Last Tuesday night I fed the YC women’s soccer team a lasagna dinner, then spent 4 1/2 hours at a meeting where a few of my friends and I were working through a painful and difficult situation. I got home just before midnight completely exhausted and emotionally drained.
Wednesday I woke up (after a fitful night’s sleep mixed with sorrow and prayer) and looked ahead at my day. I had a lunch date with my friend who had just lost her house in a fire. Adam and BryAnna were coming for dinner to celebrate her birthday, which meant I needed to make a birthday cake as well as cook the dinner. I was teaching a ladies class at church that night I needed to finish preparing for. Matt was at an away soccer game until 11 that night.
I knew how tired I was and everything about the day ahead of me seemed completely overwhelming. After praying about my day, I made a decision.
We would take a day off from regular school work.
I knew the small amount energy and strength I had inside of myself. Working through a school day with my boys while my mind was so preoccupied felt like climbing a mountain.
I knew that if I tried to explain a math concept to anyone or keep everyone quiet while I read through History…my patience would wear thin and I’d have a hard time keeping from being grumpy. My boys do not deserve my grumpiness.
Never, ever, EVER should I be so busy and caught up in doing “good things” for others and for the church that it wears me out and makes me grumpy at my own family. Never.
Instead, we had a movie morning. Then we baked a birthday cake. Then we made hot dogs (yes, I know my limits and it was a hot dog day!!). I went to lunch with my friend. When I got back, the boys and I read three chapters of our read-aloud. Then the boys read on their own. We frosted the cake. I read through my notes for the ladies class. We started dinner. Adam and BryAnna came over. We had a lovely birthday dinner.
And I was completely calm and peaceful the entire time.
If I would have tried to get through our whole regular school schedule in the middle of everything else…I’d have been a mess by 10:30 a.m. Instead, I enjoyed my boys. I enjoyed my friend at lunch. I enjoyed surprising BryAnna with some of her favorite foods.
Can I choose to “not have school” EVERY DAY that I feel a little tired or overwhelmed? No way. That would be a big cop-out.
Should I always be so involved with outside ministries that I have nothing left for my family? No way. That would be very wrong. Our families are our number one ministries, which means sometimes we have to say “not this time” to a ministry opportunity.
But when you find yourself waking up to a day that is too full…know your limits. Figure out what you need to cut out, stop, cancel, reschedule or give up so that your family life stays healthy, strong and God filled.
God knows your limits better than you do. Ask Him and listen.
Disclaimer: No children, young or old, were academically crippled as a result of this day off of school. The very next day they were all still able to multiply, spell words and write creatively. Just in case you were worried. :)
This post is linked to Works for me Wednesday.