop using His people to accomplish His plans. I’m excited to see where he will use us.

    We DO feel led to serve more together – as a family – not Daddy at this meeting and Mommy doing all of the parenting/tucking in/etc. Not the big kids off at their own pursuits, and mom and dad going crazy trying to get them to their respective areas of service.

    That does not mean that we will sit at home and think only of ourselves… :) That just won’t work.

    It’s just a new time, a new place, a new stage.

    Love to you,

    Holly

  18. Mary, I’m relieved to hear your further thoughts. And you’re right – its SO hard to find willing volunteers. It can be really depressing, especially if if seems the person you’re asking to help isn’t really involved in GIVING in any church ministry, only TAKING what the ministries have to offer to them. But that’s another soap box for another day. I appreciate you and your family!!!! My girls adore yours and it’s so wonderful for them to have such great “big kids” to look up to. I love how you say things on your blog – I agree so often, and its a pleasure to read what you have to say. Have a great day!!

  19. I understand, Holly. I’m not advocating dropping out of all church involvement, but it’s easy to get in over my head…and not through anyone’s fault but my own! What I took from your posts was that while church service is very important, family has to come first. I’ve always felt that way anyway, and sometimes my church involvement is one way I can put my family first. For instance, I’m having the greatest time teaching the toddler SS, getting to be my 3 yo’s SS teacher is really special…Thanks for explaining your position in more detail. :) I’m so glad for you and your wisdom and experience!

    Haley, I love you! :) Thanks for your sweet words of encouragement! My girls love yours as well, they’re both such gentle little spirits. You’re doing a great job!

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