The small group I lead just finished up Lesson 2 in the Living a Life of Balance study book.
What a great chapter! It was chock full of good things and unfortunately, we got a little side-tracked from all the points I wanted to bring out in the discussion. This often happens so I am determined that we are going to stay on topic from here on out!
The lesson centered around our time and responsibilities that we have as a wife, mother of teens, and as women who work outside the home/manage our homes and/or engage in ministry duties.
The Scripture verse for the week was from Ecclesiastes 3:1
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven"
I opened with reminding the moms that a balance needs to be struck between our time and responsibilities. Our discussion would center around this.
I also read from a "Dear Abby" article about a parent (a dad) writing that he didn't know how to limit his 13 yr old daughter from constantly using her cell phone. I asked the moms if they could figure out what was wrong with this....why would a parent have to ask Dear Abby???
Basically: because the parents didn't want confrontation and just didn't know how to parent!! They didn't know that they could say NO! The adult is the parent. NOT the teen. That teen needs boundaries and set limits placed in her life. I can't believe that this father just didn't take the cell away!!!! We then went on to discuss how it is OUR responsibility to train, teach, and guide our children. It is up to us. It needs to start in the home. By shirking this responsibility, our own children will have a difficult time growing up to be responsible adults. Especially if they have never been made to have boundaries in their lives.
We concentrated on the Scriptures where the apostle Paul tells Christians to make the most of their days (Ephesians 5:15 and Colossians 4:5). These Scriptures' main point is that we are to walk wisely. Use wisdom in your day to day activities.
I shared about how some research I did regarding balancing our time and responsibilities centers around some questions we need to be asking ourselves, if we are Believers:
- What do we spend our time on??
- Are we being intentional about building relationships with others...especially within our own families.....specifically our children/teenagers?
- How do we begin the day? It will set the tone for the home.
- Are the activities and responsibilities in my life there because GOD called me to them??
- Have you asked God about them?
- Are you striving to do what YOU want to do or what God wants you to be doing??
- Is your busy schedule a result of pleasing God or pleasing man??
- Is God being glorified in the way we spend our time??
- Are you enjoying God through your pursuits and activities??
I didn't spend as much time on the last question as I had hoped....we discussed at length the importance of doing things if GOD puts them on our heart...not just things that mankind might want us to do......we talked about praying over major decisions to take on more or just saying NO to more activities, etc.
One personal example that I did get to share is that Claire, our 15 year old, is now serving at church. She felt like this would be something God would have her do. She is a greeter to younger teens (the junior high group) on Saturday evenings (5 pm service) during their junior high service. It is a commitment that she knows she is going to have to prioritize. Now, yes, there will be some weekends where we are away due to vacations or if she has a ballet show, etc. that she has to dance in.....at that point, she will then be instructed to find a replacement/sub or call the youth pastor in advance to explain why she won't be there. These are all skills that teens can then use later in life. She is learning to prioritize her time, and doing something that will glorify God and is pleasing to God.
We also discussed how we are in seasons of busyness with our teens or families. We won't always be in a busy season. So we do need to learn to JUST SAY NO at times....after pray and reflection.
When we ask God for direction in regards to our time and responsibilities, we can be assured that He will order our steps!!
Sometimes we will need to say no, or let go of something to do something else that is a bigger priority.
On a personal level, I have given up Facebook until Easter.
I have a certain project I am working on and it won't get done if I am spending my evenings scrolling down to see what all my friends and acquaintances are doing/posting!!
Already, chunks of my time have been redeemed. I love it!!
Are you struggling with finding time to do it all??
Pray about what GOD wants you to be doing/focusing on.
If it's your house, like someone in the group shared, start with this simple tip:
1. After work, unwind for about 5-10 minutes by reading for pleasure, reading a devotional, talking to God, being still.
2. Carve out a few minutes to work out a few days a week.
3. Choose one room of your house to clean each day after work. That way your weekend is freed up from constant cleaning and chores.
4. Learn to delegate tasks to teens and husbands.
5. JUST SAY NO!
as will all small group study notes, you do have permission to copy this article.