**This post is backdated in order to provide a consistent weekly post. Some of the events mentioned happened later than this post.**

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Before the pandemic hit I was a very busy person and I have been incredibly busy for the majority of my kids’s lives. I started college when M was 3 and Z was 1. I have volunteered on a few different church teams for the last 9-10 years out of the 12 we’ve attended our home church. I like to think that my family and I didn’t suffer for it, but honestly, I may never know how my choices impacted our family.

Here’s why I question my choices: Z loves to help (serve) others; M and K do too but to a lesser extent. As soon as I felt he was old enough (late elementary school or middle school), I’ve asked Z to make me coffee. It’s not a difficult task – we have a Keurig, but I’m picky about sweetener and creamer – and in my defense I’m NOT a morning person. I never asked M back then, and I still feel that K is too young. Now, on occasion, M will offer and the selfish person that I am will never turn that down. I never offered to get or make them a drink – well, not since they were old enough to do it themselves – stating that they needed to be able to do these things on their own. As they’ve gotten older, that’s changed. If I’m up and they ask, of course I’ll do it.

But for years, I played bass and/or sang on the church’s worship team. I’ve been part of the youth group’s leadership team (taking a couple years off for family reasons) for almost as long. I have helped out during Vacation Bible School. And now I am part of the Kids Team planning games and crafts for the kids’s services. But when the pandemic hit and EVERYTHING shut down???

My depression got better. Granted, not to the point where I could stop taking medication for it, but to the point that I actually felt like a person and I started to enjoy life rather than just hanging on for dear life.

Our family got stronger. I went from having to break up fights so often that I felt more like a referee than a parent to watching the kids get along. Instead of the teens complaining about having to play with K, they offer to take him places – particularly M since she got her license – and do stuff with him. They listen to me and we have conversations. Rather than waking C up in the evenings when he’s sleeping for work because they’re fighting, he wakes up because there’s laughter and fun happening while he’s sleeping for work.

I started this blog. I felt the need to share my life and open up to you. If any of my stories or rants or whatever other writings I post can help just one person, than every bit of myself that I share is worth it.

But now…

Now things are opening back up. I had to quit the worship team on my own for the first time ever for personal reasons. While I still feel horrible about it because it’s left the church in the lurch, I know that it was what’s best for me. I haven’t really been on the youth team since the pandemic started…once our church opened back up my job had been taken by the new worship pastor and even though that hurts because I was developing relationships with these kids and they were making a difference in the youth group, it’s been good for my health. But I still felt the need to serve, so I signed up to help develop the kids’s curriculum – mostly by coming up with games and crafts.

Now…

Now I have to leave the house. Now I am helping again. And it feels good. But here’s where my selfishness reared its ugly head.

My laptop is 9 years old. Yes, 9! Yes it still works, but it’s not optimal…especially in today’s high-tech, fast-paced world. Part of the reason I’ve struggled in writing this blog so far has been fighting with the technology available to me. Add in the kids ministry team, and I’m a fish out of water. So I went shopping. I didn’t buy anything at first…kind of like when people used to go window shopping, but I like to use the internet.

Then I found out we got our tax return. So I went shopping again. At first I didn’t really have a goal – I just wanted to spend some money on something fun. I just happened to see M’s AirPods (that she bought using birthday money last year) so decided to look at the AirPods Pro. That didn’t feel like much fun because Aboji loves to yell at people or using headphones…he feels ignored.

So then I looked at the Apple Watches. They seemed like fun, but I just couldn’t justify the expense on something that likely wouldn’t turn into a habit for me to wear.

So I turned to the iPads. And I found out that a new gen had come out. And I just happened to come across something that I could justify. The new gen of iPad Air is pretty dang close in functionality to the iPad Pro…and closer in functionality to a laptop than my 9 year old laptop. So I asked Aboji for one. The justification is that I can use it (and I currently am) for my blog posts. I can also use it to search for craft and game ideas for the kids ministry team.

So am I serving others by buying this new piece of tech? Or am I only serving myself? I suppose it’s a fine line.

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