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I’m falling behind on my promise of a ‘daily’ blog! BUT you know what feels good? I’m not sweating it because what kept me from writing was family. It means I’ve grown :) Years before I would have put my family aside and said, “I need to get this done. It’s important.”

Granted, yes it is important to me, but you know what my family heard when I said that to them then? That they aren’t important.

Even though I was doing ‘good’ things for God, leading youth ministry, writing the blog, writing a book, etc. I was hurting my family by pushing them to fall ‘last’ on the hierarchy of importance.

How often do we do that? Allow ‘busy’ness’ to crowd out family because it is good stuff. It is serving others. It is for God.

There was a point where I was ‘addicted’ to ministry. Helping others was a high that surpassed facing the reality of angst that awaited me at home. I ran from my responsibility as wife and mother because it wasn’t all pretty. It was hard work and serving others was much more rewarding because it lacked the intimacy of serving my husband and kids. The kind of intimacy that allows for the comfort of disapproval.

Eventually God led me to recognize the hypocrisy in this behavior and I made the conscious decision to step back and come to find harmonious ways to serve my family and serve the others.

It’s interesting that this comes to me because I’ve been bombarded with many opportunities this week that are exciting. Each one has been something I’ve needed to pray about, discern and decide if it fits into that harmonious balance. The difference between now vs. then is my discernment involves Neal and the boys. I discussed with them the opportunities, some of which wouldn’t affect them because it’s work done while they are at school, but another takes a bit more of a commitment. Granted, it’s not for a long period of time, which I believe is why they were fine to support my ‘yes’ but it still felt good to be cohesive in my ‘yes’ and willingness to serve.

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Last night when I had the time to write a blog for the day I was about to enter into the office and Seth asked me a question about when Neal and I met. At dinner we’d been discussing our past girlfriend’s and boyfriend’s and the kids joked with us about even having other people in our life before we met one another. I thought the conversation was over but he asked specifically about college. I knew what he was getting at…before Neal was when I went through the rape trial. Though I had started dating again when I met Neal and had been on a few dates with others a month or so before I met Neal, I had been on a hiatus for that entire year staying away from men.

Seth asked why. So I told him. He already knew vaguely that I had been mistreated by a man but I don’t think I had flat out told him. So we talked about it. He wanted to see a picture of him. I have a college yearbook and showed it to him.

He is handsome. He doesn’t look like a monster. I think that surprised Seth.

“I’m sorry he hurt you, Mom,”Seth said and then hugged me. That was it. Conversation over. I tried to go further but he smiled and changed the subject.

Rare and brief the moment is cherished. A thousand lessons were given in that one exchange.

My window of opportunity to write was gone before Neal and I had to head to Ryan’s school downtown for parent / teacher conferences. And it was OK. I knew you’d understand. ;)

I can’t WAIT to be able to reveal all these good things!! God is amazing!!

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God wants us to serve others but he wants you to serve Him first (by meeting with him one on one), family second and everyone and everything else will fall into place as it should.

Blessings Shannon

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