In this 31 days series I’m looking at ways that I can make way for family life; choices that can simplify my lifestyle, making way for to me to live life with my kids! All posts can be found here.
How often I have heard myself complain about how busy I am. This is a habit of communication that I want to break and for these reasons:
- I am the one who says yes to the things that make me busy so I shouldn’t be complaining
- Is there anything wrong with being busy?
These are issues that arise out of our understanding of work.
- Work is God ordained – Society tends to see work as an evil – something we have to escape and yet God created work. In the beginning he gave Adam and Eve work to be done. God says “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Col 3:17. Whatever I find myself doing – be it the mundane housework, or the encouraging another’s heart, I am working in God’s Kingdom.
- Work is a blessing. There is a cause and effect issue here – Proverbs 20:4 says if we do not do the hard work (put in the plow) then we will not get the harvest (my rendition!) There are consequences for our choices. For those who choose not to work, there will be poverty, for those who choose to work, there will be fruit.
- Work is never done. Unfortunately we use the fact that a task is repetitive and never done to diminish its value – for example the dishes, the laundry, and sweeping the floor. Instead we should give each task its value because of the benefit to others. Our goal is not to get ourselves to a place where it is all done and we never have to work again. Instead we should be aiming for a balanced life – a life of work, relationships, and rest.
On the other hand if I am not applying self discipline to the tasks that I have to do, I may well have another issue to think about.
- What am I saying ‘yes’ to. I need to be aware of what my priorities are (for this current season) and learn to say no. I need to remember that when I say yes to one thing I am saying no to something else. We can only take on so much and I need to guard my time and energy for that which is important.
- Am I diligent? To be diligent is to invest all my energy to complete the task at hand (adapted from Character First). It means I guard myself from distraction, that I don’t put things off, that I work to a standard of excellence, and that I complete my tasks. The opposite is being lazy. Are there times when I am lazy? Even in the midst of busyness?
Work doesn’t stop us from having family time. What stops me from living a family life, is not having my priorities straight, not being diligent and letting things pile up. These things sap my energy and my focus, they create stress, which makes me feel extra busy and I start to shut family out as I deal with it all.
When I find myself in this situation this is my plan:
- Set clear boundaries as to the time I will work, I will rest, and I will play.
- Clear my diary from commitments that were made out of duty and other people’s expectations – leave room for the commitments that are in keeping with my family values and goals
- Clear my to-do list from tasks that are also not helping me or my family achieve the things we really need to achieve
- See the work that I have to do today as a good thing, as something from God, and an opportunity to bring Him glory.