By Inside Out with Courtnaye
I get asked this question often enough, “Courtnaye, how do you balance it all?” To be honest, it’s not easy managing motherhood and blogging, writing books, singing, speaking, and coaching (which are all a part of my ministry work). Like many women, sometimes I get really overwhelmed and want to throw up my hands, cry, or take a long ride or extremely long shower. But I will tell you, I love what I do!
It’s the joy of being a mother and passion for helping others (like you) that keeps me going another day. It’s the prayers and the wisdom from God’s Word and His Spirit that sustains me. It’s the excitement that I love when I get to plan a day out with my kids or prepare a good devotion for them. It’s the exhilaration that I feel when I get a supernatural idea or opportunity for the next God-ordained assignment. It’s these combined components that help me live a more manageable life in the roles and responsibilities of motherhood and ministry.
With all of this being said, I know that you clicked onto this post to see how you can manage motherhood and ministry better. Well, that’s exactly why I was led to write this piece. I want to share with you a few tips on how I do it and hopefully these suggestions will help you manage life as a mother and woman in ministry better.
For starters, reassess where you are in this season of life. Do you have small kids or are your children teenagers or young adults (or grown and gone)? Are you married or single? Are you a ministry leader in church or an influencer (i.e. blogger, author, speaker, podcaster, conference coordinator, life coach, etc.)? All of these play a factor in how you manage life and manage it well.
Try these tips on Managing Motherhood and Ministry…
- Plan your week ahead (or day depending on what’s easier for you). If you have small or school-aged kids, plan their days out. Know what’s for breakfast and lunch, iron clothes early (or put them in the dryer), look at what extracurricular activities they have going on for the day or week at a glance. Plan out their devotional time with you or on their own (if they’re teenagers). And don’t forget to plan some fun stuff like going for ice cream, the park, mall, zoo, swimming, vacation, movies, family night, etc.
- Plan your dinner meals for the week. Personally, I like to cook at least three meals ahead of time. For instance, I’ll make baked chicken, meat sauce, and red beans and rice. The first meal would be red beans and rice, but after I finish cooking the other two meals in that same day, I’ll freeze them until I’m ready for them later in the week (make your starches the day you want to eat the frozen meals). Now, you can purchase frozen meals like lasagna or a meal in a bag. Whatever you do, know that this makes life so much more manageable when you’re working on a deadline, project, or have to go out of town. This helps the hubby or the sitter.
- Plan out your schedule the day before. Know what you need and want to get done before you jump into your day. See what appointments, meetings, or deadlines that you have coming up. Create a To-Do-List, but categorize your top 5 priorities and knock them out first. Then if you still have time left in your day, tackle just a few more. Be okay with not getting everything done. Remember, God knows the plans. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
- Plan a break in your schedule. Whether you work in the church (or workplace) or are a stay-at-home mother, you need a break. A break from it all. So, take one. If your kids are small, take a nap when they nap. If you work, take your 15-minute break (even if you work from home). Take a day break. Go to the coffee shop, park, your backyard, or sofa, and read leisurely or watch a good movie. Know that rest is very important. It’s all a part of having a good balance between motherhood and ministry.
- Plan to study the Word (especially because we’re talking about managing ministry). Where do you typically go to study the Bible for your lesson, topic of teaching or writing? Plan ahead for it. Is it your home office, kitchen table, local coffee shop, office at church, etc. Create a clean workspace, remove the clutter and the noise, and focus, my sister. Focus will be a major key to managing your ministry life. And get whatever it is that you’re working on done. This will alleviate so much unnecessary stress.
In a nutshell, managing motherhood and ministry is not easy. There are days when you feel sluggish, exhausted, unmotivated, and unsure about what to do next on both sides of the spectrum. In the past, you’ve probably shouted, “Where did my day go?” I’ve totally been there before!
But I believe when we pray and plan (while committing our plans to the Lord as Proverbs 16:3 instructs), that’s when we’ll see that managing motherhood and ministry can be done, well. It’s through God’s supernatural strength, wisdom, grace, and His precious Holy Spirit that we get things done effectively and without feeling completely depleted at the end of the day. When we pay attention to the workload inside and outside of the house and see them as opportunities to make an impact on the lives that have been entrusted to us, then managing motherhood and ministry becomes more of a blessing than a handful. You’ve got this, sis! 😉
Before I close, I want to suggest a few resources that I think will be helpful for you. They are Slow Down Mama: Intentional Living in a Hurried World by Patty H. Scott, The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Happy, Organized Home by Kathy Peel, The Power of a Praying Parent and The Power of Praying for Your Adult Children by Stormie Omartian.
Stay tuned for next week’s post on Managing Marriage and Ministry. Don’t miss that one! Until then…
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Do you find it hard to manage motherhood and ministry, or the workload that you have, sis? Let me know! 😉 Also, if you need prayer on this topic or something else, you can email me directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.
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