Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I can't believe I'm admitting this...

...but you really can't have it all. And I believe that God designed it this way so that we would truly long for heaven where we really can "have it all." But as long as we are earth-bound, I don't think it's possible to have it all. (See Gen 3:18...note that the thistles and thorns are FOR us...I think this is so we won't get so attached to and fond of this world that we will ache for a better place).

I'm talking about Sarah Palin. She's 44. Wife, mother, apparent vp nominee, governor, pro-life advocate, huntress and fisherwoman, self-described hockey mom and former beauty pageant winner. She appears to have it all. But my heart is sore for her. She is a mom to 5 beautiful children. The youngest, just several months old, was born with Down's Syndrome. Apparently this was diagnosed in utero, and I am happy that she holds the view that all life is precious and did not elect to terminate her pregnancy. Google her name and one of the nastier rumors that pops up is that this son, Trig, is in reality not her son, but her grandson, born to her daughter Bristol, age 17. I'm not buying that. Oh, and by-the-way--Bristol is unmarried and pregnant. Her mother is a strong advocate of abstinence education. Liberal media and others are jumping up and down with glee, proclaiming that this is proof that abstinence education doesn't work. I am not going to criticize Governor Palin. She is receiving plenty of that without my $.02. I have teenagers. I have high expectations and hopes for them that they will not have premarital sex. I have no reason to believe that any of them will engage in this practice and all of them have committed to remaining pure and various purity conferences that they've been a part of. But beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know that I (me, Pam) can not control whether or not this happens. I also know that I am all up in my kids' business. And without the blessing of spending time--unhurried, big chunks of it, with no plans or demands--with my kids I would not be able to be "up in their business." Being able to be in touch with the intimate and intricate day-to-day details of my kids lives is what really makes my heart jump. What jazzes me and a big reason for living. I am a busy, busy person. Maybe too busy. I am pretty-much full time on staff at my church as a ministry assistant. I work closely with the administrative details as well as play a big part in the youth ministry. I am an independent notary signing agent, a job which requires me to be very flexible time-wise and put in long hours a couple of days a month. I do, however, have the advantage of deciding if I am becoming too bogged down with the notary gig--I can turn things down if my life is too hectic. I have the best of both worlds. But I do not have it all. Neither does Governor Palin. Would her family benefit from her being more available to them? I believe so. Absolutely. My children, family and home are my calling. My true mission field. The blessings I receive from my job with the church are innumerable. But they don't even begin to measure up with the mother-gig stuff. I don't pretend to know how much time she spends with her family, or how much her husband is able to be with them. But I suspect that time is limited, and precious. So my heart is sore for the Palin family. Now they are dealing with a teen pregnancy, which must be difficult all on its own, much less with the whole country watching. And another child born with disadvantages that are bound to impact his health. And they have 3 other kids. And their life is under a microscope right now. And momma is a busy woman. Maybe too busy. My head would explode. It comes down to this: we choose what we invest ourselves in, where we spend our time, how deep of an imprint we are leaving. I am reminded by this quote from C.S. Lewis:

"People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, 'If you keep a lot of rules I'll reward you, and if you don't I'll do the other thing.' I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. and taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing into either a heavenly creature or a hellish creature: either a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other-creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow-creatures and with itself."

So I am choosing what part of all I want a part of. I don't want to start a war with ANYONE about their choices. I know that I am blessed to have had the choices I have and do have. Others may not have that kind of advantage. Please pray for me that I am choosing rightly. But my whole thing is, you really can't have it all. Choose wisely what part of all you want to take home with you.

1 comment:

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I think about this issue a lot regarding the Governor. No easy answers, and my heart swings like yours, toward the traditional mom role because now that two of mine are gone, I realize what a tight window of opportunity you have as they're growing up. I know I'm sounding sexist. I think at the root, I must definitely believe there is difference between the way men and women parent and assume that Mom is more nuturing. Thanks for the intelligent thoughts.