fbpx

Balancing Summer Months with Your Calling

At Home with Kids During the Summer

Notice the title doesn’t say How to Balance Summer Months with Your Calling.

That’s because I’m still learning. But I hope by sharing my struggle we can face the fact that it’s not easy and that’s okay.

 

So how do we leverage the blazing days of summer for God’s glory?

 

I remember being a mom of young boys during the summer months while also teaching a Women’s Sunday School class.

I was intentional in spending time with the boys when they were out of school for the summer. Mostly because I just loved the pudding out of them (Southern saying) but also because I wanted them to have good memories of their childhood. Maybe it’s because I was an only child who was rarely around small children and never really babysat that I felt I had to be more intentional in making this happen. So at the beginning of summer, I made a plan.

One year, the boys and I wrote out a variety of chores and put them in a jar. They would draw one or two each day and if they completed them, they earned points to redeem for staying up later at night, a meal of their choice, or other fun things.

We went to the library, visited my grandparents in the next town over, adventured on unknown backroads, swam in a variety of public pools, and rarely missed an opportunity to stop by the local TCBY on the way home. Being the best mom that I knew to be for my boys was my second calling (with the first being a godly wife — or at least trying to be.)

 

But I was also called to teach.

 

When I became a Christ-follower at the age of 27, I couldn’t tell you where to find the book of John in the Bible. So even though I was growing in the Word by taking Precept, it still took me longer than most to prepare my lessons. I also liked to add a creative element here and there, which also took a lot of thought and prep time. Most of the year, I spent hours every day preparing for my class. I loved it! So when the boys were home for the summer, I had to figure out how to balance these two callings, while keeping the boys as my top priority. People always say that children grow up before we know it, and they’re right. Now the boys have families of their own and I couldn’t be prouder of them. {Glory to God!}

 

And yet, the struggle was real.

 

So I made a plan and adjusted a few things to help keep my priorities in order:

  • I designated mornings and early afternoons to activities with the boys.
  • Mid-afternoons were “free” time where they could play with Ninja Turtles or shoot hoops.
  • During their free time, I studied.
  • I incorporated videos by Kay Arthur and Wayne Barber of Precept Ministries into the Sunday School time to lighten my load.

 

Did it always go as planned? Nope. But I had three goals for my summer: Have meals ready for Brian when he got home, spend quality time with the boys, and to do my best in preparing the lessons, trusting the Lord to fill in the necessary gaps.

 

Nailing Down My Goals Helped to Keep My Priorities in Order

 

Today, I am blessed with grandchildren, two in town and two in Ohio {Pass me a tissue!} One of the reasons we chose our home almost two years ago was for the pool. We knew the grands would enjoy it, and they do. Few things in life bring more pleasure than grandchildren. Pure joy!

 

Grandchildren

Not my grandchildren but aren’t they cute?

The Calling Has Morphed into Writing But the Struggle Remains

 

Yes, it’s different. I’m not directly responsible for raising the sweet munchkins and they don’t live with me but I still had to find a way to balance swim time with the calling to write. Sometimes I struggle to keep the energy level up in the afternoons so I need to work during the times when I have the most clarity.

 

So I Made Another Plan

 

  • Reserve the mornings and all day Friday for writing.
  • Keep the afternoons free for the kiddos to swim whenever they want to ride up.
  • On the day I keep them each week, bring the swimsuits!

 

Obviously, this is a fluid schedule, open for changes at any time but having a little structure in place helps to keep my priorities in order. I want to be the grandmother God and I desire me to be, as well as the writer⏤in that order. {And yes, having Brian’s meals ready when he gets home from his now one-hour drive is still a priority. *wink*}

It’s not a perfect plan, never has been. But most mornings before I begin my day, I open my hands to the heavens, palms up.

 

This simple act reminds me that this day is not mine. It is God’s to do with what He wills. And His plans never fail.

 

I would love to learn from you. How do you juggle your priorities during the summer months?

 

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

© Can Stock Photo / goldenKB

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via The Book

 { Day 23 }

My name is Cathy Baker and I am a Book O’ Holic. 

Slender binding
Threadbare spines
Fresh printed ink
Crisp white pages, and
Well worn ones too. 

They’re all there – residing on my bookshelves, side by side, rubbing spine on spine.

Some have yet to be read
Some are on a perpetual rotation
Some left an indelible impression 
Some simply left a mental ✔ by their title 

Yes…

I may learn how to be a better wife, mom, and friend through a study or book written by a devoted author but only the Book, God’s active living Word, penetrates to the deepest, darkest layers within and brings current thoughts and actions to a screeching halt.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged
sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

 
I may learn how to be a more efficient make-up applier, decorator, and cook by perusing my stack of magazines but only the Book teaches me what’s really important. 
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:19-21

I may become a better writer or poet by studying the reference books that line my shelves, but only in the Book will I find the overarching purpose for putting pen to paper. This is vital for it is my motivation to write.

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalm 45:1
 

Well, I do!

 

I consider all my books to be a gift from God. Each one teaches me something. They have value, or else I wouldn’t purchase them. But, because of the fleshly tendency to reach for a book “fix”, I have to remain alert to
the truth that no book trumps God’s Word. No, not one. Not even the most soul persuasive Christian book. Nope.

Okay, so am I alone? If not, sign-ups begin Monday for all my fellow Book O’ Holics (just kidding, but it’s nice knowing I’m not alone!)

Staying in Step with the Holy Spirit: A plethora of books—magnificent books!—line our stores but only the Book is inerrant, alive and active on our behalf. When the Bible has the right priority in our lives, we can’t help but stay in step with Him. 

Heavenly Father, Your words are our very life, the well from which we draw wisdom, encouragement, exhortation, and conviction. Everything we need in life You provided in one breath. Help us to lean on You, Your Word, above else. 

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 
{ Day 20 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway
{ Day 21 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Piped Icing
{ Day 22 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Knock at the Door


 

Tiny House on the Hill

Are you a member of the Creative Pauses community?

 

Sign up for the monthly "Letter from The Tiny House on the Hill" to join our community and receive the latest seasonal gift, posts, behind-the-scenes information, creative resources, and a monthly giveaway!

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Welcome to the Creative Pauses community! Make yourself right at home.

Pin It on Pinterest