Do you have a servants’ heart? — the world needs Martha’s like you! (Especially on holidays like Thanksgiving — wink wink.)
I want you to know, God loves the way you take care of people. The way you put others first. It’s a beautiful thing.
The trick is not letting all those well-intentioned tasks blind us from recognizing the significant moment we are in. Knowing when to pick something up is just as important as knowing when to lay it down.
“When the Messiah is sitting in your living room, the dirty dishes can wait (Women in the Word – New Testament, SheReadsTruth.com).”
Friend, I urge you, don’t believe the lie that because you are task or service oriented, that there is something wrong with you. You just need to be aware of the context of things, and know when to set it all aside for the sake of nurturing relationships with Jesus and other people in our sphere of influence. In the end, love is what matters — and we all need wisdom and lots of practice to become fluent in both the “acts of service” language of love, as well as the “quality time” language of love.
With Thanksgiving coming up this week, here are five tips for keeping your sanity and maintaining balance:
1.) Make time with Jesus a priority. Give yourself alone time to pause, reflect, be thankful, and soak in His presence. He is the one who will sustain you through the crazy moments this week. This may mean waking up 15 minutes early to get your one-on-one time with Him. And then find ways to infuse Him in the rest of your day. You can play worship music, have conversations with your family about what you are thankful to God for, etc.
2.) Come up with your to-do list for the week. I get it! There is a lot that needs to be done, and only so much time to do it — so write it out, but then go over it with your spouse and decide if there is anything that can be eliminated or delegated to simplify your holiday. Maybe with a second pair of eyeballs you can find things that can wait until the next day, or next week.
3) Focus! Come up with a game-plan to maximize your work/chore time so you can get the important things done and get back to spending time with the people who matter. When you have pockets of time to knock out things on your list, don’t let yourself get distracted! Turn off notifications on your phone, kick the kids out to play in the backyard or on an “errand” with your spouse, and work like the wind! Its amazing what you can get done in 15, 30, 45 minutes pockets of time when you really focus. Decide in advance a set amount of time you are wanting to spend, set a timer, and stick to it. Then when you are done, be fully done. Don’t let the imperfections around you suck you back in after your work/chore time is over.
4) Mulitask! I know multitasking gets a bad wrap, and I’m not talking about trying to literally do multiple tasks at once. I just mean killing two birds with one stone. You can try and find ways to combine chores with quality time! See if any of the things on your to-do list can be done as a family. Maybe make a game out of it or make it a race. Or come up with a reward for after chores are done, like going out for ice cream. This will help you build in lovely memory-making moments in your holiday week while still getting things done.
5) Keep expectations low. Try to remember that people matter most and don’t let unexpected delays or hiccups ruin your day. When (not if) something goes wrong, take a deep breath, smile, and adjust. Your family will thank you!
So go ahead, this Thanksgiving week,
…go out there and serve,
…spend time with loved ones,
…make some memories,
but ultimately go, and love WELL!
P.S. I’d love to hear how you balance service and quality time around the holidays! Please scroll down and share your ideas below!