Even after twelve years of working from home, I still find it difficult to find balance. Working from home can be challenging. It was much easier for me to let go of my work when I was working outside of the home. The chaotic pace, mountains of paper work, and towers of law books stayed in the office. However, I exhausted so many hours preparing my daughter and myself to be away from home all day. We expended so much time, money and effort on daycare fees, convenience meals, professional clothing, make-up, gas, and the list goes on.
Now I have minimal work expenditures and my office is in my home-sweet-home. Because we are limited in square footage, my office shares the same space as our classroom which can be distracting during our school schedule. There is a constant beckoning up the hallway and it seems to follow me to each room throughout the day. Then there are those hectic days when I cannot hear my work summoning me. We will spend time away from home on a field trip, extracurricular activity, or an appointment. Then we will return and even though my children are tired, they still find the energy to frantically run around playing and arguing. At the end of the day when the children are tucked in bed and my home is peaceful, I am eager to collapse anywhere I can find a spot to rest. That is when I am startled by the scream of a deadline. I work through the night and miss out on some essential hours of sleep. Then my body is exhausted the rest of the week as I drag myself through each task and attempt to catch up on sleep.
I am the type of person who likes to make lists and prioritize my day. In my heart, my children are my priority. However, when the busyness of life starts weighing on my shoulders and the bank account is empty I find my balance shifting. I begin to feel tempted to let the children watch a little more t.v. so I can get that project done, or send them upstairs to play while I transcribe those office notes. The next thing I know I have spent no quality time with my blessings, the upstairs looks like a tornado hit it, and now I have to wear myself out struggling with children to clean up. My intentions are good and there is nothing wrong with adjusting our schedule like this for short periods of time occasionally. Sometimes what I thought was going to be a slight shifting of weight ends up becoming routine and I find our home life unbalanced. It takes so much time and energy to counterbalance.
To bring balance, I am learning to trust God with my family, my schedule, my life. I get up a little earlier in the morning and spend time in prayer with Him and reading His Word. When I pray, I ask Him to take charge of my day. I ask Him to interrupt my day with reminders of things I need to do to stay balanced. I try to keep the line of communication open with Him so when things go awry I remember to turn to Him instead of adding to the chaos by raising my voice or pulling out my hair. I ask Him to remind me to of this Bible verse: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”-Matthew 6:33 (NLT).
Our days cannot be perfect as the choices of ourselves and others affect our daily lives, but the balancing act is much more successful with God on our side. I love you, Heavenly Father, and I thank You for bringing me through the ruckus as I strive for rubies.