Monday, September 29, 2008

The thorn in my flesh...

I'll just tell you a "secret" about myself right now: I'm rarely happy with the decisions a group/program make when deciding how they/it will be run. I'm talking about things like Awana or a gymnastics class, or a preschool, or a ministry, or a small group at church, etc, etc.

I don't know if this comes from being a pastor's daughter (and a pastor who thinks he knows the best way to do things at that) or if it's just in my sinful nature to be critical of everything, but am I the only one??? I'll go to something, (take the Awana cubbies class) and think to myself the whole time: "This program is way too long for this age of kid...these three year olds can't handle more than an hour of this!" or "Why don't they do more active things with these kids...they can't sit still this whole time!" Or, I'll enroll my children in a class of some kind and think "why don't they give the kids more turns each? They are just sitting there the whole time!" and then I'll wonder if the people running this thing know how big of a hassle/expense it was to get my kids here. Or lets take our small group of parents at church. Right now we are in a "restructuring" of sorts and I'm just trying to bite my tongue as all the different ideas are thrown out there as to how we will move forward. I have to bite my tongue and say nothing sometimes because my extreme annoyance with the different ideas will come out WAY to clearly if I say anything.

Sometimes this quality in me manifests itself in decent ways. If I think they need more help in a children's ministry in order to make it good, I'll usually volunteer. If I want our small group to meet more consistently and I don't think anyone is volunteering to host it, Matt and I are happy to open our home to make it happen.

But other times it's a big burden to carry. I can't do it all: I can't teach the gymnastics class and run Awana and teach every Sunday School while homeschooling my kids and hosting small group so that I can control it all! I know this, and I know that it is a huge pride issue for me to think I know how to do it all better. I know that I'm going to have to shrug my shoulders and not worry about it if the kids are sitting around too much sometimes at their gym class or if our parent group seems too unstructured for me. I know I have to let it go and "give it to God" as my mom used to say.

This is a tough one for me though. I don't want to waste my family's time on lesser quality activities. I don't want to keep my kids up late for a church thing if it's not going to be "worth it" to us. I don't want to put them in a school if it's not going to challenge them. I don't want to miss naptime for an extracurricular activity if it's not going to be "good".

Well there it is: one of the ugliest and most noble things about me combined. I really have high expectations for myself and my family, and I'm willing to stretch myself pretty thin to help out where help is needed. I'm also willing to cut out activities altogether that I think are taking up good family time but not actually doing much for us. I think that's good.

But the pride element is bad. The control element is bad. The walking around frustrated all the time when I think things aren't going well is bad.

This is a tough one.

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