Sometimes in life you come across a "truth" that sticks with you for years. I was recently reminded of one of these sweet nuggets that has completely shaped my stay-at-home days and I want to share it's message with you.
Years ago, a close friend spoke some words to me about how she wanted to "be available" to work for the Lord. This was a time in both of our lives, when we were very involved in "church" work and yet, right at the beginning of our "mommy" days. Her statement was simple, yet profound in the way that it really made me think about how busy we ladies can become, in trying to serve, outside of our homes.
Her message was this: "I don't want to get so busy committing myself, that I am not available when God comes knocking at the door." What she meant was, she didn't want to tie herself up so tight in commitments at church (committees, choir, teaching, etc.) that she would have to say "no" to the Lord if HE wanted her to minister to someone of His choosing.
That little statement shaped my future! It made me realize that I could have easily tied myself down to many other "good" works (and I did - before this) that I would have to turn down the little interruptions that often come unexpectedly. Interruptions from the Lord such as ministering to a friend in need, cleaning a house for a single mom, cooking for someone in need, driving a friend to an appointment, lending an ear to someone who just needs to be heard, or as simple as it sounds - just taking care of your own family and household in a manner that is pleasing to the Lord.
Sometimes we women want to run around "taking care of things". We have this need to be used and often it happens at church. We feel guilty saying "no" so we over commit and then our family suffers. But it's not just at church. We take on the concession stand at sporting events, PTA, Support Group leader, Drama Teacher, Bus Driver, BSF leader, and so many other "leadership" positions that your head spins just thinking about it all!
And our house is messy, our kids are eating poorly (and in the car), our husbands feel neglected, and our nerves are on edge.
Who wins in this situation? In my opinion - the enemy does.
Have you looked around lately at the state of turmoil families are in? Parents going in two different directions, never a meal eaten together, calender so full that there is no time for down-time?
Ladies, we have to be choosy about who gets our time and who gets our "best". It's not noble to have a calender so full, that even your husband has to make an appointment with you! This is the beginning of disaster! In fact, I recently came across an older couple who is still struggling with this! Sadly, the husband, who is probably in his mid 60's, expressed to me disappointment that his wife has so many outside obligations, that she's rarely at home. I got to witness his words while looking at his face, and it still saddens me when I think about it. This man missed his wife!
When I hear ladies running off their list of "going here, doing this, I'm so busy, blah, blah, blah" I am just grieving on the inside for what they are doing to themselves. It truly saddens me. And it's always the same - stating how busy and overwhelmed they are, yet in the next breath, talking about the newest commitment they've placed on themselves.
And, since the enemy is clever, (he knows how moms are) he makes us busy running our kids around from new commitment to new commitment. Same results - just sounds less selfish!
Bottom line - you're not in a good frame of mind, the kids are begging for "down time", your house is suffering, and deep inside you want to be different, but you don't know where to start or what to let go of.
But guess what? God knew this would happen. He knew we would look to the world for our satisfaction, our fulfillment, our worth. So He addressed it in His word.
Of course there is the Titus 2: 4 passage that speaks of "love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God."
But, in addition, there is 1 Timothy that gives us an idea of what God considers "good deeds" for women: (5:10) "and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble, and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds." (5:14) "So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander."
And, let's not forget about the famously envied Proverbs 31 woman! She is not idle in any sense of the word, but her deeds are all about home and family. She is resourceful, busy, noble, and has her husband's good will, first and foremost, on her mind. "She watches over the affairs of her household" and she is blessed by the praise of her husband and children.
So where are you at this point?
Busy beyond reason?
More committed outside the home than inside?
Children's activities dictating the direction of your house?
No time for ministering if the Lord were to call you to reach out?
No time for hospitality because you're never home?
Find yourself complaining about how busy you are, yet not doing a thing to change it?
Yesterday I heard a sweet friend say that she didn't want to be so busy that she didn't have time for what the Lord wants her to do. Ahhhh! There it was again.......that sweet "truth" that has shaped my life at home, shaped my outside commitment level, shaped my view on how I should live my life.
And, my spirit rejoiced when she said those words because it was like another woman had come to know what God wanted for her life - simplicity, home, family, availability, and peace.
We can be about God's business when He calls. We just need to make sure it's HIM that's calling and not the world that says "it's good to be busy."