Since Abraham put Sarah away privately when she was with child, I felt as though we, in decency, should do no less. So, for the last few months a my fourth and difficult pregnancy, I remained home from church, grateful for the few morning hours of silence.
As I shuffled down the stairs, lumbered slowly from room to room, and gingerly pushed toys to where I could scoop them up with a broom, I began to see the benefits of those angry months. By hook and by crook, I had become an orderly and disciplined housekeeper!
“Am I being a good steward of my time?” is a question which needs frequent evaluation. After I came home with a new baby, different schedules had to be maintained. And, with each phase of my life new systems have to be developed. Good time management depends on the priorities we have chosen.
The late Dr. Ted Engstrom of the Managing Your Time seminars reduced this process to a slogan: “Goals, Priorities, and Planning.” My goal for that long summer was to become a disciplined housekeeper. This also became my priority, particularly in the face of my advancing pregnancy, despite the rooming-in student, the work of hospitality, the expeditionary jaunts with the children. The planning evolved through first of all logging how I employed what time I had, then setting up schedules and assigning tasks to other members of the family.
After all this had been accomplished, the Lord did a lovely thing for me in that eighth-floor hospital room in the maternity ward. He gave me a retreat. I watched the winter clouds scudding greyly above the foaming winter waters of Lake Michigan. I studied the concrete and asbestos towers of the city. I wondered why no one came to fill the other bed in this large room with a lovely view.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.