This morning David Murray shared a link from The True Woman site which describes something familiar to me. It's about young girls drowning in busyness. When I was a young woman, I wasn't drowning in busyness in the way described in the article, but I was when I was in my early 30s. I think busy women begin as busy girls.
I began homeschooling my children in 2000, and during that year I was also involved in other things. I was working with the kids' club for grades 1-6, teaching Sunday school along with four other teachers to the teens, sharing teaching responsibilities at a ladies' bible study, and to top it all off, finishing the last credit for my degree. Oh, and I was a mother and a wife with a home to care for. Wonder woman? No, Stupid Woman.
I remember sitting in the quiet darkness one spring morning, early, as I read my bible and prayed. And I remember reading the words, "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." The words from Psalm 90:12, "number our days" rang through my head for the remainder of the day. I don't know what it was about those words, but they got me thinking.
At that time, despite being in the Word regularly, and serving my family and local church, I felt spiritually dry. I didn't feel joyful; I felt worn out. Managing the schedule, completing the tasks, finishing the lessons, and handing in the essays was getting done. The kids were being fed, and they were growing. But what about my heart before the Lord? My heart was not being fed deeply enough. Some changes were made. I pared down my schedule, and it was only then that I began to see just how busy I had been and how unwise it had been.
When our kids were all teenagers we began facing some hard challenges. I was not prepared. Looking back now, I realize I had a lot of quick answers and stock platitudes, but not a lot of depth. I didn't have the answers my teens needed. When a teen asks you how you know the Bible is the true Word of God, telling him Jesus loves him is nice, but it doesn't give him what he needs. Maybe instead of juggling two or three teaching gigs, I should have been studying more myself.
I thought being busy was doing good works, but I was neglecting the best work in my own heart: knowing God more through studying His word. Quite simply, it is not more virtuous to be busy. There is nothing wrong with having half an hour (or maybe even a whole hour!) with nothing to do but sit before His word. If young moms have time to scrapbook, have girlfriend time, shop, or play those weird games on Facebook, there is time for the Word.
There are days when I wish I knew my bible better. There are things I wish came more automatically to me. There are time when I look back and think, "I wish I hadn't been so busy back then." Some of those things I did weren't really of benefit to my children, either. But that's a whole other issue I won't even go into.
Right now, my life is full but not busy, and that's by design. I've purposely committed to fewer things so that I can do each to the fullest rather than do a whole host of things in a hurried, mediocre fashion. Some day, Lord willing, I'll have grandchildren. Some day, I will have parents and in-laws who need my help. I'll be busier then. In the meantime, I'm going to use this time of relative calm to study and think, and occasionally take walks and think some more. I guess I'm beginning to learn how to number my days.