Are you a juggler? I'm not or doing this might be quite easy. Balancing the ministries (could also be known as priorities) of a mom is probably one of our biggest struggles - although we don't realize it.
It's probably at the root of many of the issues we face on a day to day basis because how we view our ministries determines how we spend most of our time and how our attitude is effected (and therefore effects others, like our family).
First and foremost we must figure out what our ministries are (or should be!). I won't get into a long debate about a woman's ministries. I realize that there are varying opinions on this, but I just prefer to take the opinion of God, our creator, on these issues. I figure He knows us better than anyone, since He created us, so it would be in our best interest to trust and obey (for there's no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey). But I do want to warn you that I will be hitting some hot buttons later.
1. Seek God daily (preferably in the morning). We see it over and over in scripture. Abraham, David, and even Jesus got up in the morning to spend time in prayer seeking God.
Mark 1: 35 says
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Practical tip: Here's what I do to have this quiet time in the morning. I aim to go to bed earlier, but that doesn't always work. I try to get up before the kids. Most of the time this works, but not always - they are early risers and if I stay up just a hair too late, I can really mess up the schedule. I grab my computer and my headphones. I plug my headphones into my computer and pop on iTunes. Big P has loaded the Bible into my iTunes and we just love listening this way. Now, while I love this, I need to also be reading it, so I follow along reading the NIV in BibleGateway.com. It really helps me to soak it in. I am using this to help me get through the Bible in 1 year. You can choose the various ways you would like to read it, chronologically, new/old, old/new, etc. http://eword.gospelcom.net/year/ Here's what my "perfect" quiet time schedule looks like - like I mentioned before, it doesn't always happen this way, but when it does I am truly blessed with a more peaceful day (a commodity in a household with 4 busy children!).
- Praise - I listen to a praise song on iTunes. We like contemporary music, but we don't like to "jam out" to things that we can't understand the words to. What's the point?
- Prayer - God, I want to hear what you have to teach ME today. Before I can teach my children or mentor anyone else, I need to learn.
- Prayer - Thank you God for your Word today. Please help me to live it out (this truly is the hardest part).
Randomly the kids will get up, after I have hit the snooze button 1 too many times! When this happens, I grab my computer, and I put on an old cartoon on for them (or Higglytown Heros) and I do just my Bible reading combo and prayer. It's better than nothing and I've learned my lessons enough to know what it is like without it.
Now, I'm sad to say that on the weekends, it just doesn't happen this way. I am working on our routines and will be implementing my quiet time routine (which is also affected by my evening routine) every day this week, tweaking it, adjusting as necessary, etc. I'll post that later in case anyone needs ideas to spark their imagination.
I wanted to start out with this ministry first. Our first ministry is to ministered to by God. Nothing will really fall into place if that isn't our first priority. It's one of those things that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us. Cindy Rushton mentioned this in one of her talks and I found it fascinating and true! It's like tithing (doesn't make sense how you can make do with 10% less, or more), and Sabbath rest (doesn't make sense how you can get more done Monday through Saturday if you just rest that one day per week), and it doesn't make sense, in our human minds, how you can have a much better day by just spending the first of that day with God.