Hello, friends, it’s meeeeeee!
The last time I tapped out a story for you here in this sweet little blog space, it was October of last year. I was eight months pregnant, and feeling that nervous energy that compels expectant mommies to want to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO BE AS ORGANIZED AND DE-CLUTTERED AND READY AS POSSIBLE. So I purged closets and painted dressers and scrubbed my oven and blogged…and then I suddenly felt like a waterlogged hippo and had zero energy.
Then my baby boy came, and sleeplessness ensued and all the beautiful moments which followed were, in all honesty, probably more worthy of word encapsulation than any I had previously lived. But, as I said, sleeplessness ensued.
I might have gone years without writing more than an Instagram post had it not been for the invitation of our friend, Jenni, who manages the Reliant Ministries blog. Both she and my husband are employed by Reliant as missionaries serving our local church. You can read more about the excellent work Reliant Ministries does here.
She wanted three guest posts by couples in which only one spouse was a Reliant Missionary. The topic: balance. Would we be willing to write about how we balance our time?
After being reassured that we did NOT have to be time management experts, Jordan and I agreed. By God’s grace, we feel we have learned a few things about managing time as a couple in our six years of marriage. The following is the article that recently went live on the Reliant Blog:
I love schedules, lists, and check-boxes more than chocolate.
Because of this, I wish I could hand you a Foolproof Time Management Plan For Couples In Ministry, but this isn’t it because
a) we don’t have one (sorry to disappoint!) and
b) Even if we did have a perfect plan over here in our marriage, it probably wouldn’t work for yours.
You and your spouse are unique individuals possessing varying needs for sleep, productive hours and connection with each other. The balance we’re all looking for is a fluid thing, achieved only when we are willing to be flexible, listen well, and get creative. I’m hoping that some part of our story can spark good conversations between you and your spouse as you find your best time balance.
My husband, Jordan, proposed to me over a picnic of burritos and cookies on a rainy afternoon in 2010, and one week later he became a Reliant missionary. We married, I graduated, and we launched into our working lives as a couple. Until our son was born last fall, we were both working forty or more hours each week (usually at very different times of day), and we often grappled with the inconsistencies of Jordan’s ministry schedule and the added demands during seasons of raising financial support. These days I juggle my new gig as Mommy with part-time work at my old office, and the whole parenthood thing is still rocking our boat as we work toward a new normal.
Aside from raising support, most of the things we’ve experienced are not unique to working in vocational ministry. Many couples, for example, may leave the house at very different times for work, have to overhaul everything when a new child blesses their home, or struggle to find time for rest. But whether you work in campus ministry or on campus like I do, there are several statements that we have found to be true.
NUMBER 1: God gives us enough grace — and time — for what He has asked us to do.
This means, conversely, that if He has not asked us to do something, the time required for that thing — no matter how noble — may not be provided. We all have the same 24 hours, and the Lord is a good Shepherd. When I am pulling my hair out and feeling like there are not enough hours in the day to do ALL THE THINGS, the problem is not a lack of time, but the way I’m choosing to fill it. Often I have given myself tasks out of a sense of obligation, a desire to make things “perfect” (um…housework anyone?), or because I have always done __________ and I never asked my Shepherd if it was something He wanted me to keep doing.
NUMBER 2: You’re a couple. The balance you find must work for both of your personalities.
If one spouse feels especially loved by… [read more at Reliant]