Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Confessions of a Slacker Mom

"Hi, I'm Cyndi, and um..." (looking down, shuffling my feet, kicking at the dirt) "I'm not working in VBS this year."

There, I said it. Whew! I feel better.

I just returned from my second morning of dropping off my daughter at our church's HUGE Vacation Bible School. (And I mean huge, as in literally thousands of kids will be coming.) And then I did something strange for me. I drove off. I came home. Here I sit.

Somehow I guess it would sound better to say that I dropped her off because she's working at it, not participating in it, but I guess that really doesn't matter. I rationalized all the way home yesterday. I drove her up there, pulled into the parking lot, saw the hubbub of activity of those faithful volunteers herding kids inside and setting up games outside, mentally imagined the activity converging on the inside of the building, kissed my daughter good-bye and told her I'd see her in awhile, then drove away feeling burdened. I felt partially burdened that I wasn't working, while simultaneously feeling burdened by the part of me that doesn't feel burdened in the slightest. :::sigh:::

I used to always do VBS because, well, that's what you do if you're a mom at home with kids in the summer and even slightly involved in your church. So for years I took various roles in our (did I mention that it is mammoth-sized?) VBS. Helping with the music on stage. Running the souvenir shop. Running an art room. Bringing a Suburban-load of kids from the apartments we lived in while we were building this house. Year after year. Then we began coordinating our Awana program and I was... tired. By June, I just couldn't do it. Uncle. In past years I've had the convenient excuse of "Well, I would, but we'll be in Africa." Last year I had just put my 12 year old on a plane for China, my 10 year old didn't want to do VBS anyway, and I didn't have the mental energy to do it. (Besides, what if I missed a phone call from China??? Oh, last summer was tough.) This year, I didn't commit because I knew that I would've only been back in our time zone for less than a week, and I never know in what condition I'll be returning home from a trip (at the very least, jetlagged, but sometimes quite ill.) I came home fine, but I still didn't volunteer. And that's okay. Isn't it?

I realized today as I drove away and saw the faithful volunteers all dressed in their western "Avalanche Ranch" garb that if I did this, I couldn't do the Awana stuff I need to do this summer. I just couldn't. I would be so burned out. Those who are doing what they do don't do what I do. And I don't do what they do. And that's the Body of Christ.

But, oh, I'm praying for those precious souls who will be reached with the gospel in VBS's all across this nation in the weeks to come. And I'm praying refreshment for the many, many volunteers it takes to pull off a successful VBS, of any size. God bless y'all.

And now I'm off to spend some much-needed alone-time with my son. Yee haw!


Jessie's parents said...

Here I sit too, at home, while my older two attend VBS! I cannot tell you the guilt that about swallowed me yesterday! But, I have 2 little ones here at home that keep me beyond busy and I just don't have it in me this year to teach VBS, even though I LOVE to teach. So, off my older two went and they are having a blast! They are getting to stand in line (LOL!) and most importantly, they are getting to shine their lights for new friends that may not know our Jesus. God provided them with great teenage leaders that are encouraging and uplifting and who, in my daughter's words, "are a TON of fun!!!" Praise God for all of the VBS leaders that put in countless hours up there while I sit here and play with my little ones.

Linda said...

Okay young lady - you have my permission to enjoy a guiltless week with your son and all the other things you need to do.
It has taken me years, but I no longer feel guilty about not volunteering for every single event that comes up in church. Of course attending a mega-church helps. There always seem to be plenty of volunteers.
I have put in my years in the nursery, in VBS (in fact one year my good friend and I, having survived a horrendous week of VBS the year before with the world's most unruly kids, decided to volunteer for juice and cookies. It was a brilliant idea.)and so many other things.
We are not all called to everything. I know you know that. You are now free to enjoy this week.

Anonymous said...

So funny! I always teach VBS, but several years ago, I skipped out and went with my husband on a business trip to Las Vegas! I felt so guilty for skipping out and heading to sin city, but I was so glad I did. I got some much needed alone time during the day, and my husband and I got to spend the evenings together in a great hotel for free! Sometimes, it is just fine to not participate in everything. Enjoy your time with your son!

Susanne said...

I feel guilty for feeling jealous that you are at home feeling guilty!! Ha ha!! I have worked in our VBS for the last three years straight...and I signed up again this year. BUT...we are "under construction" this year building a new sanctuary and renovating existing space, so our VBS will be an ALL DAY Saturday event! I don't know whether to be relieved of the short time period, or scared out of my witts!!! (I am actually looking for a local church to send my older two children to for the "weekly" dose.)Have a great week!!!

Deidre said...

Sounds like you're doing a HUGE job for VBS ... prayer. Don't discount that.

Why do we women always feel guilty for not being a part of Everything?? You have an enormous plate and still have a serving heart through other ministries. Take a deep breath! You're fine!!

Enjoy your week.

Sharon said...

You go girl! I learned long ago that I am a better person when I am doing what God calls me to do and not that which I "think" I "should" do.
Enjoy your time with your son...there is no reason to feel guilty!

Alycia said...

I know God uses us in all different ways within the body. He has called others to serve this year and so try not to feel guilty. Enjoy your time and know that you are already making a HUGE impact on God's kingdome. Blessings!

LeftCoastOnlooker said...

You are a brave woman & I applaud you!!!!!
It is not Christlike for churchpeople to force others to fulfill their expectations, I just wish I had the courage to say that out loud -- as you may have guessed I'm doing VBS this year, I wasn't courageous.

Jenny in Ca said...

you are excused!!

needless guilt gives you wrinkles...

enjoy your time with your son!!

Mom of 5 said...

You can not do it all. If you over do things that leads to a very stressed mommy. I made a conscious decision recently to give up PTO secretary, cambellsoup labels and being box top mom. Guilt...you bet but I have to take a break.
Praying is doing something. Pray for those helping the kiddos at VBS.

Mindy said...

Girl -- you enjoy your time~!
As the preacher's wife I often feel obligated to be involved....matter a fact - our vbs is starting tonight. Although we are doing it a bit different....We are doing it on Wednesday nights throughout the summer. and I am in charge of the bible stories (how do these things happen to me?)
but hey - it's all good I guess.
SO - you take a well deserved break and don't worry about not being there.....in the mean time - I will find a verse for you that will excuse you .....maybe you should just say that this isn't you gift.....I hear that A LOT. =)

Terri @ In His Hands said...

You totally deserve the break!~
Our church had Avalanche Ranch the first week of June and with Jackson's broken leg, I just couldn't see torturing him by making him sit and watch all the fun while I work so I didn't help out either. And you know what, it's okay. They were fine without me! And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm still feeling guilty about it but now that we're moving closer to July, I'm feeling less guilty.


Kelly said...

You always make me smile and are such an encouragement! Good to pop in and check out how you are doing!