Saturday, June 08, 2013
I follow a Christian blog called "The Time-Warp Wife" and receive her daily emails. Today's really spoke to me. She talked about being too busy and spreading yourself so thin that you can't do the things that God has called you to do... I have a tendency to pack my schedule so full of things (guess I have the Martha spirit at times) that it clouds out things that I NEED to do and removes room for growth. I used to always yes "Yes" to anything people would ask me to do, even if it meant canceling my own plans of things that needed to be done or taking time away from my family. Over the years (with lots of prayer and guidance from my mentor, my Grandma, and Chalene Johnson's book "PUSH"), I am becoming better at saying "No" or "Let me check my schedule." There are still times that I spread myself too thin or cram a day with so much stuff to be done that I get a little frazzled, but I am making progress...
Which brings me to the idea of "life coaching/fitness coaching/nursing consulting" etc. yes, it is something that I *want* to do, and something that as doors open in the future I may do if God tells me to go through that door, but I need to remind myself to keep asking God about this area in my life. Is it going to be "one more thing on my plate?" I don't know right now... When I mentioned it to my husband, he said "How are you going to fit that into your schedule?". I work 2 12-hour days as a nurse each week (in addition to about 64-72 hours of on call time each month), lead the women's Bible studies at church, and assist my husband in counseling couples at church (he's an associate pastor), and of course raising my boys and keeping up the household stuff... My priorities are my relationship with God and my family, and everything else falls under that... I'm going to continue to pray about it.
Here's a copy of the blog for anyone interested:
"Cell groups... Sunday school... Church camp... Women's Conferences... Teaching... Leading... Speaking... Cooking... Helping... Which activities do I choose, and which ones do I step back from?
To be honest, I'm the kind of person that wants to sign my name on every page. I'd love to be involved and sometimes I wish there were ten of me to go around.
Michael on the other hand wisely steps back and says, "Maybe we should think about this, Darlene," because he knows that there aren't ten of me. In fact with four kids, there's barely one of me some days.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the thrill of opportunity that I forget to take my ideas to God. Bad move. After all isn't He the one who knows my agenda better than anyone else?
Now listen, you who say, ďToday or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.Ē Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ďIf it is the Lordís will, we will live and do this or that.Ē ~James 4:13-15, NIV
Looking at that verse, I donít believe that James is discouraging us from planning for the future. What he's encouraging us to do is to put our will in the hands of God, boast in Him alone, and follow His lead.
But how can we possibly know Godís will for our lives if we donít take things to Him in prayer? If we donít read the Word? We won't, unless something stands in our way.
Iím reminded of Balaam in Numbers chapter 22. God clearly instructed Balaam not to go to the Israelites, but after being enticed to do so he sets off on his journey to curse them. When his donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in their path with a sword drawn in his hand, the donkey turned away and refused to go forward. After being punished by Balaam, the donkey turned another way, but the angel of the Lord stood in his path yet again. Penned in, the donkey threw herself against the wall, crushing Balaamís foot.
Finally with no way left to turn, the donkey fell down, and the Bible tells us that Balaamís anger was kindled so that he struck the animal with his staff. Thatís when God miraculously opened the mouth of the donkey who said, ďWhat have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
Have you ever been in situations where you set out to do something and thereís a barricade at every turn? Sometimes this means that we need to press on and overcome those obstacles, but there are times when God has no other choice than to protect us from the choices weíve made.
The question is how do we know if weíre following Godís will or following our own?
When faced with important decisions the first question we need to ask is, Will this be pleasing to God? In Balaamís situation it was crystal clear that God had instructed him not to go. In the same way, when we are making decisions many of the answers might be clearly spelled out in scripture. By developing good Bible study habits we learn those principles and draw from them when we have decisions to make.
A prayer life is also important as it leads us to bring our concerns to the Lord and allows Him to speak to our hearts. There will be times when the answer comes to us in a miraculous way such as a word of encouragement from a prayer buddy, but often times God will speak to your conscience, and when He does youíll have a sense of peace about the choice that you make.
You might say to yourself, "Well of course, teaching Sunday School is God's will--that's a no-brainer!" But the real question is this, Is it God's will for you?
Finally, if your desire is in line with the will of God, but you are still unsure if itís the best thing to do, then dig a little deeper and ask yourself these five questions:
If I take this on am I spreading myself too thin?
Will this distract me from serving the Lord or will it encourage my walk?
Will it take too much time away from my key priorities such as my husband and my children? Or is it a comfortable fit?
What is the purpose of me doing this?
Is this decision one that would glorify God?
Asking these questions might help give you clarification and a new sense of focus."