Balancing Commitments

Walking the tight-wire of commitments.

Maxine is a pastor's wife as well as a nurse. Her husband is Pathfinder/ Adventure Director, Children's Ministries and Health Temperance Director for the Michigan Conference.

Balancing commitments can be likened to walking a  tight-wire; sometimes I become so overwhelmed I feel I might fall off! Too often my commitments are like clothes haphazardly hung on a line to dry; they are not done as thoroughly as needed because of lack of time.

There are so many tasks to accomplish. There are so many errands to run. Personal Bible study, children's needs, washing clothes, grocery shopping, meal preparations, dishes, yard work, typing, entertaining, the list never ends! Usually we are on automatic pilot and everything falls into place. But there are some days—you know, the days when nothing goes right—those are the days that make us fall off our tight ropes!

There are ways to prevent those "crazy" days from occurring too often. Following are some suggestions to help balance those ever-present commitments:

  1. Make a list of weekly things to do.
  2. Add monthly commitments to the list.
  3. Schedule all commitments (children's activities, meetings, socials, etc.) on a calendar so you can see your month at a glance.
  4. Learn to say"no" if your calendar gets too full.
  5. Prioritize lists and cross out projects when they are completed.
  6. Set routine times to get up in the morning and go to sleep at night. You will be able to get more done the next day if you have the proper rest.
  7. Exercise on a regular schedule. You will have more energy and a decreased need for sleep.

Though making a schedule is important, don't seal it in iron. As ministers' wives, we need to be as flexible as possible. Unexpected events like funerals or sickness happen and our day may be changed.

One of life's most important commitments is to our children. We did not have a television in our home when our children were small. Instead my time was spent reading stories to them and hiking with them. We camped, played in the park and bought crafts of their choice to encourage them to use their creativity.

The most important commitment a person can make is the commitment to spend uninterrupted devotional time with God. I get out of bed 30 minutes before the rest of my family so I can have time for my devotions. I know if I don't have my worship in the morning, too many "things" come into the day and blank out ally thought of Bible study. When I take time to study and pray every morning my day always goes better. I know the Lord is with me and He will help me organize my commitments and accomplish my tasks.