I read this post on Quiverful Digest and I just have to tell you, it really hit me.
This is what a mom of 12 wrote...
"The first principle that I learned that set me free was to realize that we do not reap in the season that we sow. Right now when your children are all little you are sowing. You will reap a little in the short term, but will reap a lot more as time goes by. I try to remember that when I am feeling pulled in so many directions at once. Secondly, I remind myself that my job is raising my children. That means that all the other things outside my family come in second place to them. I arrange my time around what is best for the functioning of our family. If that means saying no to things at church or extended family, then I say no. I don't feel guilty. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to others. It is always a matter of priorities. I enjoy being a mother and know that my time and influence with them is limited. The third thing I learned is the secret of multiplying my time. It is spending time with the Lord each day, even if it is a few minutes reading my Bible. When we seek God with our heart, all our "things" will eventually fall into place. That also means that we will be being trained by the trials of our lives. The difficult things in life train us and we know that nothing comes our way except that it has passed by the Lord first. "
This was so affirming. The Lord has been whittling away at my life. He has had me say "No" to so many "good" things the past year. He continues to press upon my heart that this is a short time period. That this is a season of my life and right now I am to serve and minister to my family. I really don't have much time for outside ministries right now. Keeping up the blog, emailing and encouraging friends, and writing a devotion once a month and keeping my connections up with our friends in Kenya through emails and sending packages of books, magazines and such is enough right now. That is all the outside stuff I can handle right now until the Lord releases me to do something else. It certainly doesn't seem like a lot of ministry. I used to do so much more when Josh was little. But when your family gets to be as big as mine, something has to give. It's either your children, or your ministry. My children were suffering the price while they were in daycare so I could do praise team, Bible studies, choir, Mom's Morning Out, and women's ministries events. While, I still do Mom's Morning Out, I've stepped down from leadership so that I can attend as a regular mom. That means if my children get sick, or my husband needs me no one will be counting on me to be there and lead them. It was becoming quite stressful last year and I realized that I was out of step with God's will for my life.
I continue to look for ways that God can use me in people's lives. I pray He will continue to lead me and guide me in my ministry opportunities. In the meantime, I remain content with what He wants to do in and through my life.