Blog from "The Time-warp Wife"
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, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 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, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~James 4:13-15, NIV
Looking at that verse, I don’t 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 God’s will for our lives if we don’t take things to Him in prayer? If we don’t read the Word? We won't, unless something stands in our way.
I’m 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 Balaam’s foot.
Finally with no way left to turn, the donkey fell down, and the Bible tells us that Balaam’s anger was kindled so that he struck the animal with his staff. That’s when God miraculously opened the mouth of the donkey who said, “What 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 there’s 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 we’ve made.
The question is how do we know if we’re following God’s 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 Balaam’s 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 you’ll 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 it’s 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."
Member Comments About This Blog Post
I found out over the years that if I clear some common "yes" replies in my life, then another door opens wide for me to serve in another area, and it is usually a chance of a lifetime! Because it's God! - - I felt that way this summer even, so your blog is really insightful. You've also mentioned some books that I would like to recommend for my pastor's wife. She is in her early 30's and just had her 4th child... she is the lead on most of our children's orgs ans some small groupgs.. she just wears herself very thin. Anyhow, I like this blog a lot Erin. Thank you for sharing your wonderful insight w/ us...Loved your pointing out that God knows our agenda better than we do. Really all we need to do is ask Him. By checking our calendar, we are checking w/ Him. (I sure wish I had known what you know now when I was your age. :) I agree w/ you wholeheartedly. I also ask myself one more question too... Will I complain about doing this? Will it bring joy? If the answer is that I'll complain, then I won't say yes. What a blessing it is to serve. If it's a chore, then God has other plans for us. Bless you for sharing Erin... Love ya, Lori
1676 days ago
While I completely know where your hubby is coming from, if God brings you to it, He'll see you through it. When Craig started both of his side business's, I had the same doubts. Remember I'm a blue gold too. Craig was already working full time, finishing his degree, and has a family. But with every opportunity that presented itself, the time became available. Of course you need to listen to Hubby but I suggest not worrying about howuch time you'll have when the time comes. That's worrying about tomorrow. You've been given a gift and a passion. I pray you see it through each day :)
1689 days ago
for sharing! blog!
I am recognizing the need to seek God first in every situation. It's easy to get caught up in opportunities and sometimes if we are not careful we find ourselves depleted. You DO do a lot. But I know that you have your priorities straight. And recognizing the tendency is a way to change.
1690 days ago
I agree 100%, Cindy! My husband has saved me from getting in over my head SEVERAL times. He keeps reminding me to not pack my days so full. It took me a while, but I have learned that when he suggests that I keep a day open with no planned activities it's usually for the best.
1690 days ago
Thanks, worth reading and contemplating about.
1690 days ago
I understand where you're coming from. There was a time when my kids were younger that I didn't say no to anything, whether it was for church, Sunday School, VBS, school functions, classroom help, women's Bible study, etc, etc. You can do too much. My advice to you is listen to your husband. God made him the head of your household ie the head of you as his wife and you should heed his wise counsel. Yes, take it to the Lord, but remember, God gave you that man as your husband, your protector, and he knows you better than anyone else on this earth and he's able to see more clearly at times what we as wives aren't able to see when we're so close to something or want to do something that may or may not be in the best interest of our family. God may very well lead you to do this, keep praying seeking HIs will, and listen closely to your husband too.
On another note, I love the story of Ballam and his donkey. What always struck me about that is that Ballam was so caught up in what he wanted to do, he didn't even realize his donkey was talking to him! We get that way sometimes too.
1690 days ago
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