This guest post was written by Connie Albers of ConnieAlbers.com.
The phone rang.
“Hello?” I answered.
I heard a familiar voice, one I was delighted to hear from.
After a cordial exchange, this person got to the purpose of the call. What was said next caught me completely by surprise:
“We would like to recommend that the governor appoint you to a recently vacated seat.”
I paused. I don’t remember how long I sat in silence but it was long enough that they thought we got disconnected.
“What?! You want to recommend that I fill an elected position by the governor?” I asked. “Please tell me more.”
This was such an honor. The thought of this being handed to me…just like that! This kind of thing just doesn’t happen in politics, I thought.
I thanked them, then requested a couple of days to think and pray over it.
Counting the (Time) Costs
Once my feet were back on the ground I started to really consider the weight of this decision.
First, I already had a job: homeschooling my children.
The day I’d assumed the role of homeschool mom all other decisions needed to be carefully considered. While this was clearly an open door, I needed to decide if this was the door I was supposed to walk through.
I knew this was an incredible opportunity, but I needed to ask myself, “Was this the right season for it?” I needed to look re-examine my ultimate calling and decide if this position would bring me closer to that calling or pull me away from it.
Is It the Right Season? Four Questions To Ask
I’ve learned over the years to count the cost of every decision. When there is an important decision to be made here are four questions I answer before deciding what to do.
Is this what God wants me to do? It’s important to understand just because a great opportunity comes along doesn’t mean it is from God. Sometimes it is the enemy trying to take us away from the work we need to do. In the case of this governor-appointed position, I had to take time to pray over this. I had to determine: is this an attempt to lure me away from my first commitment?
What are the needs of my family? Having a keen understanding of the needs of my family is critical. Building a strong family takes time. They are my first priority. At the time of the above request my five children were middle and high school age and life was busier than at any other time. It was important to understand how a “yes” would impact them. I knew I would not get this time back. Take the necessary time to carefully ponder this.
What are my limitations? The world tells women they can do it all. The question isn’t if we can do everything, it’s should we, and if so, when. We all have limits to how much we can take on without compromising our families, work, and integrity. I like to make a plan with real time numbers attached to it. I encourage you not to get trapped into the superwoman syndrome. That really only exists on TV and rarely in real life.
How much time will it really take? It’s true, most things take longer than we expect. We sometimes forget homeschooling is work that requires huge amounts of our time. If we don’t clearly understand the scope of extra projects we can end up spending far too much time and end up not teaching our children well. With homeschooling five children, preparing my older kids for college, trying to get everyone to all their extra-curricular activities, running a company and volunteering I didn’t have much extra time. The days were packed full. I had to honestly ask myself if I had the time to do this new job well.
My Final Decision
After much consideration I said no. It was not an easy decision because this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I wish I could say it was easy to turn down…but it wasn’t. I was walking away from something I personally wanted to do.
What made it harder was that others were telling me I could manage it all. After all I was very organized and disciplined.
However, in the end, I realized that my ability to take on this additional responsibility wasn’t in question. For me, it was choosing what was more important—and that was homeschooling my children.
My children needed my full commitment to them, and I wanted to honor that.
Now all these years later I realize that saying no to that commitment was saying a big yes to my family.
Scripture tells us that a wise woman considers all things before she decides. It’s my prayer that you will gain the confidence to say no without the fear of missing out.
Your family is your life’s greatest work, and sometimes we must make hard decisions to say no to other exciting (and good) opportunities in order to give our best to our glorious at-home calling.