Today I am committing The Unpardonable Sin.
I am keeping my kids home from the first day of VBS.
Actually, I am committing two sins: not volunteering today, AND not sending my kids.
My VBS-age girls, Annie-7 and Libby-11, have been gone for two weeks straight: first as "tag-alongs" with me to youth camp, and last week to their own girls' church camp. Annie came home completely exhausted and not feeling well. Ruthie-5, though home with me the second week, spent the last week feverish and missing her sisters during the day, and coughing her lungs out at night. Libby just said, "I haven't had any 'summer' yet! I just want to be home!"
(Summer around here is obviously defined as lying around doing absolutely nothing.)
I hear ya, sister. We are all tired.
This leads me to ponder one of the great enigmas of Big Family volunteer involvement: it's not always directly reciprocal. When I only had one or two kids, it was easy: we all took turns taking care of each other's kids in the nursery. I was a preschool director for a while, even. But these days, with preschool, elementary, middle school, and high schoolers, if I were to maintain that "standard" of involvement in every department, I'd not only be exhausted, I'd never. be. home.
(Another enigma is that if I drug all my kids to each other's events, they'd be exhausted and never home, either, but that's for another post!)
So here we are. I am forced to be content stretching myself thinly, making decisions that work for my family, picking and choosing where to put my time. Weighing the costs and benefits (to all of us) and seeing if I can somehow consolidate efforts. And especially now in a small town church, where we only have four paid staff members, trying not to worry about others thinking I'm a slacker because I can't explain why I'm not there every day. (I am helping at the end of the week with take-down, a job those in charge reserve for the undeserving and undercommitted. So much for "it takes a village.").
I guess I'm back to my usual spot, feeling like I'm not doing any one thing particularly well, trusting God to fill in where my efforts (again) run into the unforgiving curbs of my family's limits.
Which is probably where He wants me, anyway.