by Judi Adamyk
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Eccl 3:1
We can tell ourselves that Solomon lived in a much simpler time and the modern world cannot operate this way. We are people of progress. Since the invention of the light bulb, we’ve extended our days long into the night. Automobiles and airplanes take us farther than our ancestors ever dreamed. Mobile devices keep us in touch with others 24/7. We can do anything and go anywhere at any time.
As wives and mothers we want to be the devoted wife and lover, keep our house clean and tidy, tend a garden, work outside the home, volunteer in our children’s classrooms, be involved in community projects, develop and use our talents, maintain relationships with our family and friends, volunteer at church — the list goes on and on. And then someone asks us to do “just one small thing” and we implode! “I don’t have time!”
We must remember that we are not called to do everything, and we are certainly not called to do everything now. Despite my desire to do everything possible all the time, God has shown me that I must give up certain things for a season in order to be able to do the things He has called me to do at that time. For example, God has called me out of church leadership for a time so that I can devote more of my time to relationships that need more attention.
We also need to have a balance in our lives in terms of time for ourselves, relationships, our children, and God. Most often, however, my time with God gets the lowest priority because He is not screaming as loudly as the other voices around me. But after a while, my life gets so out of kilter that I go running back to God for some time alone with Him. Too often, as a mom, I found that my children became more important than any of these other aspects of my life — sometimes this was good and necessary, but sometimes it was not.
We will always have to prayerfully prioritize the many things we want to do and ask God what His specific will for us is at this time. And on the other side of the coin, when we in leadership ask others to commit to something, we ought to remember that while we may believe this task fits that person’s abilities perfectly, this may not be the right season for it.
The balance in our lives is not always a daily one or even a weekly balance. Sometimes we need to take the broader perspective and consider the balance of our life. While our children are small, parenting takes a large portion of our time. It wasn’t until my daughters were in school that I had the time to devote to leading a Bible study, but when I went back to work part-time, my schedule had to change again. I have also really enjoyed working on the board of our local community choir, but I have noticed that none of the board members have small children or elderly parents nearby! Don’t judge your life (or anyone else’s) by only one season. Don’t let the limitations or pain of a particular season limit or destroy the joy of the other seasons of your life.
Put God at the center, and the other things will fall into place. Don’t be afraid to say no to something you can’t fit into your life right now; it may be something you can look forward to in a later season.
(Editor’s Note: At by design, it is our mission to train women to serve and influence others for Christ. I hope this edition of Woman to Woman helps you do just that. If so, please share this with the important women in your life. You can sign up to receive the Woman to Woman eNewsletter before it is available on the blog.
This year we are reprising some of our favorite Summer Sampler articles from previous years. This article was originally published in 2011.)
Judi Adamyk has been volunteering as a women’s ministry leader in her church for almost 15 years. She is currently the Business Manager for a home healthcare agency in Concord, MA. Judi and her husband experienced their first season as true empty-nesters when their youngest daughter moved to Germany for a year and their older daughter continues graduate studies in Boulder, CO.