That woman was a master at balancing life – was helpmate to her husband and a nurturing mom. She was an organized, fastidious homemaker and an involved leader at church. By thirty, I met these goals. When my fourth child came along, I couldn’t keep up. My patience was short and my creativity gone. My house was clean, but lunch money and permission-slip forms sent me into panic-mode. I was involved and busy at church but served with a grumpy, defeated spirit.
Can you identify?
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’” (Luke 10:40) NIV
Being a busy mom didn’t work for me. I longed to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, listening to what He said (Luke 10:39). Are you living like Martha but long to be like Mary? Do you need help balancing life?
Parenting four kids from toddlerhood to adulthood, being a stay-at-home-mom and working mom, I’ve learned you can’t be Martha and Mary-like at the same time. Trying to do it all creates anxiety and frustration from expectations you put on yourself. You listen to the inner voice sayings, “You should do it all.”
Jesus says, “Daughter, dear Daughter, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” (The Message, paraphrase from Luke 10:41-42)
If you’re getting worked up over things that aren’t eternal, remember Jesus’ voice – only one thing is essential, sitting and listening to the Father. Balancing motherhood lies in spending time with Jesus first. Make it a priority over everything else. Balance doesn’t come in serving more at church or in attending more bible studies. Busyness in good things isn’t a substitute for God’s best. God’s best for you lies in worship, adoration, and rest in Him. It’s when you spend time at His feet in prayer, in His Word, and in praise.
The world says when you’re busy doing good things, then you’re a good mom. Jesus simply wants us to spend time in adoration and praise of Him. How do you do this when you’ve got babies and toddlers or carpooling kids? Worship doesn’t get the laundry done.
Yet it does. You have pockets of time to Facebook, Tweet, look at Pinterest, read blogs, and watch TV. You make time for your priorities. Balancing motherhood rests in priorities. Making time for Jesus balances all other activities and attitudes of the heart. When I’m stressed by the demands of life and don’t make time to be with the Comforter, I feel out of balance and pulled in all directions. Do you?
When I spend a few minutes alone listening to the Father, it prepares me to engage in busy activities with a peaceful spirit and gracious attitude. I can handle more when I spend time at His feet. Being a mom isn’t easy. Having the assistance of the Holy Spirit makes it easier. Busyness isn’t the answer. Prioritizing time is.
If you were to die today, would you want your kids to remember you as a mom who’s stressed because she has to make the perfect birthday treat? Or do you want them to remember a mom who reflects the peace of Christ?
What are practical ways you find time to spend with God?
Lord, help me to spend time with you, to prioritize what is important and to rest at your feet. Show me how to seek you before being busy. Thank you for equipping me to rest in You.
I grew up in a house that was immaculate – no signs of a kid living there at all. And that’s the thing that I remember the most about my childhood. I swore when I had kids that they would be comfortable in their own home. I will have plenty of time to chase dust bunnies when they’re all gone.
That’s such a stark statement for us to remember. I used to make my kids dread when we had guests over because everything had to be perfect. Then I realized how I was coming across – it’s so good to see things through our kid’s eyes. Thanks for sharing this, Kristen!