Every day is a wonderful one in which to be alive. We don’t really seem to treasure the gift of life until it is threatened or hampered in some way. I can see that you carry joy in your heart and want to make the most of every opportunity, as Paul encouraged us to (Eph 5:16). Thanks to you and your like-minded sisters the needs of our congregation are met and the light of Christ shines in our community. I would not want to discourage your enthusiasm or accomplishments because I do believe they are the good works that follow the saints (Rev 14:13) and do you credit. I know that you do not serve so others will notice you. I understand that it is out of a deep sense of compassion and duty to God that you do these things. I would ask that you bear with me for a word or two of caution, even so.
I simply ask you to honestly evaluate your present work load and commitments and ask if you may be, in fact, too busy at times. It is more difficult to see this when you are young. Your energy level is much greater, for one, but the drive to do things because you know you can is also more elevated. Please do not be so concerned to ask yourself if you can that you forget to ask if you should. I am not implying anything sinful in the content of what you do. My question is more centered on the issue of priorities. You have several set priorities in your life. Your service to God’s people does not replace your need to spend time in study of His Word and prayer. You took on the responsibility of a relationship with your spouse when you married. No matter how many added layers of activity came as a result of that, your devotion to him and his well-being are very near the top of your priority list. That does not just mean making sure he has clean clothes to wear and something to eat for dinner. It also means spending time as his helper. Talk to him and let him talk to you. Have those meaningful conversations about your future plans, Lord willing, and how they may be accomplished. Go out of your way to do things for him that he likes, just because he likes them. I guarantee you that those acts will strengthen your relationship and how he sees you and your needs. But act for him, first, not because you are edging to get something from him in return. Your new family is a very large part of the pie when it comes to your priorities. With children, quantity time is quality time. Do not short-change them. It is not good enough to “make it up to them later” by doing some amazing thing that will “wow” them. Do you see a picture forming?
All I am saying is, please be sure before you add one more thing to your plate that the space in your schedule is yours to give. Don’t double-book wonderful ideas with previous commitments and hope those you are asking to go without will not mind. Ask if you would be as much in favor of it if it was you on the short end of that stick. I am not saying you should be inflexible. Some people are better at flexibility than others. I once heard, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Sometimes we expect things to operate according to our preconceptions to an unreasonable degree, and loosening up a little may be good for us. However, there are some things for which there can be no good excuse. Allowing family obligations to suffer so you can do a good deed for another may occasionally be the right call, but not as a general rule.
Please make sure the “good” you wish to do is truly needed. Martha’s service of food for Jesus and his guests was good, but not better than the part Mary chose (Luke 10:38-42). Examine your own work (Gal 6:4) and do not excel out of a desire to impress anyone—not even our Lord.
Lastly, ask if this rare and precious moment of time is best spent on the project at hand or in calm introspection to rejuvenate your own spirit. Only two of you know the answer to that question. Be sure to choose the good part.
your loving friend,