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If you’re anything like me, your entire life may feel like a busy season where there is never any rest. You find yourself saying, “Well, as soon as we get through *life event* then we will do more to serve others”. Except you either A) never get past it. Or B) something bigger comes along right after.
This can create a pattern of exhaustion, and disappointment in ourselves. We don’t feel good enough compared to the Patty Pinterests because we aren’t organizing the church fundraiser or leading the local Heritage Girls troupe. Our children don’t sing to the elderly, but they are more likely to sing at the top of their lungs the most inappropriate song they know in the middle of the grocery store. Am I right?
So how can we battle these constant feelings of regret, guilt, and overwhelm. Well, here are three ways you can start to tackle those feelings and a few ideas on serving others during your busy season.
1 | Recognize Your Calling
Just because other women are serving on committees, or organizing the local charity auction or volunteering as the Heritage Girls’ troupe leader doesn’t mean you have to.
Your calling may look very different than others around you. For me, while I’m not called to outreach so much (at least in this season), I have been called to adopt a child overseas and to have a blog ministering to other women.
Both of these rely on my strengths (and while we can do nothing without the strength of Jesus), we are given callings that align with our personalities.
Do you know what your calling is? Have you talked to God about it? If not, I would start there.
By knowing what we are called to do, we feel less pressure and guilt about not serving in the ways other women do.
2 | Reduce the Noise
I talk a lot about our busy lives. Most of us are doing far more than the average person should be keeping up with. Each child doing a sport or two, work either for one or both parents, meetings, school, church and other activities. Our lives are far too busy and we need to really focus on what’s important.
If we know our calling from God, and it aligns with what our family is doing, or our family is able to adapt to your calling, then reduce the things in your life that do not need to be there. Focus and start changing your life to focus on what God has planned for you.
Whether you choose to take one thing out of your schedule at a time, or just erase the calendar and start over. You need to give yourself the space to serve where you are needed. And you need to give space for you to have rest.
Now, I would like to recognize some ways that feel very busy to us, maybe even out of control, but are really serving the Lord through others:
- Caring for a family member who is ill. Whether a child of yours or a parent or extended family member who became unexpectedly ill. You go to appointments, make meals, change diapers, etc. You’re so tired and possibly frustrated. That’s so hard. Be sure to ask for help, and have some respite time to yourself. But don’t feel shame when you can’t organize the bake sale because you are caring for someone you love.
- Your work is also your ministry. Whether you realize it or not, sometimes our work, no matter how dreary they can be, maybe our calling. When I took my second full-time job to help pay for my adoption, I didn’t realize what God had planned. Not only do I have a job I liked and make good money at, and it even fits my schedule; but it’s an opportunity to touch the lives of young adults and tell them about my depression and issues that I had faced, and how I got through it: with God.
- You’ve adopted, are doing foster care, respite care, or kinship care. First off, shoutout to all the other mommas walking this lifestyle. It for sure isn’t easy. But momma, let me tell you…this is the work God has for you. He does not need you organizing events and dedicating a lot of time to other areas of life. He needs you to be present with these children and love on them like no one else does.
3 | Find Easier Ways to Serve
We need to take the pressure off of ourselves to do big, and mighty works. God’s grace is found in the everyday things; from a flower growing in a crack between concrete, to a child’s giggle.
Our acts of service do not need to be large things:
- Sharing an extra freezer meal or two with a family who is in need
- Praying over your server at a resturaunt
- Give someone a ride to church who otherwise doesn’t have a way to get there
- Adopt/sponsor a child/family off of a Christmas tree during the holidays
- Pack Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes as a family (this can be done year round)
- Write letters to soldiers thanking them for their service while they’re abroad
- Compliment someone (yes it can really be as simple as that!)
Being a servant for Christ does not need to mean going to Africa to live as a missionary. It does not mean keeping up with the Olsteens. It means doing what God has commanded you to do, no matter how small.
What are some ways that you serve others during a busy season? Leave your ideas below!