Thursday, August 23, 2012

That Big, Pesky "O" Word

Did I get your attention? Wondering what the pesky word I have is for today? Most of you probably already guessed....obligation.

Obligation in and of itself is not bad, really. There are many things attached to that word with great and wonderful intentions. I don't want to address those today, I want to get to the negative side of obligation...he and I have had a time this year!


Your house is a disaster. Children are cranky and you have no plans for dinner....which should be ready in oh...30 minutes. Your day has not been the best. You then remember your husband is working late again and might only get an hour with the kids when he gets home. The phone rings....a happy couple is inviting you over to their house for dessert, or coffee...whatever.

You never get a date night with the husband. Babysitters are hard to come by now a days. Your husband makes a promise he will take you to a couples night with church friends. A babysitter is finally found and as the day approaches, you realize you want to be alone with your husband, just you and him in a restaurant...then Starbucks.

Vacation days have been sparse for the family. There has been set aside a family/church retreat towards the end of summer. You realize you have only done something "fun" with your family this crazy busy year once. The idea of being with everyone else starts to weigh on you. You know quality time will not be a factor, there will be a million people running around and we will all be separated due to various activities.

What would you do? I guess the answer depends on the kind of person you are. If you are social and figure the more the merrier, you'd do it without batting an eye. Maybe you wouldn't. If you are more of a keep to your own family kind of a person, these decisions could weigh heavily on you. Should you say no? Strike a compromise? It's obvious which one I am :)

All of us have obligations that need to be filled no matter what, that is obvious. There are other obligations, however; that take away from your quality time with family, steal your joy, are painful, distracting, sometimes even downright steal your own personal time. I am still trying to figure out what to do. I am not sure if I say no to these things I will cause tension with others.

My journey is trying to determine the obligations that are important, not ones that are expected of me...without even considering my situation and where I am at this very moment. I want to be free enough to tell someone no, but also free enough to on a whim meet a family for dinner. Balance. Balance is what I crave. I hope as this summer comes to a close, things will be less obligating for us...but who knows!! I want to have a servant's heart, but I know my ultimate service is to my family :) I guess if I do offend people along the way, they will see the heart in my decision and show me grace.

Where are you with this obligation thing? Are you having struggles? Any suggestions?

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