As a goal oriented, type A person, I have always had my plate full. When I was first married, I taught in a Christian school while my husband was in seminary, and also did the ordinary wifely things of homemaking and hospitality. When our children were born, I no longer taught at school, but continued homemaking and hospitality, and added the feeding, diapering, training and discipling to my duties as a wife. Balancing those things was sometimes difficult, as it was easy to let some things fall by the wayside. I now had to work hard at not neglecting my first job-- that of wife to my husband!
Then we added homeschooling to our list of priorities. The first year was hard as our children complained that it was not "real" school and I was not like their teacher from "real" school! Enter Daddy, the husband, father, homeschool Principal! Over the years we both learned to "balance" quite a lot of activities. My husband was very helpful in helping me decide what new tasks to take on-- praise God for His plan of submission! It was great to be able to say, "My husband does not feel I can do that at this time."
When the children grew up and married, I had to learn what to do with time again. I volunteered to wash dishes for Senior Citizen lunches at church, taught a couples Sunday School class with my husband, and continued upholstering and custom sewing for other people, as I had time in between homemaking and hospitality.
When I was widowed at 52, EVERYTHING changed! For four years, God sent other activities to fill my days and I eventually adjusted to the loss of my husband. I still was active in homemaking, hospitality, church activities, and sewing, but now God added grandchildren, and mentoring and discipling younger women to my plate. What a joy that has been!
When I remarried at 56, God gave me lots of new activities, including moving across country twice in a little over a year! Homemaking, hospitality, sewing, mentoring and being wife, stepmother, and grandmother to a growing tribe of Blessings completely filled my plate again. God is so good!
Yesterday, I realized my days of multi-tasking may be limited! As I was pinning a slipcover together, I pricked my finger and bloodied my hand. On my way to the kitchen to wash off the blood to avoid staining the fabric, I spotted the hummingbird syrup cooling on the stove. So I picked up the pan on my way to the sink, and poured the syrup into the hummingbird feeder. I noticed an ant walking around the edge of the pan, so as soon as I finished filling the feeder, I set it down to rinse the ant down the drain. Suddenly I was covered with syrup flowing over the counter onto my dress and the floor! I had set the feeder onto the counter without first putting on the bottom part and turning the feeder over so it could stand without dripping. How many times have I filled the feeder in my life?!
Yes, I know that is a silly matter on which to base my conclusion that I can no longer multi-task, but it showed me that I AM aging and cannot expect to do so many things at once as I once was able to do. I walk into a room looking for something and spot some task I have not done, do it; then realize I should also clean my desk, or maybe finally add to my blogs, and a few minutes later, my husband walks in to ask me why the kitchen faucet is running in an empty sink!
My dreams lately have been of having a day when I can sit down and read a book all the way through in one sitting, instead of taking weeks to read it between other daily chores. Or of having a day when I can really clean out the flower beds, instead of just watering them occasionally because I must pick the vegetables in the garden and can them before the next batch comes in-- and guests are coming for supper, and I have not finished folding the laundry yet. I used to be able to do all those things at once without even thinking.
I believe God prepares us for each stage in our lives, and His preparation for me now may be to slow down and gratefully accept my limitations so that when the time comes when I may be really limited, I will not stress about it and complain that I cannot do all that I once did. Praise God, I may get to slow down and read that book in one sitting after all!
Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.