Over a year and a half ago, I was teaching children’s choir, teaching adult education classes two nights a week, singing in the adult choir at church, homeschooling two children with two babies underfoot, taking the children two full days a week to extra classes, preparing to move to a new location for my husband’s job, and running a website as a business. I was overwhelmed!
Knowing that I was reaching my sanity’s limit, I prayed for God to help me, with a please!
One night soon after my prayer, I walked into our six-year-old daughter’s room and saw a basket hanging from her bunkbed with a stuffed animal and a note in it. I remembered she had told me she had a surprise for me, and to please come and look at it, but I was too busy filling an order for my business. Later, after I sent her to bed, she called me again to see her surprise, but I said was still too busy and I’d come when I could.
Much later in the evening, I remembered that I had never gone back to see our sweet girl’s surprise. Feeling a little saddened that I was seeing it after she was asleep, I opened the note.
On it was written: “I want to do 100 things for you.”
For her, a brand-new 6-year-old who had four ear surgeries, writing that note would have been very difficult. It touched me to the core. In tears, I said aloud, “I want to do 100 things for you, too.”
It was as if a light turned on at that moment as I saw how busy I had made my life. Each activity was noble, of course, and worthy of someone’s time, but it was not to be my time that was used.
That night, in my little girl’s room, I felt God’s whisper. I heard Him whisper that I am to be first a wife, then a mother for this moment. He reminded me how quickly children grow up. It is only for a blink of time that they live with us.
With my focus cleared, I immediately closed my website. I had always given it to God, so I didn’t question that he could provide for us financially without my side business. Since we were moving for my husband’s new job, I was able to gracefully bow out of the choir, children’s choir, the extra classes, and my teaching commitments.
My husband became a top priority. I started caring whether or not he had clean clothes. I began greeting him as he walked in the door from work. Our children also became a higher priority. I started reading to them at night and singing with them during the day. I focused on their little faces and the fun we could create together. The house also became a priority. With practice, it became a joy to create meals and decorate and surprise my husband while teaching our children how to manage a home happily.
It has been over a year since our little girl’s note and God’s whisper. Lately, I have felt God’s nudge to write again, as a ministry and as a home business. It is good to help others outside the family. It is good to make a little extra income. But I know that my ministry, business, or activity must never be more important than my family and my home.
If we young mothers talked to older mothers more often, they’d tell us that children grow up quickly. We already know that, but do we realize it? We fill our days to overflowing with activities; we run after ways that we can serve in the church; we start new businesses or keep old jobs; we agree to be the room mother or the leader of a group; we seek to minister to others.
Meanwhile, our families, the very ones that God specifically gave us to minister to, are set aside.
Are you feeling overwhelmed, too? Ask God to help you, with a please. He just might whisper in your ear, as well.
by Lori Seaborg