Happy Sunday! I am in Quezon City right now, waiting for my turn to teach. I hope there won’t be much traffic later this afternoon as I look forward to going to church. Our move to Sta. Rosa made me “homeless” spiritually for a few months, but now I can say I’ve found a new home in Victory Sta. Rosa (Nuvali). I love listening to Pastor Janssen’s deep and thought-provoking (but never boring!) preachings. I also love spending time with my new Victory group mates.
We meet every Thursday morning; I try to make time to get out of my busy schedule to attend because it gives me respite. I feel refreshed and I am inspired to be a better person (particularly wife, mom and Christian) after each session.
The word last Thursday was particularly striking, and I really want to share it with you, especially to the moms who are having trouble juggling everything and not knowing what and whom to prioritize.
Let’s begin with this story from Max Lucado’s book, “Just Like Jesus”:
A lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline received oil once a month to keep his light burning bright. Not being far from the village, he had frequent guests. One night a woman needed oil to keep her family warm. Another night a father needed oil for his lamp. Then another needed oil to lubricate a wheel. All the requests seemed legitimate, so the lighthouse keeper tried to meet them all. Toward the end of the month, however, he ran out of oil and his lighthouse went dark, causing several ships to crash on the coastline. The man was reproved by his superiors, ‘You were given the oil for one reason,’ they said, ‘to keep the light burning.
Remember how we moms are touted to be the “ilaw ng tahanan”? We are the lighthouse keeper, actually. We must serve as our family’s moral compass and “a beacon that displays the light to guide her children through an ocean of choices.”
But just like the lightkeeper, so many people and so many things seem to require our “oil reservoir” (aka our time, efforts and talent) as well: there’s our heavy workload in the office, a friend who needs a crying shoulder, a relative who needs our help, a house that seriously needs some TLC…and the list goes on. Including our want to use the oil for ourselves. All seem legit and we will feel uncaring, irresponsible and selfish if we just ignore these things and people that also scream for our “oil”. But just as with what happened with the lightkeeper, the damage is greater when we set aside the real purpose of the oil.
Suffice it to say, when we prioritize other things way above our family, the damage is greater. I know for a fact that I’d rather not get a raise or promotion if that means my son might become a drug addict or a petty criminal because he tried looking for love, affection and attention elsewhere. I’d rather not be a famous or top blogger if my love affair with my laptop might drive away my husband and have an affair of his own. I’d rather have a messy house if it means I will have a loving home.
The reason this word cut through me is because I feel like I’m the lightkeeper who’s so caught up with other “legit” things that he was either forgetting or setting aside his real role.
On top of being a wife and mom, I crave to be a Mary Barra who has Martha Stewart’s domestic skills; Ivanka Trump’s beauty and clout; and Oprah Winfrey’s gift of gab. It’s not that I will totally leave out being a family woman—it’s just that for the longest time, I was being Raviv’s mom and Randy’s wife…when my other activities permit me to.
Am I saying that I must cease from trying to have different facets? Not exactly. All I’m saying is that I realize that just like the lightkeeper, I must not veer away from my most important role to the most important people in my life, lest I run out of oil. ButI’m not saying that my goal is just to be a mom and wife 100%. No. My light is not just for inside the home—it would be too glaring. I am still willing to open our home’s windows so that my light from the inside could still help and guide other people. But the priority is always my son and my husband.
But even if I save my oil for my family, it is inevitable that it would run out. That’s why I need to turn to God, always. He is the supplier of my oil to help me burn brightly to guide my family first, and then me in my work, my friends, my relatives, and even strangers. If I know that I will not run out of oil because I am confident that my Lord has limitless supply and that He’ll always give me enough, I won’t scrimp on shining and burning brightly for the people who need my light.
Have a blessed week ahead!
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