Time management

Thirza - posted on 01/22/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am living in Central Asia with my husband where I am the leader of a pioneering project among street children, imprisoned youth, child prostitutes and in anti-trafficking. My husband is still learning the local language, but because I lived here for three years as a single, I already pretty much know the ropes and the language. However, I am now also a mom of a two-year-old and a five-month-old and am having a really hard time managing it all. As you all know, being a mom of two little ones is pretty much a full-time job, especially considering that everything takes longer here (shopping, cooking, etc.). But the project also makes some pretty high demands on me and every day I'm struggling with frustration about how little I get done. I'm just not sure how to handle these two huge responsibilities in the long-run. Does anyone have any advice? How can I survive such a demanding ministry as well as being a good mom and investing into my kids' lives, which is very important to me? I hope someone has some good ideas...

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Rebekah - posted on 05/07/2009

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Pray!!! Give God your schedule and then ask Him to pave the way for things to get done. Allow Him to open up the time blocks for you to get things done. Ministry doesn't always have to be "tasks" - ministry is showing the fruits of the spirit and planting seeds. Let God be in charge of your ministry and you be in charge of your home. You'll see everything will work out when you pray and ask Him to open up the time needed to get things done. And when something doesn't get done in one day, that's OK, sit back, relax, and realize God had a reason for it and you have tomorrow.

Venessa-Anne - posted on 04/01/2009

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Hi Thirza! My heart really goes out to you. When I was pregnant a friend (mother of three) told me moms are always feeling guilty about something and that proved to be so true! We always feel should give more, teach more, love more, discipline more, clean more, cook more... It's so crazy. Lately I've been trying to remind myself that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus - even moms! (it works - sometimes!)

As far as your predicament goes, my belief is that your family has to come first, especially in these very important formative years. Dr. James Dobson always says that by the age of 7, 90% of your parenting is done and it feels like a long time, but you know how the first two years flew by. You cannot be a spiritual mom to others, if you are not being a physical mom to your own kids.

Think about it this way: In 20 years' time, if you evaluate your life and you've helped thousands of street kids, given hope to a hundred imprisoned youth, and saved 50 child prostitues, but your own children have turned away from their family and God because they never had a mom to teach and love them and they couldn't see you model Christ and resented God for taking you away from them - will you consider your life a success or a failure?

The flip side to this is if you scale down on the other stuff for a season to give your children quality and quantity time, they will become fruitful and multiply and be disciples in their own right and your whole family will be a testimony for Christ. And you can start returning to the ministry little by little as they become less dependant on you.

If you continue to try and juggle it all, you will end up doing nothing well. Rather focus for a season on that which is your first and foremost calling and do it to the best of your ability. Our sole purpose as parents is to make disciples of our children and this involves loving them, teaching them, teaching them to submit to our authority so that they will be able to submit to Christ's easily. To do this, you have to be PRESENT. Both in body and in mind and spirit.

I've realised that I get frustrated with my son when I'm home. But it's not because of him, it's because I want to spend time with him but in my head the million things I have to do keeps spinning and steals the joy of being with him.

I am in the process of helping my leadership understand (I'm part of a big church) that there are things in my ministry that other people can do and that is stealing my time. I've scaled down to working two days a week and Sundays in the ministry, the rest of the time I'm home. And on Sundays my son comes with so that he can experience what I am busy with.

That's my pennie's worth and I just want to encourage you - raising your kids well is the most important and fruit-bearing thing you'll ever do. Invest these few years and then return to the ministry AND enjoy the fruit of your sacrifice and labour in your family.

Bless you!

Venessa-Anne

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