It’s that grit your teeth, get after it, time of year, right?
But does it have to be?
Yes and no.
Many things in life are not up for debate and/or there is no room to negotiate and yet, there are many, many things that are.
One thing that is completely NOT up to us: the fact that there are 24 hours in a day.
One thing that is up to us: how we choose to spend those 24 hours.
Many of us (self included) have tried our darndest, many times to squeeze 24.1 hours worth of activities into a day. I have yet to find a way to make that work. How about you?
What I have concluded, from the days where I have tried to squeeze blood from the turnip is exhaustion, irritability, and stress to the point that I can hardly stand myself much less anyone else.
In the last week I have heard the same message from three different, very credible sources:
WE CAN NOT BE ALL OF THE THINGS TO ALL OF THE PEOPLE.
And, because I am ABSOLUTELY convinced (because I have eyes and ears and I see you and have talked to many, many, many of your recently) I am surely not alone in the battle of controlling my life instead of life controlling me..
Know this: I love you and don’t want us to be any crazier than we already are because what good are we too anybody if we’re NUTS-O! right?…
So, here are 3 things I am doing to STAY SANE in this season of life:
#1 KEEP A QUIET TIME!
Years ago I heard a wise pastor say, “One day without a quiet time, I know. Two days, without a quiet time, my family knows. Three days without a quiet time, EVERYBODY knows.” I have found this to be so very true. There are bazillions of verses, and messages and people that proclaim this truth, but none so profound as when Jesus said in John: 15:5….”for without Me you can do nothing.”
It’s really that simple. So often we make having a quiet time complicated. It’s not. Get alone with your creative Creator. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him for loving you and ask Him what it is He has for you today and then for a moment or more if you can read His word and listen for Him. He wants you to want Him, to need Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.
Night or day. Morning or afternoon. Just make some time for Him. It will make all the difference.
#2 WRITE IT OUT
Just a few weeks ago I did what my mother and sister have trained me to do. Make a list of all the things I currently have my fingerprints on. Grand or small scale. Include it all, write it down so that I can see any and all things that are expected of me. If you are a visual learner, this will help you. An example of some of the things on my list: HOME: wifey stuff, home schooling, recreational kid stuff, household, garden, yard. STORE responsibilities: including bookwork and/or whatever seasonal flowers and/or decor that involves me (pumpkins and mums and Christmas trees are just around the corner- YIPPEE) CHURCH or SERVICE commitments: hosting small group, teaching women’s group, and the list went on and on. You get the idea.
Have you ever tried this? You totally should. When I wrote it all out it was exhausting to read and made me want to cry to think about living ..
because there was no margin TO LIVE….
So, what do you do?
#3 SAY yes AND NO
After writing it all out and talking to J and crying to my momma I began to mark things off my list. I made a couple calls and with as much grace as I could muster, I said, “I’m going to step down from _____ for a season. I am overcommitted. As my children do more, I have to do less.”
Was it easy? NO (my daddy is right, ” Learning to say NO is hard, but necessary.”)
You want to know something??
“No” felt good. The minute I hung up the phone after my first two, “I’m sorry, but I’m going to step down for now.” I felt the breath in my chest ease just a bit.
You say, “But they’re good things.”
I know. They are always going to be good things, lots of goods things that need to be done.
Just consider your season. Maybe you can say yes at another time and maybe not.
Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, The Best Yes, is coming out August 10th ..In it she stresses~
At the She Speaks conference she warned us of the dangers of setting our lives “to the rhythm of rush.” And how difficult it is to pour into the hearts of others from an empty heart.
This weekend, Craig Jutlia warned us of neglecting “soul care”.. I loved that…soul care.
As these two have recently encouraged me, may I encourage you?
Take care of you. Your soul. Manage your life instead of your life managing you and lastly, BE BRAVE. It’s okay to say no to good things in order to leave room for the GREAT things God has for you.
I love y’all and want you to know how very much I love our time together here in our white space. I consider your visits here an honor.
Have a great day in your world
PS-Please share your tips for staying sane this season in comments J
Sharon. McWilliamd says
Love love love how The Lord is using you to encourage others. How it is very much opens my heart and speaks life into me!! I love the word ” it is difficult to pour into others with an empty heart.” This speaks volumes . The devil wants us to be busyyyy so we don’t have time for our alone time with God!!! Thank you and be blessed!!!
Linda Reed Burgess says
Great 3 suggestions to stay sane. I use to run my life on overload. Not wanting to say no to anyone. I learned the hard way and became so stressed out it was ridiculous ! Thank God I too have learned to say no and remain sane!
Cheryl Hayes says
Saying “NO!” is such a difficult task especially for us women. I recently declined volunteering at our church for our annual VBS. Knowing that I needed to do this helped me express and meet my need to spend more time with Our Lord.. Yet even today, I cannot let go of the guilt when others talk about VBS; the good times and the not-so-good times. It is like they are prodding me to respond or defend my decision to fill myself up with God’s love instead of giving it away.
So off I go to the Bible to read scripture and journal about what my thoughts and feelings are saying about my life right now.
Thanks for your tips on how to slow down.