When Time is Tight

I love being busy. If you think of time as money, I love spending my time on ministry. Everyone has things they love to spend time on…ministry is mine.

I think I’m addicted to it. It runs in my family. Big family. Big church planting family. Big homeschooling family. Yes, to say I grew up with a jam packed schedule would be accurate. I love having events to plan, attend, and prepare for. I love the frenetic energy that this leads to. I love being apart of something big. And honestly, I really, really love ministering to and serving others. That’s the upside. The downside, I dislike being home, alone, with nothing to do. Of course, as a mom of three kids ages 3 and under there’s always something to do, it’s just usually mundane things. It takes a lot of work for me to see what I do as ministry.

This next year my husband finishes up his Master’s degree and when you combine that with his full time job, and hour commute one way to work, and a house that stills needs lot of work and attention, let’s just say, my job, in addition to taking care of the kids and the house, is to support my husband, as he is up to his eyeballs in work. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for other endeavors.

So, this year is the year of mundane. This is the year of an incredibly tight ‘time budget’. I can only afford to spend time on the beautifully mundane, like taking walks to the park with the kids, reading them books, teaching them how to bake cookies, and drawing them ever closer to the Lord. But also, the painfully mundane, like laundry, sweeping the crumbs off the floor, scrubbing toilets, proof reading my husband’s papers and grocery shopping.

I don’t mind the mundane too much, I really don’t, when it gets hard is when an opportunity to serve, or be involved in ministry pops into my inbox, or my mind, as I’m talking with a friend who is in need. I hate saying no. I hate passing it by. I hate keeping my mouth shut, when all I want to do is say: “I’ll take your kids.” “I’ll make you dinner.” “I’ll lead that bible study.”

I’m learning that it can be just as glorifying to God to stay within the boundary lines He has set for me, even if they are a little tighter than I’m used to, than to go outside of them in the name of ‘ministry’, especially when doing so would cause my family to suffer. So, every time I say no to a ministry opportunity I have to remember saying no means I can say yes to honoring the Lord by serving my family, not putting myself in situations where I need my husband’s help (when really it’s HIM I should be helping), or I’m frazzled towards my kids because I’ve committed to too much.

I can say yes to that.

Embracing weakness and limitations is hard, but in the midst of the binding I see some beautiful things starting to grow: self control, self sacrifice, humility, contentment.

I can say yes to that.

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