This subject has been on my mind again lately because our parish is in the midst of the annual stewardship drive (probably happening in your neck of the woods, too?) And, although I don't want my pastor to throttle me, I have to confess that I've been known to encourage other moms to just say no.
Not to everything, of course. (For example, if we all tithed, we'd need far fewer volunteers for all those fundraising events, which would no longer be necessary.) But I know that I need to regularly and honestly assess what I'm capable of. And I have to factor my vocation as a mom into the equation. Raising my family is part of my stewardship -- trying to do it well is an enormous part of what I give to God. Stretching myself so thin that I end up shrieking at everyone and everything around me including the cat is not good stewardship. It's just ugly.
So, I try to combine prayer with planner and see where they take me. Perhaps the result doesn't always appear that I'm doing as much as I could, but that's okay. Genuine stewardship isn't about how things look to others, it's about prayer, discernment, and then doing what God says. A list of committee commitments may not be part of my life right now, but closely examined stewardship is.
And by the way, I'm not being flippant about the "committee commitment list" ... in certain seasons that's exactly how faithful stewardship will look in some lives. It's just not the only or main measure. Stewardship is about using our gifts for God, but gifts come in a wide array of wrapping. Some are elaborately packaged, visible to many. Others are humbly stuffed into a bag with some crumpled tissue paper. And some gifts aren't visible at all.
It's up to us to discern, and if we're doing that honestly and prayerfully, I don't think we need to worry about how it looks. The point, finally, is that we're giving it all to God.
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