Who snuck in and sucked the lazy out of our days?
Do you remember the last time you were bored? Or took a nap in the middle of the day? Or spent time in your favorite chair for some quiet time with the Lord, praying, reading your Bible, and writing in your journal? Instead, we find ourselves cramming to finish reading for Book Club or burning the midnight oil preparing for Bible study, knowing the shame we will feel if we show up unprepared again!
Exhaustion has become the latest status symbol. The busier someone appears, the more important they must be! We are all overcommitted. Few of us have any white space or margin in our lives. Without healthy boundaries, our calendars get so jammed with obligations we don’t eat right, sleep too few hours, get stretched thin, and have little time for ourselves. We end up exhausted, frustrated, and resentful all because we put the needs of others first. When we are overextended, tired, and swimming in drama, we are no fun and our relationships feel the strain.
“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil….it is more about
priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your own time.”
~Margarita Tartakovsky, Clinical Psychologist
We don’t have to live in a corporate pressure cooker to feel the burn. Any goal worth pursuing requires us to be wildly productive. Hosting a dinner party, keeping the house clean, getting the laundry done, heading up a committee for the school carnival, leading a Bible study, or striving for a well-deserved promotion will challenge the best of us.
As believers, we are to be good stewards of all God’s gifts. Time on this planet is one of the greatest gifts of all, but few of us protect our time as we should. Ask yourself this question: “If something or someone fabulous came into my life, would I have the time for it or them?” If the answer is no, how would you make time? What project would suffer? Who would you have to upset to make room for that special something or someone? I have met single moms who swoon over a man they just met at church but tell me they don’t have time to date. WHAT? If that is you, it is time to trim your “To Do List,” sister!
Doing a quick and easy written challenge may help you make more room for time with the Lord and the things you love most. First, make a list of everything you do. I mean everything. Do you volunteer at church, carpool, Junior League, Rotary, or community groups? If you have kids, make sure to include all of their activities like soccer, football, speech therapy, and gymnastics. If you are married, that is a whole list of its own! Last but not least, if you work outside the home, list all the things you do outside of business hours to enhance your visibility within your industry.
Don’t leave anything out! Next, put a check mark next to each activity that requires you and only you. Now put two checks next to the things you do that makes your heart sing. Not just the things you don’t mind, but the things you love. If you have a few items without checks next to them, congratulations! You have identified the things you are can reasonably step away from simply because the task does not require your specific gifts and talents.
When we give ourselves permission to let go of busy work, we uncover needs that are in line with our God-given gifts and talents and, as a result, our lives change. Instead of crossing off menial tasks on a “to do list,” we dedicate our time to work side-by-side with the Lord, filling our days with meaning and purpose as we accomplish more for the kingdom than we ever thought possible.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in my and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~John 15:5 NIV
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