For many years I’ve walked a tightrope between being a slave to, or being run over by, my schedule. I’ve been relentless in my pursuit of check marks OR I’ve been a little duckling crossing I-10…and here comes that 18-wheeler!
It all comes from this:
This year I have committed to learning to live and work in a healthier balance. The upside is that, since I struggled for so long with this problem, I have had plenty of time to think and learn about it! So here are some helps I have encountered:
- Do the next thing
Elisabeth Elliot’s poem has inspired a lot of people, but I found this way by accident. I just started to realize that what some might call “an impulsive notion” was often guidance from the Spirit (make that phone call, put that letter in your purse, go check on the kids). When I ignore the still small voice, I always regret it.
- God plans our day
This biblical Truth (Prov 16:9) was the rescue of my sanity! I enter into the day more aware of this now than ever, and more willing to yield events, time and myself to Him. My schedule has been a real object lesson about how much control I really have in my life (hint: very little, as much as God allows).
- People over tasks
If you’re not sure about this one, read 1 Cor 13. Completing our tasks can become our little kingdom, where we put ourselves on the throne (ask me how I know). Completing tasks can be the place we find our self-esteem. Completing tasks is easier than people. People can be very difficult. Working alone is almost always easier…and almost always the last place God want us to stay.
- Diligence honors God
We can never forget that our work ethic is an important part of our reputation. And while that sounds self-absorbed, it isn’t entirely. Our reputation, our good name, reflects on His Great Name. We must remember that, if we bear His Name, then everything, everything, we do is in His Name, for His glory and not our own.
- Letting go honors God
We are not the boss of our lives, He is. Remembering He has authority over me and being at peace with that (trusting in His goodness, power and wisdom) honor Him.
- God did 5 things each day of the First Week
I learned this from life coach Carey Bailey. If He, Who could do everything in a single instant, limited Himself to 5 tasks per day, shouldn’t we? Planning no more than 5 tasks per day leaves room for the God-appointed tasks (the unexpected phone call, the old friend at the grocery store). I need to plan to do less and listen to God more.
- Deciding what is a priority helps
So when you limit your list, it is good to examine items and determine what absolutely needs to be done. It helps to know where to start your day and what to do first if you have an opening in your schedule.
- Plan and prioritize FUN and REST.
Even God rested after Creation. He wasn’t even tired. Rest is good. Fun is good too. Balancing work and rest and fun is the life abundant. Jesus said,”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
- Include your peeps.
Think of your kiddos and what their day will be like, if all goes according to your plan. Consider you husband and whether your list moves you toward honoring Him. And if you’re planning fun, be sure to plan some family fun. God placed these people in our lives for a purpose and pursuing that end can multiply our joy.
- Commit your plans to God
Be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). I am trying to remember that the sum of my life (my heart, my mind, my strength and my schedule) is to be a pleasing and acceptable offering to God. Ultimately, this way is what honors Him AND it is what will bring me peace and joy.
Yielding to God in everything is the way to joy. His way is best. He takes good care of us. And that place of trusting Him fully is where we can experience a Harvest of Joy, even in the midst of chaos.
How’s your schedule been this summer? Busier than expected? Chaotic? Stressful? If so, pick three of my helps to pray over. Consider working these into your daily to do lists. Ask God to help you to keep the right mindset as you prepare to meet your day. Hope you’re having a wonderful #SummerofJoy with us!
If you’re really struggling with find joy in your work and family life, please contact my friend, Lifecoach Carey Bailey. If you feel like you’re way off track, she can help you plot a new course she did that for me!