When our family joined a large church here in town several years ago, we were excited to have many opportunities to serve! We loved contributing to some worthwhile ministries. However, we quickly became overbooked. As a result, some of the ministry work began to take its toll on us.
I remember spending hours working on some ministry work and looking at a pile of paperwork that I needed to tend to at home that was just sitting and waiting. I recall times when I was busy writing an article for our church newspaper but did not have time to take a phone call from my mother. I spent time preparing meals for a family having a funeral, when I still had no idea what my own family was going to eat that night.
All the work I was doing was important, but you can already see where this is going. I had to pause and ask myself: “Is this was God wants me doing at this time?”
I must confess that the work was fulfilling to me and giving me some of the things I missed since I was not working at an outside job anymore. I was using my gifts of writing, of organizing and administrating, and it felt great to find an outlet for some of the talents I know were God-given. But, as I knew God was calling me to be a homemaker, I knew I could not do all these things and do homemaking well. We prayed and searched for wisdom, then analyzed the volunteer services we were doing and determined which ones were most important to our family.
We started making a plan to eliminate some of the ministry work from our schedules. I looked ahead to commitments with a natural stopping point and gave notice that I would not be able to continue in my leadership role. I also adjusted some of our volunteer activities to be sure we could all do them as a family, rather than dividing our family more often than necessary. What things on your calendar have you feeling overwhelmed?
As homemakers we follow God’s example when we are selective. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day . . .” (Genesis 3:8a) Most importantly, the original Homemaker provided for those in His home by being present. God walked with them, talked with them. Some of the most important needs a homemaker tends to are not tangible.
Researchers admit that so called “quality time” is not a good substitute for quantity time. Reserving time for excellent communication is key to avoiding homemaking problems. Martyred missionary Jim Elliot said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” Be present in your home.