Kyle and I are currently in Atlanta in the process of becoming missionaries. That is so strange to say those words. It's even more strange to say that it took me almost a year to come the sudden realization that we are, in fact, missionaries to Charlottesville. Duh. But, anyway, here we are. We've been encouraged and our calling reaffirmed, which is good because it's sometimes all we have that keeps us there plugging along. I have especially enjoyed the wives' time. All of us are church planting wives, some a little further along in the process. One of the older wives leading the session gave us some great insight on balance and I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it will encourage you too.
First of all, this spoke to me because I have struggled in the past year to find balance in all kinds of ways. In College Station, the ministry was stable and I had found my niche, both at home and in ministry alongside Kyle. Since moving to CVille, that equilibrium has been thrown off and I am still working to find some semblance of routine and balance in my daily life.
Definition of balance: equilibrium in amount, weight, value or importance, stability, harmony
Three areas that need balance:
Imagine a see-saw with "busyness" on one end and "time alone with God" on the other. We want to bring these into perfect balance (where both riders of the seesaw are in mid-air). She reminded us that we have to be prepared for our day through time in the Word and bringing our days under submission to God and His plans for us. She also encouraged us to do at least one thing in our week that is just for us, something that will rejuvenate and reenergize us for the coming week. Making sure we are disciplined to be with God will balance out the busyness and craziness of our lives.
One one side is "children's activities" and the other is "home experience or 'team experience'". We must put routines into our days that balance out, for our children, the many activities they have by providing them family time and down time. She encouraged us to think about not only having a date night but a family night for the kids, to make sure our kids feel a part of the "team", and that we teach them well at home so when they go to their "lab" (school, activities) they can then return home to share their experiences and open up opportunities for us to reinforce lessons we're teaching them.
One one side is "church" (all the things you have to do for your ministry) and the other side is "outside the church". We must set good boundaries for our involvement in the church, being flexible but also protecting home and family life. But we also must balance our work in the church and for the church with involvement in the community, getting out there and building relationships and loving people well. If we are only doing one or the other (church or community) we are out of balance.
She spoke also about a priority list for married women and it goes like this: God, husband, children, household, church, community/work. I've known this, but just to be reminded that this is my balance is helpful..to be a disciple, a wife, and a mom, and then be about ministry outside my home.