September Orange Slices

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Hi Parents!

In my family, it's doesn't get much better than homemade, fresh baked goodies.  And when my boys were little, it seemed like I baked a lot... and often for other people.  There was a time there when bringing some type of dessert was part of the commitment I'd made to whatever it was I was involved in. And in this one particular season, I was volunteering in several ministry areas at church, had a part-time job, was on the school parent/faculty team, volunteering in the boys' classrooms, and in a women's Bible study. And where I went, baked goodies went.  But I'll never forget the times while baking and the boys would come running into the kitchen.  (I'm sure they inherited from me that sweets detector gene!) They'd always ask "Who are you making that for?" And sometimes when I'd answer, they'd smile so big and jump around all crazy like. And all I'd say was, "You! I'm making them for you!"

You see, I often answered that question with someone else's name. And at those times, they'd just say "Oh" and go back to what they were doing. Now, making baked goods for someone is a kind gesture and in and of itself is not a bad thing. So it took a few times of their happy dances until I realized God was trying to show me something that didn't really have to do with cupcakes or cookies. It dawned on me that I was answering that it was for someone other than them way more often. Which meant I had way more things going on than just my family. Was I maybe, just maybe, a little too over-committed with other things?

The quote by Jim Burns above reads, "The soul of a family is at risk when they are over-committed. When families become over-committed, they become unconnected." God used some cookies to make me realize I was over-committed with my time and energy.

Over-commitment takes many shapes and looks different for every family. It can even be over-commitment when your kids are involved with you in something or you think you're just trying to help them have the best childhood ever. You have to define it for your own family. But if it's true that over-commitment can lead to families becoming unconnected, then my prayer for you, early on as the new school year has just begun, is this... that you will take a "cookie inventory"... or whatever it is for you ... and see where God desires to help you create some margin in your life as parents to be better connected as a family. And if you're already doing great in this area, pass on some tips to another parent. We can all use a little help.

Remember, it's just a phase ... so don't miss it.
Praying for you and cheering you on,
Jan Hanson
Kids & Families Director