Life is a series of choices, but really trade-offs is more like it.
We can't have it all.
It is a lie to think we can.
You can't have it both ways.
And here I sit at a crossroads, there are two ways, I can't have them both.
I am tired of being where I am in life. Now that Lily is in Kindergarten I am ready to go back to working full time. I have applied for a job and may apply for others, but I don't know if this is what I should be doing. My current part time job is a lot of work for little money and no benefits. I feel like I am working for nothing, oh wait I am. Since both kids are in school full time, working full time makes sense now. I am tired of being "poor." I am tired of living on the edge of financial ruin. We don't have any of margin, I know, it happens when you own a business and at the mercy of everyone else.
I realize that working full time would be giving up stuff, time I spend volunteering at my kids' school and seeing my kids during the school day. They love having me there and I know there will be a time when they won't want to see me, so I am grateful to be there now when it matters. I enjoying having lunch with them and their friends, being story reader, teaching lessons on plants, and being there when crisis hits. I was at the school and stayed with Lily and her class when there was a bomb threat and they were outside in the cold for over 30 minutes and then on a bus for an hour. Even though I complain about it, I love that I can be in charge of costumes for the 2nd grade play, I love creating stuff like that. I love being a part of their school life which couldn't happen if I was teaching full time or working anywhere full time.
So there it is, the choice, the trade-off.
I can work full time and have more financial freedom or I can continue to make sacrifices and be there for my kids at school.
I can't have it both ways.
I can't have it all.
But the truth is, the choices are stuff or relationships?
What really matters more money or being with my kids?
It is hard to not get wrapped up in stuff and remember what is really important.
I have been called to love God and love people. I can do that working full time, but I can also do it with the kids in my children's school and that maybe that is what I should be focused on and doing since I am loving my kids and their peers. And if I am really honest here, loving students that aren't mine that I have to see everyday are a lot easier.
I need to remember that I am not pursuing stuff, but relationships and time and that is what really matters and hopefully in the grand scheme of things, that will matter more than the size of my house or bank account.
It is so easy to get focused on the things that don't matter instead of what really does, people, or in my case, kids. So many people have the Bible verse Matthew 6:19-20 memorized, but how many people really live that out?
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
We are to live our lives loving others, not acquiring stuff, though the world is constantly telling us the opposite. Even the church with the prosperity gospel seems to be preaching that we need more and bigger and better. Life is about love and people and community, not stuff and not money. I have this tension in my life between materialism and relationships/time/serving. I want bigger and better, but I feel called to give more. Someone once said being in the tension is good, they must not have been there.