We recently moved across the country for my hubby’s job, something we’ve become rather accustomed to. Moving definitely has its challenges, but this time around I have been so grateful for the perspective shift that it brought with it.
How “busy”-ness slowly crept into our life
Our last season was really great for so many reasons. But it was also BUSY!
My husband was enrolled in school working on his Master’s Degree while working insane hours where we rarely saw him before 8pm. And that’s when he was actually home, and not out of town for work. We had 4 small kids, and also welcomed our 5th baby during that season. Two of our kids were school age, two younger. In addition to homeschooling the kids, I also started and operated a small business.
We served at our local church in the kids ministry every Sunday morning, at the info center on Sunday afternoons, Wednesday evenings with the youth, and in the kitchen on Thursday afternoons. Then there was our lifegroup which we led every Friday night in our home. Towards the end of that season we also took in a very sweet family who lost their home, and regularly babysat the youngest while her mommy was working. Add in a few kids activities every week and that made for a really exhausting schedule!
We didn’t set out to have so much on our plate, it just sort of happened. In hindsight, it was a season where we just didn’t know how to say “no”, even to the good things.
Getting a new perspective
By the time we moved, I was pregnant with #6 and knew it was time to slow down. As we geared up for a new season, I spent a lot of time in prayer, really asking God to help me prioritize my time. I realized that even though we were doing a lot of good things, we weren’t super effective at any of them because we were spread too thin.
Seeking God helped me to set the priorities for my new season. God first, homeschool second, good food third. And that was it! So, we moved and I started to focus on my three things and only these three things. I thought I would be missing something by focusing on so little, but what I actually found was some long lost (and much needed) peace and contentment.
Being unapolagetically dedicated to the Word
Why is it that we can so easily shift our God time around to serve every one else’s schedules? I think its because we don’t always view God as being physically present, and we want to meet the needs and demands of everyone (or thing) calling for our physical attention. But you know what? God IS physically with us! Even more so than all of the other people and things in our lives. If we are spirit filled Christians then the Word says that His Spirit lives and moves and has his being in us. He’s ALWAYS there, PHYSICALLY. So, remind yourself of that!
Would you apologize for spending time playing with your kids? Or for spending a few hours watching a movie with your husband because he asked you to? Would you apologize for helping a stranger, or for grabbing coffee with a friend? Would you apologize for working hard to complete a project, or for making phone calls that move your business forward? NO! Of course you wouldn’t because its good to spend time with the things and people that are important to us. So don’t apologize for spending time in the Word, getting to know the best friend you’ll ever have. Instead, make it a priority, and protect that precious time, no matter what!
How I carve time for the Word out of my schedule
What I found out, is that you can’t “carve time out”, instead you make it the priority. I purposefully dedicate my evening time to reading God’s Word. That’s the time that works best for me, when I am focused, and can really commit to what I’m doing. I also use my early mornings before every one is up (or at least while they are still mostly quiet) to do a short devotional. These two times in my day have become non-negotiable. My family is not allowed to interrupt. It was a learning process for us all, but it has paid off. If you truly want to make time for something, you will make a way.
I had to re-shift my perspective so that reading the Word wasn’t something I “made time for” but instead, became the thing I lived for and shaped my life around. I don’t schedule things now that will interfere with this time. If my kids wake up early and want my attention, they have to wait. If my hubby gets home late and needs to talk, he has to wait. GOD COMES FIRST, and I am unapologetic in this priority now.
What time of day will you dedicate to the Word?
What do you need to move around in your schedule so that you can commit to a regular time to spend reading God’s Word? Can you move some things around, or do you need to eliminate something all together? Is it time to take a look at your priorities? Maybe its time to re-evaluate some things, so that you can give up what is good for what is BEST.