November 10, 2008

Balancing Act: Part 1

My friend Lisa & I think a lot alike. Seems whatever she blogs about has been on my heart for a while. A couple of weeks ago, she posted about her struggle to find balance. It's something I've been fighting for as long as I can remember. In fact, God and I have been conversing about it practically on a daily basis this past year.

When I began concentrating on finding peace and simplicity, I had a vision of what my life would be like at the end of the year. Through God's working, some of that vision has been realized. Other aspects are still in progress, and still others have been abandoned in favor of God's direction. A good example of the latter is my morning quiet time.

Last August, I was convicted about the time I spent (or didn't spend) with the Lord. I started getting up at 5:30 so that God and I could have an hour alone, then I'd spend 15 minutes folding laundry or cleaning the kitchen before starting to get ready for the day. This schedule worked well, except for the one week each month when R is on day shift. He gets up at 5:45, and my quiet time wasn't very quiet. I admit, I haven't been quiet as I've battled disappointment and frustration during those weeks. I was selfish with my time with God, and didn't want anyone to interrupt it.

Thankfully, the Lord broke through the legalism to show me that being a loving wife is just as important as spending time with Him. During the most recent week of day shift, I slept in 15 minutes and got up with R at 5:45. I spent time talking with him, getting his lunch ready, and even folding laundry before he left for work. My quiet time was cut in half, but my spirit was more settled. God reminded me that it isn't about the amount of time I spend with Him, but rather the quality of that time. What did it matter if I spent an hour with Him, if my heart wasn't right with Him? I freed myself from expectations that weren't realistic during the week of day shift. This slight change led me to an even bigger realization.

I am responsible for the peace and simplicity in my home.

R has a strenuous schedule. His shift swings from week to week. It's more difficult for him and CJ than it is for me. For him...trying to sleep at odd hours, spend time with us, and minister as he's called can be quite challenging given the constraints of his job. For CJ...sometimes not knowing if Daddy's coming or going, not seeing him as much as she'd like (she's a true Daddy's Girl), and trying to be quiet when he's sleeping are equally as challenging. I am the constant, but I must be flexible enough to do whatever it takes to keep R and CJ on an even keel. I must put my own agenda aside to listen to their needs (spoken and unspoken) and keep things running smoothly in our home. It won't be a haven for my family otherwise. Considering the world around us, we desperately need our home to be a place of peace, rest, and security. The place we long to be more than any other on earth.

This is my calling. My privilege. My work. I'm only sorry I didn't figure this out 15 years ago...or at least when CJ was born 10 years ago!

I hope that sharing more about how I'm finding balance in my life, I'll encourage others who find themselves in this same struggle. For the next few posts, I'll try to do just that.

Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 3:13-15 HCSB


Heather C said...

How beautifully you have expressed something I so needed to hear! Thank you for sharing... I'm looking forward to more of your reflections... and more conviction. :)

JottinMama said...

Hi! I stumbled across your blog today and I'm so glad I did. This post just totally spoke to me. I love that you said...

"I am responsible for the peace and simplicity in my home."

That really encourages me today. I needed that! Thanks so much :)

Many Blessings to You,
Kate :)

Jillian, Inc said...

Even though I've been married nearly 5 years and a mom or step mom from day one, I have only recently begun to realize my role in keeping the homefront steady and warm. And it ain't always easy. But, you're right. It's my calling. And my privilege. Amen, dear friend.