I believe that the priorities in my life should be: God, Husband, Children in that order, and then work comes after that. With that thought, we decided to home school our children. That takes a good deal of my time. So when YFC asked me to be the Executive Director, they were gracious enough to say they would respect those priorities and provide a full-time person to be in the office who would run the day-to-day operations so I could work from home. I don’t even have an office at our headquarters. When I leave my house, it is strictly for face-to-face meetings.

What are a couple of your tips or tricks for balancing family and work?I put my family first. I home school my kids all day; then they are tired of me so that’s the perfect time for me to work. I also work early in the morning. I also take advantage of stolen moments. If you are good with your time, there are lots of stolen moments throughout the day when you can write thank you notes, schedule a meeting, sign receipts, etc.

How do you fight to keep God first in your life?
I love to start my day on the front porch with my husband, having our devotions, and praying together. If I start my day covered in prayer, everything seems to align well. Then I go into devotions with my kids. That’s how I align myself with God: start the day with time with Him and in prayer.

How do you keep your husband as your second priority?
Definitely, having the time in the morning reserved for my husband keeps us united. And in the evening, I am available and focused on him. He knows my day is full of homeschooling and work, but by 8pm, I put that all away so we can have time together.

How do you impart these work/life balance values to your team?
We do talk about it in staff meetings. We definitely emphasize prayer in our meetings; a great deal of our staff meeting is spent in prayer. We try to keep focus on their spiritual life and spiritual health.

I think the fact that I live my life in front of them certainly tells them what our values are. I don’t go to everything. I say no to a lot of stuff and and my staff know why. It trickles down to them. The family-life balance may be more unspoken, but my staff know it’s a huge priority to me and they’re expected to honor that too.  They learn that from my modeling and I tell them all the time: family first. We MAKE it work to put family first. We are extremely flexible with people working from home. We are constantly flexing so people can prioritize family first.

For example, our hip-hop director recently had to get a double-lung transplant. His wife also works in our office. He will be in the hospital for a year. We continue to pay both of their full-time salaries and allow her to work from the hospital. We even face-time them in to meetings. We make it work. We value our people and we value what they’re going through in their lives. Whatever the situation, we’ve done some pretty outrageous things for our staff to prioritize family as they continue working with us. Our team members will pretty much do anything to help each other be successful.

Let’s say you are talking to a new executive director and you believe their life is out of balance… what would you say to them?
First, I would take them to the Scriptures. You have to look at Scripture and realize that God, the Creator took a day to disconnect. So I would ask, “Do you have one day a week where you are totally disconnected?” If not, you have to. That’s it; you just have to. I’d also look at the story of Mary and Martha. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha ran around. And who was it that God honored? Mary, who just rested in Him.

I’m also reminded of a book I read a few years back “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” (http://www.amazon.com/Woman-After-Gods-Own-Heart%C2%AE-ebook/dp/B00SU7JB4G/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1). In that book, the author describes a pool in Hawaii that is actually seven pools stacked on top of each other. She points out that if the top pool doesn’t have water, eventually the pools all drain. Certainly you are not going to be successful by God’s standards if you don’t tend the first pool (your relationship with Him) and keep it full.

Secondly, I’d have that staff member keep a time sheet. Often people don’t realize or see that they are not taking the time they need for healthy balance. I’d have them fill out a time sheet 24 hours a day for seven days and use that to help clarify the reality of their soul.

 

Bonnie Rodriquez is the Executive Director of Youth for Christ in Miami. Her YFC story started when she began volunteering in 1992. She became a JJM missionary in 1994. Since that time, she served as the Interim Executive Director three different times and took the full time position seven years ago. Interestingly enough, she is not full time despite the fact that she leads one of our largest chapters. This is due to her commitment to her family and placing them first. In addition to being the executive director, she loves on her husband and home schools her two teenage children.

comments powered by Disqus
Enter your search term and press the return key on your keyboard.