I love kids. Always have. I was probably about 8 or 9 when I started babysitting. Taught Sunday school to little ones while I was in high school. No one was surprised when I went into teaching. And I believe that a big part of what made me a good teacher (former students feel free to correct me) is that I loved my kids and poured my heart into them. I prayed over them, laughed with them, rejoiced with them, cried with and for them.
When it was time to start our own family, I knew that there just wasn't enough of my heart to be the mom I wanted to be and the teacher I expected myself to be. So I left teaching with the goal of pouring that same heart and love into my own children. And I did for 6 years.
Then an opportunity to serve the children of our church came along and I took it. At first the heart part of the job was minimal. Most of what I did was detached from the kids and the families themselves. But as the job changed and grew, my need to pour my heart into it changed and grew. And I found myself feeling emotionally responsible for a church full of beautiful children.
Now I'm making adjustments again. I occurred to me last week that though the practical reason behind my leaving that portion of my job was lack of physical time, my heart was yearning for the heart time. The desire to focus again on my kids, my biological kids.
I know that not everyone has this struggle. Sometimes I think I'm the only one. I know lots of teachers and ministry workers that gracefully balance both. And I think for a time I did too.
But I'm excited and joyful about not having to.