This is surely the busiest season of my life.
I snicker when I hear myself say this. I am reminded that when Mark and I were first married, we were both pursuing careers. He worked 70 hours a week and I was also in constant motion. Our focus was to go as far as we could as fast as we could.
Then we started having children.
We added feeding babies, packing diaper bags, running by daycare and still getting to work on time. Evenings were filled with a priority to be with and love on our little girl. Because children are so awesome, within just a few years I found myself with four little people around my feet. Surely this was the busiest season of my life. Somewhere along the way we decided to be our own boss and began a small business. Four kids – three employees – little money – and all the responsibility. I left my personal career ambitions behind to work – every single day – alongside my husband. Surely this was the busiest season of my life. One day I found myself passionately called to love on other women as a leader in my local church. They started stopping by my house and visiting across my kitchen table. Pretty soon I found myself as a part-time member of our church staff. Surely this was the busiest season of my life.
Maybe you are beginning to get my point.
Girls, we are living in the most amazing moment in history. We can be both mom and CEO. Wife and pastor. Our kingdom influence is being released in new ways. Women are leading in all realms and our voice can reach all over the world.
Yet it can be – and frequently is – a two-edged sword.
I used to feel guilty all the time. I have often found myself in the midst of a meeting at work, thinking maybe I should be at home. At home, I can be sitting at the dinner table with my family, looking like I’m present, but my mind consumed with work. When attending church, it easily can become all business and I find myself forfeiting my moment to be fully present in the presence of God in order to meet some need. Guilt is a terrible ministry partner. It will make you feel like no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are a failure. It will trap you by focusing on what you can’t do, rather than focusing on what you can do. It will leave you feeling exhausted, running in circles and mentally beating yourself up.
When God called us into ministry, He knew about the many seasons of our lives. He doesn’t want us to feel guilty. He wants us to be wise. He wants us to live in the moment.
Here are two of my best tips:
1) Know your season.
Sometimes we grow impatient with our current season and we aren’t willing to wait for a natural change to take on more responsibility. We know we are called to more than this (whatever that is) and we don’t want to waste our lives. Stop and embrace today’s season. Enjoy your babies, enjoy your singleness or enjoy your empty nest. Recognize and embrace both the restrictions and the opportunities of where you are today. It will pass soon enough.
2) Show up.
When I am working, I completely devote myself to the work. I don’t let those dishes at home call my name. I don’t give room to the voice that accuses me of having my priorities out of order. I give it my all until it’s time to go home – and then I shift my focus. When I am home, I am fully at home. I don’t allow the responsibilities of the church and the ever present needs of the people to constantly scream for my attention. As I go about taking care of my home and family, I simply strive to be present and enjoy their company. When it’s time to attend to the needs of my aging mother, I turn my eyes upon her. I focus on not only taking care of her daily needs, but also honoring her with my full attention. I know she appreciates what I do for her, but what she really wants is me.
If anyone can understand the demands of every season, it is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just think of it – God in His three-part harmony – is everywhere, speaking to everyone, about everything, all the time. He’s pretty busy! Yet, when I turn my face toward His presence, He is focused, present and fully in the moment with me. You and I can’t allow the demands of our season or the weight of unnecessary guilt to be an excuse for not being present in every moment. No one ever “has it all” in every moment anyway. Rather, let’s learn to “have it all” in the moment.