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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hey Mom and Dad - Slow Down!



I have been thinking a lot about busyness, lately. We are entering into a time of year when life seems to get busy for most families. Whether you are a homeschool, public school or private school family - school tends to busy our lives. Filling our days with endless lessons, clean-ups, chores, pick-ups and drop-offs, extra curriculars...you get the idea. Throw in church and some meetings and well, there isn't much time left for anything else. I have a constant running to-do list {sometimes written, sometimes in my head} of all of the things I need to accomplish daily, weekly, monthly - and I still usually forget something! Of course, there is no end in sight, with the earlier every year holiday ads and promotions reminding us that dinner parties and family get-togethers and gift shopping is all right around the corner...help!

But in truth, as I sit back and observe our culture and societal norms, I see a trend that is threatening to ruin families - busyness. I see the mom racing the clock every day rushing through her morning, stressed out as she loads up the kids, drops them at school, barely making it to work on time - then doing it all again that evening as she rushes from soccer, to dance, to PTA, through the drive through and home just in time to get six hours of sleep. I see the mom with the never-ending list of chores she is trying to accomplish between phonics lessons, science experiments and diaper changes - all while listening to Latin! She scrubs the counter clean and pulls dinner from the oven just as her husband walks in the door and she is off to volunteer in the soup kitchen at church. When she returns home she cleans up the mess from dinner only to find her husband and little ones zonked out on the couch. I see the dad who arrives home from work, and spends an hour trying to fix the clunker van his wife drives, inhaling his dinner so that he can mow the yard before the sun goes down and then retire to his office for the rest of the night to work on the presentation for his meeting tomorrow...I see my own busy life full of homeschooling my children, cleaning poop out of the crib (happened today!), my people pleasing over-commitments, a husband in the ministry who works multiple jobs and trying to keep up with the to-do list in my head! 

This meme has been floating around on facebook for a while now, and I usually don't really care much for the somewhat cheesy guilt-inducing memes like this...


But, you have to admit - it is true. I think we all know this, though - right? We've heard it preached enough and sang "I Surrender All" enough to know that we need to be spending time DAILY in communion with God. It needs to be a priority in our lives. But what about daily communing with out family? What about having time to sit and knit a blanket for your neighbor's new baby? What about time to answer the phone when your friend calls - maybe she really needs to talk? What about time to actually play with your son and the new army men he got for his birthday? You are missing moments you can never get back. Life is way too short to fill it with stuff that doesn't eternally matter. 


I think there should be another meme that goes something like this...



1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 says, "Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others."

The world is full of busyness - but God has called us to be set apart. There are many "good" things that can fill your days and take you away from the precious ones that God has blessed you with - but if they are taking you away from your family, then they're really not that "good", are they? The way we change this world is by living in a way that the world can respect. Living this life is all about perspective and priorities. 

Perspective: There is nothing in this world more important than ministering to, discipling and loving on your spouse and your children. Your home is the greatest mission field you will ever encounter. 

Priorities: God. Spouse. Children. Everything else. It is that simple

We have made a conscious decision in our home to live simply and put our family first. Above jobs, friends, ministry...it has not always been easy and sometimes we still get caught up in the "busyness". But God has placed on our hearts to raise a future generation of passionate followers of Christ - that is the goal, and the best way to do that is to be involved in their life and to be an example of what that looks like. 

So, slow down. Let some things go...

Leave the dishes for the morning. 
Say "no" to that meeting or commitment. 
Be honest and tell people that your family comes first. 
Skip the gym one day a week - or take the family with you! 
Turn your phone off. 
Tuck your kids in each night.
Choose one extra-curricular activity per season.
Attend church together. 
Eat one meal a day as a family.
Live simply and frugally, so that you don't need to spend so much time working. 
Find time to just be still and quiet. 
Dedicate one night a week as family night and stick to it! 

My challenge to you - whatever you need to do to create a home that is full of peace, not chaos - do it! And, most importantly make it a matter of prayer and a commitment to God. Remember what Jesus promised us in Matthew 11:28

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

*Disclaimer* I know that there are seasons and situations in which life is busy and there is not much you can do about it. Thankfully, God is gracious and He will walk with us during those times. 

Thank you for stopping by! 
How has God challenged you to change your priorities? 




7 comments:

  1. After a season of super-busyness, I'm finally at a quieter place. It wasn't easy getting here and it required some sacrifice, but it's so worth it. I am thankful for our busy season because it taught me so much about time-management, but my entire family is calmer and happier now. Thank you for writing and posting this fantastic article!

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    1. I understand, Davonne. We just moved and my husband started a new Pastor position - so our life has been very busy lately. That is what prompted me to write this post...sometimes we have to fight for rest and peace in our homes because there is always some "busyness" that we can fill up our life with! Glad that you have made it to the other side of the busy season - blessings to your family <3

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  2. AMEN!!!! Loved reading this it was a great reminder to what I've been trying to tell myself this week :)

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  3. <3 this! Just what I needed today!

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I really appreciate your comment! I read every one and try to reply in a timely fashion. Have a blessed day :)

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