January 17, 2008
By Zoë Elmore
“His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant!’” Matthew 25:21a (NIV)
I had the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom while our sons were growing up. I very much enjoyed volunteering at their school and in our community. Once our sons entered junior high school, I began working outside our home to help our family income. Now that they are both out of the house I have not one, but three part-time jobs. I spend four to five days a week as a receptionist for a doctors’ office, a counseling center and I spend many weekends traveling and speaking with Proverbs 31 Ministries. All three jobs are a rich-training ground for learning how to balance work, family and home responsibilities. This schedule has certainly given me a new appreciation of how easily my balance act can be disrupted.
There are days when the Lord and I keep things on track at work and at home, and then there are days when it seems to be one derailment after another. It’s in those days of derailment that I ask the Lord to show me ways to get back on track. Throughout this last year I’ve discovered three areas of intent that help keep my life balanced no matter what the day is like.
First things first… I must keep my daily appointment with the Lord. Some days it consists of my usual quiet time, and other days it’s reduced to prayer while driving (with open eyes of course). In either case, being intentional about spending time with the Lord keeps the attitude of working for the Lord utmost in my mind.
Keeping this attitude leads me to the next area of intent… Control my work. Working hard comes easily to me, but it’s the one place l can lose my balance when I allow my work to control me. Perhaps it’s my desire to do my work with excellence or maybe it’s the “disease to please.” Whatever the reason, when I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in balancing my life's priorities, I’m reminded that my source of significance is Jesus Christ, not my work.
Another thing I’ve learned to do is ask for help. I’ve made an agreement with friends to be there from time to time when we need a helping hand. I’ve learned that it’s okay to admit that my life isn’t perfect (my friends already know that). I’ve also learned to get my family involved in everyday chores; this not only frees up time, but it is also a good way to build character and self-esteem in my children.
The last area of intent is the idea of intentional, godly fellowship. Our spiritual lives need the encouragement from other believers. When we neglect this area, we can lose our warm fuzzies (as I call them) and open the door to the cold and pricklies. Just like separating logs in a fireplace causes them to cool off faster, neglecting godly fellowship will cause us to lose the warmth of our spiritual lives.
If you’re struggling with the delicate balance of work and home, I want to encourage you to be intentional about asking the Lord to show you strategies for balancing your life. As women we are all pulled in many directions each day. Having good intentions simply isn’t enough. We must implement intentional behavior if we are going to master the balancing act of life.
Dear Lord, I thank You for the responsibilities You have placed before me because I know they are from Your sovereign hand. Show me practical ways to prioritize my life in order to obtain and maintain balance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by LysaTerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
Visit Zoe’s blog
Women Who Do Too Much by Patricia Sprinkle
As you begin your work today, ask God to show you practical ways to balance your life.
Make a commitment to be intentional with the things God shows you.
Be willing to ask for help. Allow others the blessing of lending a hand. For instance, take turns cooking dinner. If your children are too small to cook have a “breakfast” night once a week and enjoy a bowl of your favorite cereal.
Have you pushed God aside in the pursuit of balance?
Are you wearing the “My life is perfect” mask? Remove it permanently and get real. Nobody’s life is perfect on this side of heaven.
Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (NIV)
Ephesians 6:7, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105