Tips For Mom: Be Flexible

Tuesday’s Tip for Mom is a blog carnival hosted at Raising Olives to allow moms to share what they have learned along the path of motherhood. Join us every Tuesday as we learn and share tips and ideas for spending time with, encouraging, training or relating to our children.

In the midst of trying to run our homes smoothly, developing routines, tweaking schedules, and updating never-ending to-do lists, we need to remember to regularly step back and look at the big picture.  Don’t get me wrong – as wives and mothers we are to work hard at keeping our homes in order to the best of our ability for God’s honor and glory.   A lot of that is simply the nitty-gritty of daily chores and duties, and that takes much planning and management.

This is on my heart right now because we’re in the middle of a schedule where Daddy is temporarily working 72-hour weeks for 8-9 weeks.  It’s been 5 weeks already, and time with Daddy is tight!  Before this different work schedule started, I tackled this by really working hard on getting the house in order, getting charts together, and trying to be prepared for things to run smoothly.  Then I’ve really been pushing during the day to make sure we “got everything done” before Daddy came home at 7:30pm.  A worthy goal.

Well, life with 9 children ages 14-2 hardly ever goes according to schedule!  We make our plans, but God directs our days.  (You’d think I’d have learned that by now… 🙂 )  There are bruises to kiss, hugs to give, discipline to mete out, funny things to laugh about… you get the idea.  Then when Daddy comes home it’s time to just hang out with him.

This hit me hard one night recently when the children were gathered in the living room, swapping stories of the day with Daddy.  I had to check on one child, and on the way saw some rooms that had been picked up earlier, but weren’t now.  I came out and announced that rooms had to be cleaned and dishes finished (because everyone raced out the door when Daddy drove in) before bed…  My husband gave me a little look, and the “relax, calm down” motion with his hand.  I stopped talking, but I sat on the couch and stewed for a bit – upset that these things would have to wait till the next day and delay us.

What?!  I was upset that here we were, soaking up time with Daddy!  How much would things really be delayed in the morning with 9 children to help? I relented, and thanked God for the lesson.  I was reminded of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  Mary was spending time with Jesus listening to him, and Martha was basically left doing the dishes.  She complained to Jesus, and actually asked Him to send Mary to help her!  He told her that Martha was burdened with lots of care, but that at that point Mary was choosing the better thing.  Jesus recognized that Martha’s work was necessary and good, but when it came to a choice, Mary was doing what was needful.

So let’s remember to be flexible in our routines and plans.  For all this, we need God’s wisdom, not our own.  The wonderful thing is that James 1:5 says that whoever lacks wisdom (that’s ALL of us!) can simply ask God, and He will give it liberally, without reproach!

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