By Melissa Miller
A cheerleader throughout high school and college? I couldn’t possible be an introvert!
Yet, the more I grew to know myself as a mom, I realized all the signs were there. I felt drained around groups of people. I felt refreshed by alone time. The irony? I’m one of the pastors at my church, we have three kids and in the process of adopting more (bring on the big family!), and one of my children is highly extroverted.
How do you manage your energy when God calls you to work with people, even though it often drains your battery? How do you thrive as an introvert in the mom-life of constant birthday parties, church functions, sports and school events? How do you flourish in community when there is a part of you that resists it?
It’s been a journey for me, but here are 3 things I’ve learned:
1. Don’t Compare
We can’t be anyone and everyone, we can only be who God created us to be. In fact, if the introvert tries to become the social-butterfly mom, she’ll wear herself out! Don’t compare yourself to the mom who seems to be at a playdate every day if that’s not you. John the Baptist spent most of his life alone in the wilderness, yet in Luke 7:28, Jesus declared John the Baptist to be the greatest man to have ever lived:"I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John ..."
Don’t compare your personality with someone else’s, or your God-given assignment with one that seems flashier. God made the extrovert, the introvert, and everyone in between. Jesus wasn’t validating John because he was one or the other, he validated him because John wasn’t trying to be someone he wasn’t or fulfill an assignment that wasn’t his to fulfill. He wasn’t a people-pleaser, trying to do more and be more. John was John and he was loved by God. <— Insert your name into that sentence and it’s as simple as that.
2. Take Ownership
I’ll never forget sitting across the table from one of our board members as she described her morning routine. I felt envious. I told her, “I need to live in your town!” She looked at me and said, “No you don’t. You are in control of your pace of life.”
Smacked with truth! She was right. I don’t need to live in a cottage in Ireland (sounds dreamy though, right?) to choose my pace of life. I’m in charge of the ebbs and flows of my schedule and energy. If you find yourself drained and bitter, take ownership to make sure you stay refreshed. Don’t wait for someone else to assume the responsibility.
3. Be Spirit-Led
This simple truth will change your life: Ask The Holy Spirit how He wants you to spend your time. When your people-work, commitments, and community is directed by the Holy Spirit, HE will empower you with the energy and joy you need. If your commitments are led by people-pleasing or proving, you’ll live short-fused.
Here are some questions to ask God:
· Lord, what’s important right now?
· How can I serve you and my family today?
· Who do you want me to impact today?
· Is there anything I need to cut out?
· What do YOU want me to say yes to and no to?
You can trust your Heavenly Father, He created you. He knows what you and your family need. Talk to Him, wait for His leading. Ask for His creative ideas for your schedule and finding alone time within your week. A spirit-led life is never a disappointment!
Melissa Miller is married to her best friend and has three children. She serves alongside her husband at Canvas Church in San Diego, CA. Melissa works for a marriage ministry, and is passionate about helping marriages and families thrive. Melissa and her husband are in the process of adopting internationally. She enjoys reading, writing, cooking, and beach days with her family. Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!