One of the hardest adjustments for me as a new mom and young actress building a career was having to stop in the middle of reading and memorizing a role to attend to my new daughter. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved being a new mom but I also cherished being an actress and I knew getting back to where I was at before the baby came along would take some time. It was agonizing focusing on both jobs with excellence.
How can you do both – be a mom and have a career? This is probably the most asked question I get today. It has been the subject of many books, news reports, and research. Our new technologies are supposed to make our lives easier and allow us short cuts and flexibility but have just given us more to do and less time to do it. After all, I have to check my Facebook, Twitter, write my blog, and I wouldn’t even think of going out to eat, hire a plumber, or get my car fixed without checking out the internet recommendations.
We live in a culture of distraction. We can’t escape the clutter and constant noise. This never-ending bombardment not only interrupts our thoughts but keeps us from thinking about anything meaningful. So we multitask to get it done and women are the experts. However, recent research on the subject is not favorable.
Multitasking keeps us from doing anything with real excellence. And if you do think about it – multitasking really means – non-committment. It’s why texting and driving is now illegal in most states and Twitter leadership won’t allow phones at their staff meetings. So how do we make it work? We make it work when we are connected to the right source – our Father in Heaven. He frees us from the guilt and constant noise. He allows us to lean on Him and to stop pushing our limits. He leads us forward as we listen to His small voice in our quiet time to make right, time saving, appropriate choices.
Take a lesson from Nehemiah when he rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and accomplished what was called impossible. (Nehemiah 4:1-20.)
First – Nehemiah feared God. He conscientiously focused and applied himself to the task. Not accomplishing it would have been disobedient. He went after it with an undivided mind. Willpower plugged into Godpower. Here lies faith and the mystery of how to get it done. It’s God’s doing. It’s not about your ability but His miraculous means to make it come together and work.
Secondly – Be ready to account for how you are spending your time, money, and focus. Don’t let months pass without checking in and taking an account. In this age of distraction pay attention to how the clutter is changing you.
Lastly, pray – a lot! Nehemiah prayed and received strength to keep going and His people received discernment on how to avoid pitfalls and traps.
In time with God’s help, I’ve become a little better at balancing family and career, but it took focused effort to rely not on my ways of doing it but on God’s ways. I leaned on the everlasting arms of Jesus and didn’t let the worlds noise or guilt of needing to “lean in” stress me out and steal my joy and contentment.
Life can get overwhelming but you will get more done if you are first obedient to God. He finds a way when we don’t see there is one and allows us to get done what really matters.