September 23, 2013 by Jen Cudmore
For several years my husband held two jobs. I’ve been writing for seven years while also working 6-7 hours during the day. Needless to say, life has been a little rough for our family! Is it possible for busy families to stay strong?
Here are some things I’ve learned from working two jobs:
1) Regular quiet time is essential. Being busy is exhausting. I find I have to tap into the strength of my Maker often in order to keep up with the hurried pace of my life. I can usually reach about 2-3 hours a week, whether its reading my Bible, deep prayer, or studying a book I feel God wants me to read. Even Jesus grew weary and needed to rejuvenate.
2) Prayer works. I learned what it means to pray without ceasing. My husband survived on 4-5 hours of sleep every day for several years. He should have crashed or gotten ill, but he didn’t. I prayed constantly for God’s provision and protection, sometimes even when I woke in the middle of the night.
3) Don’t feel guilty for saying ‘no’. I am often asked to participate in parties or help with extra projects at church. I really don’t like turning down these invitations, but I remind myself it’s only for a season. We all must make sacrifices to reach a desired goal. Someday I’ll have more free time to participate.
4) Planning family time is a must. When quantity of time diminishes, my family shoots for quality time. We schedule dinners, game nights, etc. When we’re together, we laugh at jokes, discuss serious family issues, or enjoy our favorite shows. We try not to waste a minute. I can usually tell when my family is starting to run on empty and I need to give them my undivided attention.
5) Use each spare moment. I’ve learned to make use of every bit of spare time. I plan story scenes when I’m in the shower. I pray in the car on the way to work each morning or make important calls from my bluetooth. I write blogs during my break time at work. One time when I took my kids for haircuts, I carried my binder inside so I could organize my calendar while I waited.
6) Weekly days of rest are necessary. My family usually sticks with Sundays. After church we try to do nothing but lay around the house together. We read, nap, watch TV – we just take the afternoon off to be lazy. Sometimes this means packing the rest of the week with extra activities, but we work hard to protect our rest days. Each Monday I feel physically and mentally refreshed and ready to tackle the next week.
7) What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Folks told me that my marriage and family would fall apart because we are just too busy. Yet we’re still seeing God’s blessing on our lives and I feel like we’re more united than ever. Working two jobs isn’t ideal, but God rewards those who diligently seek Him, and that’s what my family is trying to do.
What have you learned from being busy? Do you have any tips for managing a busy life that you can share?
©Jen Cudmore, 2013 ___ Subscribe to my blog or my email newsletter on the right side of the page!