Sunday, August 31, 2014

Whoa Nellie (Chaos and Contentment #3)

As we continue our discussion on chaos and contentment, I want you to look down at your hands. See the reigns you hold there? You are driving this horse, mama.

I assume many of you share this job with your husband, and that in many ways he leads the family horse. If that is true of you, you are blessed. Yet even so, we wives do not have permission to let go of the reigns, to be passive and let our family life run without our leadership.

Mothers, keep your hands on those reigns. There are many things that require your attention, and yes, your control. And as with all responsibilities and gifts we are given, we are to use the authority we have for the good of our family.

This concept alone helps my husband and I work through many of the decisions we make for our family. When presented with an opportunity to be involved with this or that thing, we do not simply ask, “Is this good?” but we ask, “Is this activity good for the entire family?”

We have said no to some very good things simply to allow some time to breathe into our schedule. We say yes to other things only for a season. We think of other ways to allow our children to pursue their passions and develop their gifts. We ask “which gifts are worth developing?” As much as my son would like to learn knife-throwing, we’re pretty sure that’s not the talent he should focus on right now.

Sometimes, when they come home with that paperwork for that awesome thing that everyone else is doing and they already told their friends they were going, it may seem like mama has no choice but to say yes.

Again, I say, look down at your hands. Do not give up those reigns while they are young.
Ask good questions.

“Is it worth the time, money, commute?”
“If we do this will we sacrifice something else that is more important?”
“Do my children currently have time in their lives to breathe, to connect with family and friends, to learn basic chores and responsibilies, and to recover from everything else they are already doing?”
“Will this new activity tempt us to neglect time in God’s Word as a family?”
“Are mom and dad already spread too thin?”
And of course,
“Will this increase the chaos level so much that mom will fall off the horse entirely?”

Mothers, as you seek to navigate the chaos, I encourage you to be discerning with your “yes.” Use discernment every time something good comes along, because this life is not about sucking up every drop of every good thing everywhere at all times.


Now I’d like to hear from you- what questions do you ask when deciding whether or not to do a new “good” activity?
Do you currently feel overscheduled?
Is it hard for you to say “no” to good things?

Up next: Where are we leading this horse anyway?


  1. Holy cow! This is me! I am having a terrible time getting comfortable with our new schedule. Falling off the horse is definitely a possibility most days! Great questions to consider. I may have to post the list on my refrigerator.

  2. What wise advice. My children are grown. They have the reigns and now I have to trust God to lead them even into the dark places. I look down at my hands. They are old and open wide to yield today to the master.


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