Every-other month the DOVE pastors' wives get together for a few hours. I absolutely LOVE this time, for several reasons. First of all, it's a time for me to simply be encouraged and poured in to, with nothing expected of me, and I hold no position. I'm not leading, hosting or planning...I'm not doing anything but showing up! I love the opportunity to do that once in a while!
The other thing I love is being challenged and encouraged by other women who have walked the road before me, and being able to draw on their wisdom and insight. Yesterday two of the wives strongly encouraged me that we need to make a set-in-stone family night. It's something that has been suggested to us before, and we've thought about, but never really committed ourselves to. Yesterday two of the women stressed to me the importance of it, and the sense of stability it will give the kids, as well as something they can look forward to and enjoy. I've been thinking that as we come to the end of another year, something I want to do is take a look at our life in general and regroup. I want to take a hard look at our schedule, our priorities, our goals. One thing one of our overseers keeps reminding us to do is put the 'big rocks' in place. I think it's time for us to do that again. (By 'big rocks' I mean putting in place the immovable things in our life - the things that should not and can not be changed - and everything else will just have to fit in around those things.)
I also read an article today reminding and encouraging leaders that others are watching, and end up mimicking our lives in many ways. One thing this article focused on is that if we live over-scheduled, crazy-busy lives, that is what we are modeling for those who we are leading. It struck a chord of truth in me. It was confirmed this evening when someone told me about how impacted someone else was by the atmosphere of our home when they visited recently. (Thankfully, she was meaning it in a good way, and as a compliment! It's not always such a great atmosphere, so they must've caught us on a fairly good day!!) It also said that we tend to expect others to live the way we are. While I do not wish for others to live with the stress that I so often create for myself, I do tend to put somewhat unrealistic expectations on people, because it is what I expect of myself. I am beginning to recognize some of the unhealthiness of our overly busy lifestyle, and I am brought up short to realize that I am modeling this, and really, it's not what I want for those I am leading. So not only for myself and my family, but also for them, it is so important that we learn balance and learn to live out of a place of resting in Him. What a challenge for me to rise to in the coming year.
Balance...hmmm...a foreign concept to me, but one I must definitely explore...