This week’s chapter in The Organized Heat was about rest, leisure and procrastination and how they can become idols. It was an awesome, gut-checking chapter that gave some really good insights on how help determine if these good things have become things we pursue to the exclusion of the work God would have us do. But what struck me the most was a relatively small section about living in your season of life.
Some seasons of life are more demanding than others.
Eastin, Staci (2011-02-26). The Organized Heart (p. 75). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.
Did you see that? Have you ever been told this? I think there is a great absence of this being told to…well, every woman I know. I hear the lack of this understanding in the underlying feelings of guilt in the new mom, struggling on two hours of sleep and a complete disruption of what was “normal” for her. I hear it in the mom of twins wondering if she is failing her calling in Christ if she can’t outreach like someone else. I hear it in the parent of teens who are constantly shuttling kids from one activity to another, wondering if she’s missing something.
I have been facing this in my own life, although I’m leaving a season of intense watchfulness of 3 young children and almost exclusive child-rearing duties due to my husband’s work schedule, to the relative (for me, anyway) freedom of having my spouse home more often, the ability to do things at the park while they play, or knowing I can say “pick up your toys” and I don’t have to go point out each one. Doors of servanthood, ministry and fellowship are opening that I previously could not do. It’s not that I didn’t want to before. It’s that I could not do it. Would that someone had told me frequently, weekly, maybe daily that it is ok to not do everything. Even the good everything. Some seasons of life are HARD! The work that God has for you may restrict to a very narrow and difficult intense time (mother’s of little ones, those dealing with chronic illness or loss of a loved one, etc) and perhaps, later you find that as that season passes, God will lead you to broader things, where more can be put on your plate with less intensity. He may not. But, that is what you need to be seeking out prayerfully before the Lord. Our time is finite. We need rest, we need to work. But the dividing of our days to how much work, what work and how much rest and what rest we choose is individual. This is not to say that we can work 80 hour weeks to the exclusion of other God-given responsibilities like that of family or spouse. And in reverse, to spend our days at whatever age, shunning any work and pursuing entertainment and leisure is equally wrong. But there is nothing wrong, and guilt should not be given to one who has looked at the work God calls one to, prayerfully weighing priorities and giving the best of oneself to each area for the glory of God.
What does this mean? It means freedom. It’s not about looking at each other and feeling guilty that you can’t do what someone in another stage can. And it can help those in an “easier” stage to remember the difficult ones and come along side those in them as encouragers and helpers. Because we all need to hear that what God has called us to today, He has provided the grace and strength for us to do it.