Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I am so completely overwhelmed and confused about what my role is supposed to be these days. I live in a neighborhood that desperately needs its citizens to be active participants in the day to day politics. A huge corporation wants to put a garbage burner a few blocks from my house. The legislature doesn't want to give us money for a community center, even though we're one of only two neighborhoods in Minneapolis that doesn't have a community center. We've got kids who were on the bus when the 35W bridge collapsed, and their families need care and counseling. There's a single college girl on my block who could use some companionship. The weather is getting warm and the crime is heating up in the park.

And I watch the people around me spend themselves for the cause of the neighborhood. I watch them stay up late writing e-mails and grants. I hear about their days with the legislature lobbying for our needs. What do I do? I attend some community meeting & sign petitions. I show up...usually...for Clean Sweep and a few other neighborhood events. I call and call and call 911 about the crime in the park. I hang out in my yard and visit with my neighbors. But I do NOT go all over the place speaking to our representatives and city council people, writing letters and typing e-mails.

I *do* keep my house clean. I cook good food for my family. I organize our finances, homeschool Mane, stay up late with Vespera, and go out for coffee with Mango. And I feel guilty. I feel like I'm supposed to be a neighborhood activist because the people I love and respect spend themselves on behalf of the neighborhood. I listen to them vent and cry and I feel like I should help. I feel like it's my job to help. On the other hand, I've got kids to raise, a marriage to maintain, and a home to run. But I should be teaching my kids to serve others, using my marriage as a springboard for reaching out, and opening my home to those who need me.

I'm struggling...once again...with the balance between mental health/good personal boundaries and a life of service. I can say that my family is my ministry, but is that really what I'm called to do? I need to do some study. I need to let go of the guilt. I need to find...once again...the peace that says what I'm doing is enough. Or figure out what it is that I'm supposed to do if this isn't enough.

Speak to me, Jesus. Here I am.


  1. There is something very important to be said for doing what you do well. You could have pieces of yourself everywhere, trying to do this and that - and you'd likely wind up doing everything halfa**. A person needs to know their boundaries - how much they can handle before they feel overwhelmed and crazy. Because you aren't accomplishing what you really want to anyway if you don't have enough time and mental space for it.

    I also think that more people should focus on their families, and there would be a lot less mess in the world. A lot fewer hurting folks reaching for drugs and sex and other things to numb the pain. If they had support, they wouldn't engage in other risky behaviors and poor choices.

    That said, I certainly won't try to tell you what you are called to do - and maybe it is different than what you're doing now. But what I do know is that what you do has worth.

    And to every thing there is a season... Right now, you have a young family - and they require more time and energy. Later there will be more space in your life for activism. Maybe the season when you're called to make huge legislative changes and to really speak out is later.

  2. Thank you so much. You are just the sweetest thing ever, and I know these are some very wise words here. I'm still sorting it out. Although, I think I mostly needed to just "get it out" because it was a rather bad day in the neighborhood.


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