I initially penned this post when I first started my blog seven years ago. My eldest was just starting high school and now he’s about to graduate from college. It’s amazing to see how the heart of this message is just as relevant today as it was then, especially this time of year.
As you read about our choice to scale back our December schedule, that has continued and it was one of the best choices we have ever made. Since then, I’ve shared lots of our simple holiday traditions that have built so many memories of the years. I hope this encourages you as you think through your calendar. (Grammar, functional errors and the rest kept for history sake. ;))
I have been doing a lot of pondering about my upcoming schedule.
What is truly important this time of year. Does it enhance our family time, build the Kingdom or does it distract from the most important choices?
My typical year falls into a few categories. A few months ago, the true essence of “lazy days of summer” and living life to its fullest, while celebrating the simple moments was in full force, yet from Sept. – Dec. 1, I am crazy busy.
Savoring our Decembers came through much prayer, and pinpointed examination of balance issues that needed to be dealt with, and wow…what a new delight it has been.
But the problem lies here…. the lady pictured above portrays how I live the rest of the time,
and I am brainstorming ways to avoid the trap.
- 80% of our medical expenditures are now stress related.
- 90% of the population claims there is never enough time.
- Stress impairs our ability to think clearly and make good decisions.
- 375,542 books have been published on stress management.
What is happening with in our society to get us to this point?
I have a lot of ‘opinions’ about this from some of my research, but here are just a few little bullet points to wet your whistle. More posts on this topic will be coming. I know you are marking your calendar.
I know that Satan uses the bondage of busyness to keep us from the truly important things in life.
There are SO many “good things,” but not all of them are necessary.
When Jesus announced to his disciples that it was time for Him to go and be with His Father, do you think they were very happy about that little announcement that He shared?
If I had been there, I can just envision the lively debate I would have with Him.
“Lord, Seriously, you can’t mean this. I mean, come on….there are sick people to heal, blind to see, hospitality issues to be carried out. Do you think I can turn that water into wine without you? I have fabulous feasts that need to be prepared for our time together, and the people are coming to see you…you’re the drawing card.
(Now, quite honestly, there would be definite relief over the fact I wouldn’t have to clean for that fabulous feast, but that’s beside the point. :))
Let’s take a closer look into the scripture, Jesus responded in John 17:4,
“I have glorified thee on the earth:
I have finished the work which THOU gave me to do.”
Excuse me? But what about me? What about my “to do” list?
Ponder that verse, my over committed friends, and yes, even those of you who are about to stop reading since I mentioned Jesus. You don’t have to be a bible reader to receive freedom in that revelation.
Jesus’ secret was He was concerned about one thing.
What His father called Him to do?
Ladies – dismiss the lie that “we can do it all.” We can’t, and it’s OK.
The “big guy”, the man of the hour, our Lord and Savior didn’t get the disciples “to do” list done, did He?
Yes, you type A ladies, take a DEEP breath…it’s OK, we’re all in this together
(belting a little high school musical here).
The disciples “TO DO” list was left UNFINISHED!! GASP!
He didn’t finish everything the multitudes wanted him to do. BUT He did finish the work that God had given Him to do.
So, I look at the picture below and deliberately assess what is keeping me from having margin in my life?
What activities are consistently standing in the way of having a shared family meal around the dinner table?
How am I engaging my teens’ hearts, and not just passing time with a check list?
What “good” thing is tipping my balancing act, so that it’s inhibiting the family life that God is calling me to have all fall long?
Do I really need to fill the calendar with kid’s activities to the detriment of God’s to do list?
These are hard questions for me.
I challenge you to ponder this with me.
As you’re planning your calendar, what can you do right now that will give you margin, and allow you to be the cat, instead of the mouse, in this rat race of life?
What initiative can you take to balance the beauty and bedlam that arise in your life?
I can’t wait to hear. Iron sharpens iron, and I invite you to sharpen me.
One of the things that I passionately pursue is a legacy of living life to its fullest with purpose and intentionality. In order to do that, I must have margin, and prioritize His checklist in my life.
I commit to remembering it’s the little things that are the big things.
Visit me often on my journey of “balancing it all.”
We can encourage each other together…the good, bad, and ugly.