Have you ever had so much to do that you cringed when you heard a voice holler, “Where’s Mom?” Did you find yourself trying to quickly put a meal together so you could get back to finishing up the plans for the next health meeting at church, or maybe it was to plan that craft for VBS, or possibly organizing the ladies to have a ladies night out that is extra special?
As homeschool moms, we crave time for something other than homeschooling. We need an outlet. However, sometimes our perceived needs take us far away from our families. Maybe not in distance, but in reality our ability to serve our own families can be diminished.
I recall a time when I was very busy at church. I did daycare at home. I homeschooled the older kids. I felt I needed something to focus on that wasn’t just kids. I dove into ministry. I was the Health Ministry Leader. I taught Sabbath School. I did the church newsletter. I was the Pathfinder Leader. All at the same time! I took every spare moment I could find and filled it with ministry. And it blossomed. God blessed those ministries, despite my poor choices. Often times, my kids worked alongside of me. They helped me prepare food for our cooking schools, set up chairs and tables for our monthly health outreach, etc… but this was the time that I focused on big people things, not the kids. It wasn’t that the kids were ignored, they were well adjusted and pleasant to be around, which gave me more reason to continue the fast paced life. I did read my Bible; I usually had to prepare a lesson, so my devotions became my lesson preparation time. I did pray often; I prayed for strength, for time, for the kids. I think I really relied on God to get me through that busyness. However, I wasn’t listening very well. I was so busy, I kept on with my own plans, rather than seeing that God was trying to slow me down to get me to pay attention to some neglected areas in my life.
I was often so busy that the kids or my husband were asking on a regular basis, “Where’s Mom?” Was I out shopping for craft supplies for the VBS? Was I out getting some gold lining to help with an object lesson that week in Sabbath School? Was I busy upstairs creating a sign-up sheet for the Health Ministry? Where ever I was, I wasn’t available to my family. Not when they needed me.
After a couple full years, I realized that I was too busy. It caught up with me. You can be too busy doing good things for the Lord! As you look over the life of Eli, he was doing good things, but he neglected his own family in service for the Lord. We need to watch carefully that we do not do the same. Are outside interests okay, absolutely! However, if they affect how you relate to your family and your family is showing signs that things are not alright, it is time to back off the outside interests and make things right at home. Is it worth it to say, I did a great job on the church newsletter only to find that you’ve lost the hearts of your children? I think not.
Are you too busy? Do you need to step back to focus on the needs at home instead of always looking for greener pastures elsewhere? Maybe you simply need to drop one job to allow things to settle down once again. But be open to the possibility that you may need to step down from more. I am all for church ministry. I believe in it! I believe our kids should be involved in it, as well. But I don’t think it should consume us to the point that our families feel that ache from Mom being too busy.
“For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.” 1 Samuel 3:13