The last three years have been an amazing journey for me. I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak at several MOPS and Women’s groups through the years. Even a headliner on a Women’s Retreat and inspiring MOPS leaders/Coordinators at the National MOPS Convention. It would have never been possible without God and the journey He and I walked during those early mothering years.
Last year, I was invited to speak in Madison, Mississippi, just outside of Jackson, to a MOPS group. Prior to that week, I spoke at three other meetings all in different locations. So life was a little hectic. We decided to make the trip to Mississippi a family affair and make it a four day weekend. Let’s just say it was rough! Kids fighting, moving from one hotel to another, some intense fellowship between the hubby and I. It felt like the whole trip was just wrong.
I left that meeting feeling as though a shifting was taking place in ministry. So now, I have decided to trim down my speaking engagements and really focus on the message that God has for me to tell. You can call it changing of the guard. From going to Mom that had four kids in 2 ½ years to a Woman that has a testimony and leading women to a confidence in Him like they have never known before.
When I came back from Mississippi with a heavy heart and a sense of unknown, I sought counsel from a dear Pastor of ours. She allowed me to share with her accomplishments in ministry and the disconnect I felt in Mississippi. You know what this woman said to me…”How’s home? How are the kids? How’s the husband?” I began to cry before her because it was like a piercing of the heart, a peeling of the onion; she was reading my mail!
I realized in ministry when you get to a place where everyone you love is missing you and the moments they wish you were present in only to be traveling here or there missing each one...it hurts. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of so many friends of mine that travel outside the home spreading an encouraging Word. But I realized for me…my family is just way to important for me to miss out on moments I will never get back.
While continuing our talk, she then says to me, “Michelle, think about teaching a Wednesday night class here at church. It will scratch the itch you have with speaking. Pray about it and see what God shows you.”
So 20 weeks later from that meeting, I will begin teaching a class tonight called The Confident Woman.
5 Steps to Creating a Balanced Life
- Create personal balance by deciding what is important to you. Before it is possible to bring balance to your work and personal life, you need to make up your mind as far as your priorities are concerned. Is it your family or your work?
- Do what is important and leave the rest alone. Regardless of whether your priorities focus on work or home, you must begin weeding out the senseless tasks that do not directly relate to your overall goals and priorities. A must read is Tell Your Time from Amy Lynn Andrews.
- Remain Grateful for Your Family. It is easy to forget that your family is along for the ride, even when it comes to your career or speaking schedule. Some of you might even think two or three times before taking a personal day in order to spend some quality time with the family. It is easy to take them for granted, to see only the work that comes with the relationships with your spouse and children. Ask yourself if taking the kids to a soccer game is a chore or a pleasure. Are you able to enjoy sitting down and watching a family movie or do you constantly glance down at the laptop or phone in your hand wishing you could be somewhere else doing something else? These are sobering questions. However, you need to come up with the answers if you truly want to create balance between your work and personal lives. Try turning the computer and cell phone off while spending time with the family. Take a vacation with the time you have earned through all your hard work or travel. Whatever you decide to do, do it will all your focus and energy. Your family deserves to be the center of attention whenever you are spending time with them. Leave work out of family time.
- Learn to relax. When I attended ORU we were taught the concept of mind, body and spirit. Taking care of our bodies is a must. With out daily to-do tasks and meetings creates a very tired, overworked and ineffective you. Create time to relax and rejuvenate.
- Seek solutions to problems that is hindering balance. Keep what is working and remove what isn't. I know it sounds simpler reading it instead of doing it. Pray and ask God to show you what to prune.