Life Balance Without Regrets
There’s nothing like being convicted by one’s own Bible study. As I write this, I’m sitting at a women’s ministry event in Minneapolis, grabbing a few precious minutes alone in the green room to return emails, finish a chapter for my new book, email my husband, text back and forth with my 12-year-old daughter about what happened today, and quickly call the girl who has been helping with the kids for the last few crazy months about the schedule for next week.
The pace of life these recent months has been crazy. Too crazy! With updating my books For Women Only and For Men Only, creating three new video studies to go with them, creating an entirely new website, traveling on a full speaking schedule and writing two new books on deadline … let’s just say that one particular book on my book table, The Life Ready Woman, is staring at me reproachfully.
See, The Life Ready Woman is about balancing your life from a biblical perspective to experience what matters most in life, with less regret. My insane “hair on fire” speaking and writing season has resulted in a string of nights with three hours of sleep, four days at home in three weeks time, and more nanny hours in the last two months than the kids usually experience in a whole school year. While it’s only temporary, it still weighs on me because I do not want this imbalance to become the norm rather than the exception.
And apparently, God has a sense of humor, because while I’ve been struggling with my own personal balancing act, I had no idea this Life Ready Woman study was having an impact on one of my own staff members, at absolutely the busiest time of our year. Karen is my resource manager, and this is how God directed her path to achieve greater biblical life balance in her own words:
So how do you tell your boss that, based on a recent Bible study you’ve taken, God is telling you to resign from your job? Especially when she wrote the Bible study?
I am a pastor’s wife, coordinator for the women’s Bible studies at our church, and I work part-time for Shaunti. When I began the Life Ready Woman study, I certainly didn’t expect after I completed the study that God would show me that I needed to devote more of my time and energy toward my family, especially at age 50! Surely I would have a little more time for me and the things I enjoyed by this season of my life; especially when that enjoyment comes from working in a ministry that supports healthy, biblical relationships by using my God-given skills in administration and attention to detail. And I actually see accomplishment at the end of the day! And I’m working FROM HOME!
But I also have a college age daughter living at home and commuting to school, a 15-year-old non-verbal, special needs daughter, and an 11-year-old son I home school. Did I mention I’m a pastor’s wife? God totally showed me that even in this season of my life, my family still needs me. And they need me more than what I had been able to give to them over the last couple of years.
The opportunity to work with Shaunti had really come along at a time when the extra income helped in our finances and I could work from home, making it the perfect job, and absolutely the right thing to do … six years ago. I love the job, the girls I work with, the purpose of the ministry, and everything else about it. But God showed me that I needed to give something up or some plates were going to crash (you know that scenario, right?). I could definitely see that at this time in my life, I needed to scale back on things that were taking attention away from my family, our ministry at the church, and my physical well being. This would truly be a step of obedience. It was time to tell Shaunti.
Honestly, it was a little easier knowing I could relate back to HER Bible Study! But at the same time, I was a bit anxious in telling her. Here’s the cool thing about Shaunti; she absolutely understood my decision. She was very understanding, and I was able to give her a four month notice. Her reaction helped ease the burden, but ultimately I felt a peace in my heart knowing I had been obedient to what God was telling me to do.
While God was calling Karen to give more time to her family and church, which meant leaving her position on our staff, He’s been talking to me about being more careful about truly counting the cost of having our ministry try to tackle too many things at once. We all need more family time. Perhaps He is telling you the same?
Or perhaps His call to you is different? Maybe He’s calling some of you to consider going back to work in the market place or a non-profit organization or church? Whether it’s at home or out of the home, God wants you to have life balance without regrets. For some of you that might mean getting off the treadmill and being at home more and for others it may mean getting more involved in life, but whatever it is, following that nudge you feel in your heart from Him may be scary – it may take courage to actually take the step – but doing so truly will lead to peace.