Posted by: vftmom247 | 2011/10/17

Mommy? Missionary?

Mommy Missionary

There are definitely days when it feels like I’m taking two steps forward and one step back. Which may be progress. Working out a compromise with my daughter…whew! I was working on a missionary time crunch thing and had to leave for a youth night in just a little over an hour. My daughter came in and wanted to go hang out with some friends and play in the creek. This was not going to be possible in the hour, especially considering that the whole family is involved in the youth night to one extent or another. She begged to differ…again…and again. And would not listen to why she had to be ready to go in an hour. Tears, gritted teeth, etc. Major drama. I had to leave the missionary stuff to deal with her. Yes, I gave in and let her go, but told her she had to be back and ready to go when the group planned to leave for the youth night. She refused to take my watch, and didn’t meet the deadline. I then had to track her down as the rest of the group left for the youth night.

I had to run to the chapel before I tracked her down though. I sat down right between Mary and Jesus and we had a discussion – at least God and I did. I mentioned that I was pretty sure that He wanted me to follow this path He was laying out for me to Susterseel, Germany, but that if He wanted me to go, He would have to help me and my daughter figure out how to work out the missionary/mommy conflict and angst. Because without His help right at the particular moment, I didn’t see a clear way. Especially considering the tears running down my face. It hurts being in conflict with your daughter, you know.

As usual, He came through (so far at least;), as I was reminded by a caring adult that we are the first LifeTeen missionary family and this was unbroken ground, and that it was ok to need to step away from the missionary part to be a mommy – and to have to set the second vocation aside for the first vocation for a bit.

My daughter and I talked. We figured out that we had both understood what the other was trying to say. My daughter half-admitted that she just had not wanted to hear what I was trying to say. I admitted that there were some technological steps that we could take to work this out. Namely a cell phone for me and a watch for her. We established protocol and consequences for next time. I explained that there were some times when one of my vocations would have to take precedence over the other temporarily – like when I had to help clean up from a LifeTeen retreat before leaving in an hour., but that it by no means means that the mommy vocation was being seen as less important than the missionary vocation. She is thinking about this concept, along with how her behavior comes across when she tries to put her wants before God’s work. There’s a line in a book along the lines of how you can walk away from someone’s wants, but not someone’s heart-felt needs. I need to try to break this down into an eleven year-old’s terms.

(Anne Rivers Siddons’ Downtown is the book, by the way, but the concept is way better than the bulk of the book.)

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Responses

  1. I hesitate to step in … but I must express admiration for both your mothering skills and your writing skills. You express the situation vividly. And bring it to a meaningful conclusion. Not a lasting one, of course. This will be a long story (only eleven? There are a few more years yet of molding this awesome character who will follow in her mother’s steps.

    That was good advice good advice about balancing your multiple vocations, letting one move to the front as necessary. I think juggling skill runs in your family.


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