As promised, I want to help share some tips, encouragement and practical answers to the poll that we had in January. The question was, "What do you find the greatest challenge in your ministry at home?" I listed several different options however, the overall winner was "all of the above". Most voted that the challenge is not just in living within their means, meeting the needs of their husbands or training their children, it was all of it together! How can I share with you some of what I have learned over the years that has made this ministry at home not only 'light' but a delight? That is the question I have been asking the Lord in prayer time. I am sharing with you through cyberspace so I can't just show you. You only have a limited amount of time online to read so I can't write a book about it. How can I give you, in this small time and space here online, some encouragement? The more I prayed about it, the more I felt the Lord giving me some direction.
No matter how great a task, how awesome the responsibility, the burden of the Lord is light. That doesn't mean we won't have some stretching moments, some growing moments and some trying moments. It does mean that His grace will be sufficient! So, what I am going to do is share some of the growth that came from my life out of those stretching moments.
One of the most important keys to "getting it all done" is Order! Order in the Home is one of the most important things I have learned and continue to learn throughout the years. Here are some things I have had to ask myself as I grew in this area. Start with the top of the list and work your way down. Consider ways to grow in that specific area and feel free to ask questions on specifics I may have done. Because this is a lifetime of questions and learning I don't want to share details about each question unless that is something that you really are needing/wanting to hear. If so, remember just ask! I love to share!
Does my daily activity show that Christ is our first priority? Do I have my Bible time before my computer time? Am I too busy to sit down and pray? Do we skip Bible study when we get "too busy" or do I make sure Bible study is first and the other activity can wait?
Does my speech and actions show that I am submitted to my husband? Do I look at my husband when he speaks and listen with a smile? Do I speak to the children about their daddy's wisdom and encourage them to ask daddy for his thoughts on things? Do I speak kindly to my husband or with an impatient, frustrated tone? Do I consider my husband above myself? Do I think of what he would like in a situation instead of what I want?
Do my children display hearts that are submitted to their father, myself and the Lord? Am I being diligent to train my children even when I am busy or tired? Do I put off a training moment or discipling my children because it interferes with our schedule? If someone was to watch me manage my home would it appear that I was "too busy" to be a mom or being lazy in my duties?
What is the first impression of my home? My home is a reflection of my priorities. It is critical that my home displays peace and order even through we are a real family living a real life within these walls. Do I go out for activities when there are home duties being neglected? Do I put off duties in the home? Can others feel His order when the visit or is my home chaos?
Am I choosing to do that which is excellent and not just the 'good' things? Am I doing so many things that I can't do any of them right? Are we involved in so many things outside the home that I can't address the character issue of my children, meet the needs of my husband or fulfill the duties of my home?