I'm a completely committed blogger.
Except when I'm not.
But it's not because I don't want to be.
It's because, like you, there are so many things that compete for my attention, my time, and my energy. With the flurry of planning and adjusting that accompanies the first several weeks of school (not to mention the actual teaching part), blogging has taken a bit of a backseat lately.
Let's just be honest: by the end of the day, my last functioning brain cells are exhausted on preparing dinner while I correct math and text a hurting friend and intervene in my kids' sixteenth dispute of the day.
All very important responsibilities — weighty tasks that matter for now, and for eternity. Callings close to my heart, and worthy of my devotion. Blessings entrusted to me for this time, and for a purpose.
Your roles are likely very different from mine, but I'm certain they're no less critical. I also imagine they're just as plentiful, if not more so.
The thing is, everything can't come first all the time, can it?
I don't know about you, but sometimes the pressure I place on myself is an extremely heavy load.
God has been so gracious to teach me a bit about stewardship recently. Not really the cold, hard, cash kind that typically comes to mind. More like the time, effort, and energy kind. The kind that prompts me to view every aspect of my life as a blessing granted from God for a season, and for a reason.
Relationships. Ministry. Abilities. Talents. People. Money. Time. Energy. Employment. Times of trial. Health. God's Word. His Spirit.
Nothing in my life is exempt from stewardship. My Master has lovingly entrusted each gift to me, specifically, on purpose and for a purpose. He expects me to steward them well.
Viewing life through this lens of stewardship brings a sobering awareness. No God-granted gift is trivial. I dare not treat them as though they are.
But there are four wonderfully freeing truths that relieve the pressure I so often heap on myself.
1.)God's opinion matters most.
His opinion matters more than my critics'.
More than my supporters'.
More than my family's.
More than my friends'.
More than my enemies'.
And more than my own.
At the end of the day, if I can conclude with God that I've managed my blessings to the best of my ability based on the demands of that particular day, I can rest in the peace that accompanies faithful stewardship.
2.)God is aware that our time is limited. He is timeless, but as our Creator, He is intimately familiar with our finiteness. He grants us 24 hours of moments each day, and there is enough time each day to do what He wants us to do. He understands that we have choices to make…priorities to establish…responsibilities to balance.
That means it's okay when my son's allergist appointment takes all morning and we can't finish the day's lesson plan. That's called stewarding my child's health.
That means the world won't come to an end when we spend all day engrossed in schoolwork and the breakfast dishes are still in the sink at dinner time. That's called stewarding my children's education.
That means I don't need to beat myself up for taking an hour or two to meet a deadline as my children study and work and play independently. That's called stewarding my blogging ministry.
That means there's nothing wrong with taking a day off school and blogging and technology and having an outing as a family. That's called stewarding our relationships.
And that means it's perfect acceptable when I enforce an hour-long afternoon rest period for my kids so I can get some exercise. That's called stewarding my health.
Since our time is limited, flexibility is a key aspect of good stewardship. We can't do it all every day; and God doesn't expect us to.
3.)Nothing takes God by surprise. Unplanned interruptions to my schedule can wreak havoc on my mindset and breed frustration and impatience. At times like these, it's liberating to remind myself that God allows each surprise. Even these should be stewarded well. If He adds something unexpected to your plate, He will alleviate the pressure somewhere else.
What a tragedy it is to miss divine appointments because we're too busy sulking that things aren't going our way!
4.)God doesn't want His plans for our days to be a mystery. Perhaps all this talk of stewardship and managing blessings has produced the opposite effect and caused you to feel more overwhelmed than ever. That is not my intention, nor is it God's. What He really wants from you, before your stewardship, is your relationship.
As you spend time with God, and stay in tune to Him throughout the day, consulting Him often when questions arise, He will guide you toward fulfilling His calling each moment of each day.
What a wonderful God we have, who doesn't just make us His own. He then calls us to high and lofty tasks; He thoroughly equips us for them, uses us in them, and blesses us through them.
May He grant us the grace to draw ever closer to Him, letting go of any demands other than His, and following Him toward effective and faithful stewardship!
“One who is faithful in a very little, is also faithful in much.”