Last week, we looked at our need for margin and rest and the problem with a packed to the very edge schedule. When we first look at Scripture in Genesis 1, we see the example God gives of us of both working and resting well.
Even with the Father’s first lesson in rest— it is often difficult to come by. Very few people, regardless of life stage— find themselves without the need for MORE TIME. Last week, we finished with a challenge to ask God to take our schedules and mold them into His will for us. Let’s take a closer look at a few practical and spiritual principles for that mindset.
“The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Proverbs 16:1-3
Friends? As women, we have a real propensity to feel the need to do everything.
To do it all. To be all things to all people. We often feel that if we aren’t constantly, poured out, used up and coming up empty at the end of the day, we feel guilty. As though we aren’t living a life that is sacrificial.
But here’s the thing.
Our days can be FULL of things that we put there and not those things that God has put there. As we seek to serve our families and our jobs, every little thing we do MUST be committed to God. Everything must be checked with Him. He weighs our hearts. He knows our motives.
For a long time, I was someone who said yes far more than I said no. I have had a real problem in the past allowing myself to be held hostage to the GOOD things that I thought I should be doing; not even necessarily things God has asked me to do, but things I thought others thought I should be doing. In some cases they even were things that other people thought I should be doing, but not things that God put upon my heart to be involved in.
We make a lot of dangerous assumptions when we think that because we can do something, we should always be the one to do it. God gives us gifts for a reason, and they should not be wasted. But not every season is for every thing. It is good that our lives ebb and flow through seasons of involvement. If we are checking with Him before we give an automatic yes to someone, we will find that He may very often be saying no. And that no, when it comes from a God who protects and plans for us? It’s liberating! There is FREEDOM when God Dictates my schedule. There is exhaustion and anxiety when we live under a regime of trying to keep up.
Five questions to ask as we consider what needs to be subtracted:
1. What is causing a deficit in my life? What is forcing a shortage of time and energy?
2. What is keeping me from having the needed whitespace around my day?
3. What is draining me mentally, emotionally, spiritually?
4. In what areas do I need more firm boundaries?
5. And one that I believe is most important, What is my greatest area of contribution? Carefully consider this last one when picking something new up.
Five questions to ask to consider what needs to be infused into our lives for proper balance:
1. Am I getting enough rest?
2. Alternatively, am I sleeping too much? How could I utilize that extra time?
3. Do I need to delegate more responsibilities?
4. Can I make a few choices of convenience once in a while to maximize my time and better serve my family?
5. What are a few daily rhythms I can adopt to promote rest?
Friends, I know this is such a battle. The issue of time and how to spend it wisely is so very elusive to many of us. But because we know that it matters to God, it must also matter to us.
The following quote from Emily P. Freeman is one that I love and think on often—
“Saying yes to rest means saying no to good things. But taking regular time off is not a punishment or a dare or a rule. It’s a gift. It’s taking a day to open your hands toward heaven and acknowledging that you don’t make the world go around.” Emily P. Freeman
I am excited to be sharing these words over at the WOW Weekly Moment this week. Hope to see you back next week for the third and final segment of Drowning in the Mess of Yes.