Kristina Talbot shares about opening ourselves to using our gifts to support our children and our communities.
Something happened this year that is different from previous years. I am officially a room mom. You may wonder how a mother of four school-age children has dodged this responsibility successfully for twelve years. It has been very strategic. I had mastered the skill of making sure you go with paper products early on the sign-up genius and hung with the crickets when there was a call for someone to step up, until this year.
I no longer had a little one at home underfoot and while standing in the gap between having a sophomore and first-grader, I realized just how quickly things really do go. As a result, I joined with a team of moms to be a part of the room mom crew stepping into an aspect of my child’s life I had comfortably left to others for years.
It has been amid this different aspect of mothering that I have seen the beauty and gifts of the women around me in a unique way. What I have discovered is that each of us has an incredible desire to be a part of our child’s learning experiences. In the age of social media, it has created many unrealistic expectations about what our roles should be and how our gifts should be packaged. This overrides the reality that we each have unique gifts to offer.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophesy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)
What has begun to unfold within our cohort of moms is the emergence of each woman’s unique giftedness. We have had creativity, innovation, and love of learning shared with the children in my son’s class. The greatest beneficiaries of this collective sharing of our abilities has been our children. It has become evident that my child benefits from receiving the gifts of others and that cooperation is far better than competition.
It is natural that we want to stive to be the best mom we can be for our children, but God is not measuring us by our craft and themed-snack skills. We are measured by a standard of love. More than looking like a great mom, being an invested mom takes tremendous effort.
This time of year is fraught with pressures and expectations upon us as women and mothers. There are the family events and school events to juggle along with our own personal needs that may be connected to grief surrounding the loss of a loved one or health or professional stress. The list goes on, and the demands are unrelenting—especially during this season.
Give to the Lord, you families of nations, give to the Lord glory and might; give to the Lord the glory due his name! Bring gifts and enter his courts. (Psalm 96 7-8)
We can rest assured that the Lord has given each of us gifts that our children and their friends and classmates can benefit from. When we place ourselves as an offering to the Lord, He can transform our offering not only in ways that fulfill our hearts, but also fulfill the needs of our community.
Over the coming weeks, rather than getting lost in the barrage of demands, take time to tangibly be present and reflective upon the gifts you have been given. It may be that today you pause dinner prep to throw the football with your son or stop picking up the house to check out the bubble creations your child has made. Schedules can be inflexible, so if it's difficult to make time to go into your children’s classroom, perhaps you could sign up early for the party favors and involve your child in the selection process so they can share in your pride at a special themed contribution to the class.
There are an abundance of opportunities, and sometimes this may even entail stretching yourself to join the room-mom team. Whatever your gifts, they are welcome and needed in your child’s life as well as the community you find yourself in.
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
Copyright 2023 Kristina Talbot
About the Author
Kristina Talbot is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and native Floridian who loves that her engineer husband enjoys Karaoke, and her four children enjoy carpool line with the music up. Kristina is the owner and founder of ARISE Mental Health Consulting Services and has a ridiculous amount of knowledge about football. You can follow Kristina on Facebook and Instagram @arisemhc.