It's 4:00 am and I'm up browsing some of my favorite blogs. I just came across this quote from a favorite blogger on another favorite blogger's site:
"I work for a King. He has put me in charge of his home. When He comes to see how I have managed His possessions and His children, I do not want to be found wanting. I want to do my best. Everything I have is on loan from Him. I have room and board and a job to do, but it is all for Him. Therefore I want to dress my best and do my best in all my work. I also want to be creative, for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him and His beautiful creation. How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him." ~Lydia Sherman
In my heart, I believe this is my deepest desire. But let me be honest with you ladies, my home and life don't always display this. Currently, my house is extremely overly cluttered. I've put away the Christmas decorations but the spring things are still sitting in totes waiting to be unboxed and arranged. I've got piles of new-to-me books and clean laundry that need to be put away. Don't even get me started on how badly my refrigerator needs a good cleaning and were you to actually visit my home today, you would laugh and laugh about all the things I've left off of this list in an attempt to spare my pride!
Of course, my home isn't always out of control. It's just a season I'm in---a rut that needs some climbing out of. Two main things have contributed to this literal mess I'm in: being too busy about other people's business and refusing to align my priorities.
As you may imagine, these two go hand in hand. When I align my priorities, I won't make a place for that wrongly-placed busyness. What do I mean by being busy about others' business? Here are some examples:
- As a homeschooling mom, I'm often pulled toward opportunities to socialize my kids that might be great for allowing them some friend time, but often cause our family to get chaotically off schedule.
- Oftentimes, mothers with young children are seen by church ministry leaders as the perfect candidates for leading children's ministries. After all, they must love working with children or they wouldn't have any of their own, right? What they seem to miss however is that these women are actually the most burnt out and overwhelmed when it comes to managing other people's children. I've learned to steer clear of these ministries during this season of life.
- There are many opportunities to volunteer for very worthy causes, and I do try to allow my teens to represent our family in service to others as much as possible. But the truth is, if my own home is in disarray because I'm too busy helping others establish theirs, I am doing a disservice to those God has entrusted to my care.
These truths are hard to digest because, as Christians, we know we are called to serve. The problems arise when we get mixed up about who we are called to serve and when. 1 Timothy 3 talks about the requirements for deacons, saying things like, "for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?" (1 Tim. 3:5) How much more of a truth is this for a woman who has been clearly called to home and family as her first priority? (Titus 2:4-5)
A quote from my own book explains it well:
"Be honest with yourself: are you really as indispensable as you make yourself out to be? There are certain roles we were tailor-made to fill, others that just need to be filled by someone willing, and still others that could probably be abolished and the ministry would be better for it. Sometimes we spend way too much time trying to figure out if we're in the right ministry and wondering if we should take on that one. more. thing. Anyone with ears let her hear: just because it's good to do, doesn't mean it's good for you to do." --From Now: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life by Sarah Coller
How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him and my true heart toward home and family is evidenced by how easily distracted I am from caring for them in a proper way. While I should always be willing to follow God's leading and serve sacrificially however he leads, I need to carefully and prayerfully consider all distractions that take me away from my first priority: home.
This article was featured in Issue #131 of The Christian Home Magazine.