By L. J. Harry
The lovely Andrea and I were working to tiptoe the tightrope of work and family. We gathered around our dining room table in search of a Saturday to take our girls somewhere special, but there were precious few to be found. That’s when we decided to reserve specific weekend days as “family days” in order to make time for family.
Making Time for Family
If anyone invited us to do something on those family days, we would apologize because that day had already been scheduled. We were still involved in church workdays and prayer breakfasts and district services and socials. But we were going to protect family days to make sure we were spending plenty of time with the girls. It was a great idea on paper.
By the grace of God, I will stand guard over those days to make sure I spend more time at home and less time away in 2021.
But about ninety days into the year—when many resolutions go to be with the Lord—this one passed on. And those weekend days slinked back into the shadows of fair game for anything. But something happened that brought me full circle to this family day resolution. I was walking out the door when my five-year-old Raylee asked, “Daddy, why don’t you spend time with us anymore?”
Her tearful question torpedoed me. I spent the lion’s share of my “free” time solo in the air or on the road. Raylee wanted to know why I was spending so much time with everyone else and so little time with her. It was time to repent and break out the red pen again. Around the last part of that year, after all the national and district and sectional events crammed the calendar, I scanned each month for precious whitespace, and I found at least one Friday or Saturday each month that was not already taken. I wrote over those weekend days in bold red ink: FAMILY DAY.
By the grace of God, I will stand guard over those days to make sure I spend more time at home and less time away in 2021. Even if the calendar is busier than Best Buy on Black Friday, we will have those family days to look forward to.
Balancing Work and Family
I don’t pretend to know how to walk the tightrope of balancing work and family. I’ve read books. I’ve read blogs. I’ve watched videos. I’ve made resolutions. I’ve heard messages. And after each book, blog, video, resolution, or message, I still find myself telling my sweethearts, “I’m sorry.” Thankfully, kids have a wide net with a short memory beneath the tightrope.And a family day every month may be one of the best ways to stay on the tightrope and stay near and dear to those nearest and dearest to you. Click To Tweet
If you’re having the same trouble balancing ministry, career, hobbies, and family, welcome to the tightrope. Careful. One at a time, please. To help you keep your balance, reserve family days, and then protect them. Life will get busier than it was in 2020. Don’t do everything everywhere in 2021 since you only got to go to the mailbox in 2020.
Your family needs you. You need your family. And a family day every month may be one of the best ways to stay on the tightrope and stay near and dear to those nearest and dearest to you.
L. J. Harry and his wife, Andrea, are the proud parents of Makenna and Raylee. The couple serves as pastor of Apostolic Church in Mount Vernon, Ohio. L. J. shares his story on behalf of the UPCI Family Ministries Council.