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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Christian Working Moms: Are You Too Quick To Say NO?

Are you too busy for a Bible study?

Let me guess, most of the Bible studies at your church meet during the day – which is terribly inconvenient.  There are a few that meet at night, but nighttime is often when your children need you the most.  And, if you work outside the home, who wants to leave her kids again after she hasn’t seen them all day?

Not me. 

I recently admitted I’m a Bible Study Drop Out.  Even though I tried my best to join a women’s Bible study this year, I just couldn’t make it work.  So I reluctantly quit. 

But that’s not the end of the story.

I received several passionate comments from readers who encouraged me not to give up. 

“Why did you believe you needed the study in the first place?” 

“Did you just want to check off a box to make you feel better about your spiritual life, or is there a deeper need you are ignoring?”

“Why did you really drop out?” 

“Maybe you need a virtual study.”

“You can’t always put your spiritual needs dead last! Is that really the best thing for your family?”

Well said!

You got me thinking.  And reevaluating.

Yes, there are seasons in life – and I bit off more than I could chew by joining an evening study in the middle of soccer season – but this doesn’t mean I need to throw the towel in altogether, does it?

Sometimes we need to prioritize a bit better.

Sometimes we need to say NO.

But sometimes we need to say YES.

I’m happy to say I’ve had several offers to join Bible studies since announcing I'm a drop out.  And I’ve even started attending a Bible study during a lunch break.  No, I haven't figured it out yet.  But I'm re-thinking both NO and YES.

Do you find yourself saying NO too quickly?  If so, have you given yourself the freedom to reevaluate and say YES?


Marcus Goodyear said...

I want to encourage you to let yourself off the hook a little bit. Bible study can be a simple, meditative, stress free reflection on the liturgical readings.

It can be a lexio divina reading. It can be something of joy and peace that happens over a morning cup of coffee.

If we find ourselves feeling like Bible study is too much work, maybe we have lost site of the grace of Bible study.

Dea said...

I have taught Bible Studies for the most part of twenty years. I know that it is especially hard on my working ladies.

I agree with Marcus. Let yourself off the hook. There are many ways to study and be filled, then poured out.

I once read (and I can't quote) an interview with Eugene Peterson who said there comes a time that you need to go and put into practice some of what we learned. Studying can't be a means to no end. It needs to produce fruit.

I love studying the Bible! I learn something new every time we study, but not everyone needs to be there every time.

I think there can be an ebb and flow that is fitting. I always want my class members to feel they can come and go at the Lord's leading.

Grace doesn't take roll. Blessings.

(stumbled over from Laura's blog)

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks Marcus and Dea -- I needed these comments tonight. Grace doesn't take roll. I'm going to quote that.

Karna Converse said...

Hi Susan. I appreciate your honesty with this issue. I've discovered that saying "yes" is best when it comes from my heart, not my head. When I hear "yes" in my heart, I feel it. That feeling is much different from a "head yes" which comes across as more of an obligation.

Nancy said...

What Marcus and Dea said. I have struggled most of my adult life, trying to put into practice things I thought I should do as a Christian woman. I knew I should want to do Bible study, but I also knew that stress of not wanting to get in the car at the end of the day and drive somewhere.

I'm slowly learning that the infinitely creative God has wired us all very differently and we all are at very different places in our lives. The important thing is figuring out a way to make space in my life to be with God. That may not be in formal Bible study. Sometimes I just need to sit still and let the grace of God's word wash over me, or allow music to sink deep into my soul. And I don't have to get into my car to make that happen!

Michelle DeRusha@Graceful said...

I'm with Marcus and Dea and Nancy -- cut yourself some slack sister! Bible study is wonderful and certainly fruitful, but there are also certain seasons of life that are more challenging than others. You have very young children. You work full-time. You write about God and your faith nearly every day. So maybe the Bible study can wait for a bit?

I'm not in a formal Bible study. I usually get up early 4 or so mornings a week and read a few verses with my coffee. It's the perfect way to start the day.

Laura said...

Echoing all the others here tonight, Susan. Seasons come and go and we have to remember that God orders them all. Grace, grace, grace. Sometimes I fall asleep to this simple mantra.