At our church picnic for the dedication of our new building (pictures here) I was talking with a few ladies and they mentioned how overwhelmed and busy they were. One lady declared that the only way to get away from such busyness was to go back in time–that busyness is just the way life is here in 2006. When they asked me if I agreed, I said no. I told them I had chosen a simple life. One said, “Oh, really? How do you do that?” I explained that I did not get involved in every serving or homeschooling opportunity that was open. Yes, there are a lot of ways to help at church but I don’t have to do them all!
I got the feeling that these two ladies didn’t think that I had chosen the better way. I disagree! My simple life here at home allows time for learning at a natural pace. We have time to explore. I am never “behind” in school. Who would I be behind anyway? I think running around and being involved in lots of activities breeds discontent in children. At least in mine it did!
I have found that children need lots of time at home. They need time to think! How can they process all that they are learning if they are not given the time to think about it and work it out? How can they find out what interests them if they are never given the time to try new ideas? They need time to be bored. Bored–yes! If they are always on the go, then they are going to expect to be on the go all the time. If we fill up their days with “stuff”, this is what they will expect. I think children need to have some boredom. Boredom isn’t fun and children won’t be bored for long. Boredom will drive them to explore, to learn, to do something! They will read, do crafts, play outside, build Legos, etc. in order not to be bored. Does that make sense? Boredom is a good catalyst and if our children always have activities lined up for them then when they are bored, they will complain and whine that they have nothing to do. Their imagination and enthusiasm for life will be stifled.
When my children were toddlers, I wanted to be involved in some ministries at church and was lamenting the fact that I couldn’t. My (very wise) pastor’s wife told me that now is the time to be home with my children. Now is the time to train them and to pour all my energies into our home life: husband and children. She said there were seasons of life and when they were older I would be able to be involved in more. I am so grateful to her for that advice! I’m so thankful that the Lord enabled me to follow it. Now that my youngest is 12, I am involved in more ministries. But, again, I’ve chosen ones that don’t take me out of the home much and ones that JK can be involved in.
It seems (to me) that being busy and overwhelmed is worn as a badge of honor. How much more can I cram into my day? How tired can I be at night? I am so behind in school. My house is a mess. I have so much laundry (cleaning, cooking) to do. I just can’t do it all, etc., etc. Well, I don’t think the Lord meant for our days to be so full that we aren’t doing our job well. The Lord said to do all things well. To do it so it brings honor and glory to Him. Is neglecting our family to serve in church ministry (or other activities) bringing glory to Him? As wives and mothers our priority is to “love our husbands, to love our children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, subject to our own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”
A friend pointed out to me recently that a lot of women who are so involved in ministry and homeschooling activities neglect a very important part of their day (actually THE most important part) and that is time with the Lord reading and studying His word. This has been on my mind lately. If we don’t spend time in the word, where do we get our strength? Where is our guidance? How can we know Him if we don’t take the time to find out?
Let’s not neglect our time with the Lord and our families by being so busy. Let’s not be so involved in homeschooling activities that we are never actually home. I don’t think it’s a good thing when moms say proudly that they are doing school in the car and are never home. I don’t think it brings honor and glory to Lord when moms tell of rushing from one activity to next and have to bring dinner home from the drive-through. Let’s not neglect our family by being involved in many and various church ministries. Choose ministries that you can do with your children (cleaning the church or sending birthday/get-well cards to members, for example) or that don’t require a huge commitment. God wants us to serve Him in our homes. Later when this season of life has passed, there will still be plenty of years and opporunities to serve. Let’s make our first priority home.