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I have thought a lot about this post and prayed about it quite a bit that I don’t offend. But I struggle with this, and I see so many other moms that seem to as well, so hopefully, some of you can relate.
Mom, Are You Neglecting Your Priorities? Serving Outside the Home
As moms we want to serve outside the home, some of us feel called to outside interests, and many of us even have an entrepreneurial pull. I should preface this by saying I have done all of those; I have worked from home, served in many capacities over the years of volunteering, leadership, and ministry, and I have gone as far even to own a brick and mortar store while also being a SAHM. So as my life seasons have evolved, I have been involved in various activities outside of my home.
I have learned the hard way that balancing all of that is not just hard work, but at times just impossible. It is extremely tough to have a full-time or even a part-time project outside of your family, especially when you have children. I know many women that work full-time and are moms, and they make it look easy, and of course, some have a difficult time keeping it all together.
Some of us don’t HAVE to leave the house every day for work; we have the privilege of serving our family full-time. I do believe that is a privilege, what better job is there than serving your precious family. Some of us feel called to something outside of that, maybe service to others, leadership, volunteering, blogging, or some project outside of our homemaking responsibilities. I am mostly thinking about those of us that don’t have to contribute to the family finances, and it isn’t essential that we bring home any income. We say yes to projects and sign up for things that sometimes overwhelm our schedules, and we find ourselves trying to balance more than we need to.
I fully support and agree with serving others outside of your home…IF. Yes IF.
From my experience and I see so many other moms making similar choices, I have learned that this is tricky territory. We feel called, we have something on our hearts we want to pursue, and we go for it! Some of us go big for one project, some of us maybe try a few projects, serving on a few levels, and before long things begin to slide. Have you been there? I have…a few times.
- The kids are eating a lot of fast food, or we aren’t making the healthy choices to nourish them the way we know we should and could.
- The husband gets put on the backburner in many ways, we aren’t feeding him well either, we don’t make intimacy a priority, and we aren’t giving him the attention he deserves and desires.
- The housework keeps slipping, and we make excuses that “our home is lived in” or “the kids are making memories,” and the toilets and floors desperately need attention.
- We do more talking about homeschooling than actual homeschooling. We are winging the lesson plan every day because we have too many other things going on.
- Our car is filthy on the inside; we have weeds growing up in our landscaping, and don’t even ask about the piles of laundry everywhere! You forget to write things down, return texts or phone calls, and everything’s disarray.
If you have been at the point where you are think you could desperately use a day or a week to organize all your to-do list, then you know what I mean. We aren’t meant for that go go go lifestyle friend! Our families deserve better.
Our Family Deserves Our Best!
Ask yourself, Am I Bringing My Best Self To The Table for My Family?
If we are stay at home moms that follow the Lord, then biblically our family should get the best of us before anything else does. Serving inside your home is a ministry!
I have learned after many endeavors that the minute I feel my homemaking slacking, or my marriage, or our schedule is crazy chaotic – I need to STOP and reevaluate. We need to reevaluate our commitments, take into consideration what season we may be in, and if what we are participating in brings stress and strife it’s possible it may not be from the Lord.
I may not be in the “in crowd” with the moms that hang out a couple of times every week, but I know myself and I want that extra time and attention pouring inside the walls of my home. That doesn’t mean I don’t fellowship with friends; it says I am selective about who and when and I don’t allow that to control the flow of my family’s schedule. I also know that I can’t serve others well unless I am fed, I need to be in the word and consistent prayer before I can pour into anyone else or any outside service.
Do I mean that everything should be perfect in our homes before we serve? No!
But look at the Proverbs 31 woman, God gave us an excellent example of what to pray and strive for. Was she late, unprepared, and hanging by a thread? Nope. She was smart! She balanced her family, serving, business and made her husband proud! She knew her priorities. I especially love the AMP version of verse 17. She makes sure she is spiritually, mentally, and physically equipped to do all she needs to do. We as moms need to make sure we are our best selves so that we can go out there and share our best with the world!
She equips herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]
And makes her arms strong.
I do believe that our families deserve a clean home, decent meals, and quality time. I don’t think that God wants us to serve outside of our homes so badly that the insides of our homes are a mess. He called us to serve our husbands first, and our families. The Proverbs 31 Woman
had to be organized; if you study all that she was doing, and doing it quite well, she wasn’t spread out too thin and overwhelmed. Her family wasn’t suffering so she could help others, that defeats the purpose. We have to even tend to ourselves, if we are skipping showers to show up at play dates, missing dental appointments or forgot to pay bills on time because we have been going all week that just doesn’t make sense.
I Have to Remind Myself Often
I have to remind myself OFTEN, really often…that my service is to my family first and then I pour into other projects and service. I also have to ask myself, what type of memories do I want my children to have? That we ran around all week like crazy people afraid to miss something? Or that we peacefully served in projects and options that fit well into our lives and schedules, that we prayed for God to call us out to serve where he needed the mom and the kiddos when the seasons were right.
I feel strongly about this because I have lived it, my personality is drawn to serving outside the home. I have stepped out in faith to do things, but I get so submerged in a project I sometimes forget where my priorities are. That’s true for anything that can overwhelm your schedules and lives. My husband helps keep me accountable when he sees me trying to get involved in extra projects or commitments, he politely reminds me to pray over it first and make sure that God wants me to add that to our lives and schedule. What I do affects the entire family. Sometimes after some prayer, I realize the timing is bad, or maybe it just isn’t a good fit. We have to learn how to do our best to balance what we have in front of us first sometimes.
If God wants us to get involved in something he will call us, and make a way. I pray for those of you also struggling with serving outside the home or inside our own homes; I pray we hear from the Lord and allow ourselves grace and rest during hard seasons. I pray we carefully consider our plans and align them with the Lord. I also pray that we continue to strive to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman who balanced it all so elegantly.