Episode 10: Time Stewardship: How can I manage being a working mom and a godly mom?

Episode 10: Time Stewardship: How can I manage being a working mom and a godly mom?

August 26, 2020 | Susie Rock and Kat Arthurs


Susie: Welcome to Soul Talk.  We’re going to be talking about time stewardship today and answering the question how can I balance being a godly mom and a working mom and for those of you that are moms you’ve probably felt this pressure at some point or another – How can you do it all?  You might have feelings of just feeling like I can’t manage everything I need to do today. I can’t seem to find order for my home. Sometimes these pressures actually come from within. There are internal expectations you have of yourself but sometimes they actually come from other people like family or friends and of course there’s social media that influences us as well. We’re trying to discover what the heart issue is behind all of this. Because if I can discover that, I can know how to manage my time well. If there is an internal pressure likely it originates with sin and there’s a heart problem there. We all deal with it and we want to uncover it so that we can have a godly response which leads to a godly home. If we don’t these pressures can lead to anger, they can lead to feelings of worthlessness they can lead to feelings of what’s my purpose and that never goes anywhere good. In fact that pressure starts building up and then when our super mom best friend starts talking about the Proverbs 31 woman, then we just feel like we’re going to explode all together, and that pressure is a heart problem. It’s not because our best friend is super mom and it’s not because we see all these posts on social media of the perfect family- the happy family, the joyful family that has it all together. The problem really is a heart problem. It’s not an other people problem, it’s our problem, and so we have to recognize that the proverbs 31 woman is so amazing not because of all the things that she does but it’s because of who she fears. She is a confident woman she is a woman of order and peace and she’s able to accomplish so much because she has been spending time with God who is a God of order and so I want to read some verses today found in Proverbs 31 that can give us some real good insight here. Proverbs 31: 15 and 16 says,

she rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens she considers a field and buys it with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

This is just a beautiful description of a woman who takes care of her home but also provides financially for her home right and so that’s kind of what we’re talking about today but it continues on to say in verses 29 to 31,

many women have done excellently but you surpassed them all charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the lord is to be praised give her the fruit of her hands and let her works praise her at the gates.

So very clearly the Proverbs 31 woman is most of all beautiful because she fears the Lord. And that’s what we want to aspire to and so I have Kat Arthurs here with me today. She is a woman who does fear the Lord. She has a husband. She has two boys. She works full-time and so she knows what it’s like to try and manage all of this. And I know Kat, I know your home isn’t always peaceful and it’s not like the perfect home so we’re not trying to, like you know, give any false impressions. But I do believe that you have some wisdom to offer and so I’ve got some questions prepared that I think some of you may be asking. Maybe some of the things I would have asked when my kids were younger, and so I think you can benefit the women that are listening here today. So first of all, we’re probably wondering like what’s her routine? How does she actually manage to work and raise these children and have a husband and even serve in the church?

Susie: How do you manage it all? Can you tell us a little bit about your daily routine?

Kat: Sure. I’ll start by it isn’t easy and I wouldn’t want anyone to think otherwise. My routine today doesn’t look like what it did you know before Covid-19 came. Before that it was very structured by you know kids got to get to school, I’ve got to get to work. So, I’m starting by getting up first.  I’m getting my routine together so that  I’m prepared to start my day and go to work.  I’m getting my kids up making sure they’re ready to actually walk out the door with me because they need to get to school. And  I’m their way of doing that, on my way to work. So I take them to a friend’s house. A friend helping out by getting them to school when they need to be because I need to be at work for eight which is an hour before school starts. So then I put in my day until five assuming that I can finish up on time which normally not too bad. Close to the end of the workday,  I’m on the phone with my husband to see if he’s finished work on time to pick up the kids and if not i’ve gotta scoot across town to get them myself. Then we head home, get dinner on the table because the kids are starving and then if there’s other activities life group, kids club, whatever we head out immediately for those in in quick order. And then it’s bedtime for the kids by the time um we get home. And then I do dishes and what I need to do to prep for the next day. And  I’m ready to head to head for bed. That’s my day. Now since Covid actually has started ,that has changed things up a little bit for us. It moved from me working out of the home to me working in the home and also being a schoolteacher. But then Bryan was able to come home and take that off my plate. But then I was laid off so we had another change um which meant a whole lot less structure for us but now  I’m working again, but half the time from home and half the time at work. But I don’t always know which days are going to be what in advance so that puts a lot of pressure on for lining up child care so you’ve had to learn to be flexible. Yeah the structure you thought you had in place is not fully there anymore. It has caused me to really realize that  I’m not in control as much as I sometimes think I am and I need to trust God in that and also a lot of people in my life to help out. What has helped us get through that.

Susie: That’s great! You know it really is trusting in God right and believing that he’s in control even if everything else really isn’t and then trying to walk in step with him.

So what would you say then, you’ve kind of addressed it already, but what would you say is the key to bringing order to your home?

Kat: Yeah well structure is definitely a part of it. Whether that structure that was imposed by us previously by you know demands of school and work and other places we need to be. But what I really realized in Covid-19, when we were all kind of trapped in our home together and without structure um things got a little squirrely for a while. And for my own sanity especially when I was trying to work from home and the kids were there um I got to the point where I was like just for my own sake I need to write down a schedule. And I wrote it on the whiteboard and what shocked me was how much my kids were drawn to that. I thought they would buck at the idea of having structure placed in their life um when there didn’t seemingly need to be. They were constantly looking at the schedule and I would hear them talking, “oh Bryce, we’ve got three more minutes of math and then it’s creative writing.” And then they would get their own things ready and they liked knowing what was coming in their day. They liked being able to prepare for that and it totally changed our home from being kind of um chaos might be overstating it but a little bit more rough around the edges to um the kids actually really thriving in that schedule and that brought a lot of order to our home.

Susie: Good. You know it’s interesting, I think kids and probably all of us, we have a sense of safety when there is structure and yet as we’ve all realized especially over a Covid, we don’t have control over that. And so yes we want to strive for a sense of order. God is a God of order. We have to be flexible and be willing to trust him when all of a sudden our world is kind of pulled out of that place of order and figure out how can we maintain order even when things around us are kind of not looking like what we would have expected. We have no control about that. How are we going to maintain order here? And that I think has a lot to do with how much time we spend with God.

Susie: And  I’m sure women are asking how do you uh carve time into your life to make sure that you’re spending enough time with the Lord so that your heart is right so you can pour that out into the lives of your family?

Kat: Right that’s an excellent question and it is important. There’s times where life is so busy it’s hard to make sure that that stays a priority. One day I was doing my regular devotion time and I was reading about this um you know priority of having your one-on-one time with God. And it was from the same perspective as I was coming from and it was you know,  I’m too busy not to have my time with God. And that actually really resonated with me because of course when  I’m when I am like right on with God and I know he’s with me and  I’m leaning on him intentionally and putting my focus there, it makes the rest of my day and all its demands so much easier. And so I try to start my day that way. If it doesn’t happen first thing then it happens before bed and sometimes that’s not always a really long time but what I try to make sure I do. I make sure that it’s entwined throughout my whole day taking opportunities as they come and especially with my kids too if we see an ambulance drive by, “hey guys let’s take a moment and just pray right now for the situation”, um or we’re seeing God’s creation whether it’s  I’m at my desk and I see it out the window or we’re at the park with the family and it’s just like,  “oh man look at God’s creativity here.” and I’m making that a priority throughout the day. I’m trying to keep God at the forefront of all the thoughts.

Susie: That’s good. I love how you intertwine both the structure and the flexibility. And even with that you have a structure. Generally it’s in the morning but if that doesn’t happen you make sure it happens in the evening, but you’re still trying to see and look for God throughout the day, which is something that we should all be doing right? And when something happens, stop and pray. It’s okay to do that right instead of just trying to barrel through the chaos or the uncertainty or the fear or whatever it might be. Hey just take a moment to pray. Like that really sets the tone and it teaches our kids yeah how to respond to difficult situations.

Kat: Right and godly relationships has really been key too in my relationship with god having women that I can talk to. Whether it’s from the life group or good friends. And you know we have accountability we talk about what God’s doing in our lives. Oh I’ve had people call me and just say, “I have this amazing God story.” Or where  I’m sharing my God story with them and that’s so great to glorify God through what he’s doing in our lives and to be blessed by hearing it about other people.

Susie: I love that. So, so good! Is there anything else anything else that you think is important for the listeners to know about balancing that work-home-God relationship?

Kat: There is one thing I would say. I know, as a woman who’s often very busy and who’s always got a list of things to do longer than the time that’s there, um it’s really easy to get caught up in that in going down the list and getting through everything and just rushing through life. But I think it’s more important to think about your priorities. What are they? God first, you know kids, husband, job whatever you’ve got in your life but know where they stand in your priorities. And rather than being busy bodies, as Paul talked about in first Thessalonians, and just rushing through in that rat race, think about it more as using your time productively. Not rushing through each minute to get as many things done but how am I productively using every minute of my time? Because you know what the dishes can wait but maybe your kid is trying to show you the art that they just did. Maybe you need to take a minute for that. Using your time productively doesn’t mean getting done as many jobs as you can. It means spending the time in the way that that would be God-honoring. And that’s how it lines up with your priorities.

Susie: Absolutely. Very good! Being present for what is the priority, of essence. Awesome!
Well thanks for joining us Kat. I think it’s been good. I’ve been encouraged. So I hope everybody else is encouraged as well. Let’s just remember to make God a priority in our lives. To center our hearts on him to find our rest in him, and as we have order in our hearts I think that’ll pour out into our homes, and there will be order there as well. Thanks for joining me.  I’m glad you were here and I just trust that everyone has been blessed and encouraged and equipped to continue working and being godly in their homes and in their hearts as well. Thanks.

Reflection Questions:

You have watched the video on Time Management:  How can I manage being a godly mom and a working mom?  Now prayerfully consider the following questions.

1. What is the state of your home?  Would you describe it as closer to chaos or order?
2. How do you find a balance between working and caring for your home and your soul?
3. Do you have a favourite verse to meditate on to keep you grounded and focused as a mom?
4. What values do you have in your home to keep it Christ-centred?

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