Cale and I are very protective of our free time together in the evenings. Sometimes bordering on the selfish, even. Although I don't think it's a conscious decision to be selfish; it's simply that we like to be with each other more than anyone else. I think it's a wonderful thing that I can say without hesitation that my husband would rather sit next to me on the couch on any given night "doing nothing" than be anywhere else. I feel the same. (Well, a girls night thrown in now and again is always okay with me, too!)
With that being said, I am also a big believer in the ebb and flow of life. We ease into new seasons of life and new opportunities come our way. There are always good things that we could be doing with our time and we have decided that now is the right time for us to both be involved in some of those opportunities. But there is a cost. Our calendar is now filling up and there are 3-4 nights each week that we have standing commitments.
In many ways I'm a free wheeler; but at the same time, I enjoy a good plan. A contradiction, I know. I like to be able to do what I want when I want and don't like the pressure of someone telling me I have to be anywhere at a certain time. So it is a stretch for me to have three nights a week already planned out. Yes, they are filled with good things, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Reminding myself that it's only for a season gives me some peace.
It helps that I'm also really excited about what both our evenings will be consumed by. I am starting two new Bible studies in the next month. On Monday nights I am gathering with a small group of other mom's to study Hebrews together. I haven't done a formal Bible study in a long time- not since becoming a wife and mom. I am confident that God is going to use the other wives and moms in the group to challenge and encourage me in my ministry to my family.
The other study I'm starting is with the women in my house church. We have done accountability and prayer in small, same gender groups since we started our house church 2 years ago. While it's great to connect with the women on a weekly basis, we are always pressed for time and it's a huge challenge when we have new people coming and going. It's not exactly the prime situation for transparency. We have a strong core group of women who are committed to growing together and have decided to meet twice a month during the week to do a book study together. Without me really being aware of it, I'm now leading this study. I've already seen efforts to thwart our plans which makes me confident that we're on the right track. I am excited to see how the Lord is going to grow us stronger together and in Him.
Cale is also starting a new Bible study with the guys from house church. They are doing a discipleship book together and meeting every week. Cale hasn't been involved in a focused study since college really and I am excited for him. As much as I like being with him in the evenings, I know that this is time well spent. Anything that will encourage him in his walk with the Lord is going to make him a better husband and dad. I'm all for that!
So I will be alternating my Bible studies week to week (so I have one or the other every week) and Cale's gone every Tuesday night. Throw in house church every Sunday, house church prayer once a month, Recipe club, quilting and random life stuff and we are busy. But I know that this is just for a season and it's not just to be busy. Our hope for all these "extras" is that they will draw us closer to His side and make us more into His image.
I'm confident that on the other side of this busy season the cost will be well worth it.