NOTE: Please plan to join us tomorrow when it will be my joy to introduce you to a friend of mine who has just written a new book. She is offering a fun giveaway package and some great advice!
The past few days we’ve chatted about why we let ourselves get too busy; overcommitted; stretched thinner than a super model.
Today, let’s figure out what we can do to stop it already!
Here are some thoughts and quotes that help me to snap myself back to a doable reality when I’ve let my personality, people-pleasing tendencies or I-should-be-able-to-do-it-all mentality cause me to have a crowded calendar and a heart crammed with resentment.
First realize this:
Every need isn’t necessarily your call.
Yes, there may be a need you are made aware of. But be careful before jumping in to help.
Helping is a good thing. Jumping without thinking can be not so good. Be sure you are called before you act. And realize, that if the need isn’t God’s call for you and you say yes and do it anyway, you are taking the joy and blessing away from the person that God meant to do the job in the first place.
Learn to pray and ponder “Am I called?” not just “Am I capable?” When capability is your measuring stick, you will kick quickly into overload because women have the curse of capability!
Ok— how about this?
Make it your policy to pause.
By that I mean do NOT answer right away when asked to commit to something. Pray about it. If you have a husband, talk to him. Ask the kiddos what they think. (Not that they will call the shots but to get their perspective on it.) If the person asking you to commit needs an answer that day then you can always politely decline, mentioning your policy of taking at LEAST 24 hours to decide.
Next— (oh I KNOW some of you need to hear this!):
Walk away and don’t look back.
Some of us are caught in the snare of familiarity and tradition. We have always been in charge of something or on the committee. We think the world revolves around that little activity and can’t walk away for fear that either it will fold or that we will lose our identity that is rooted in wearing that hat.
I went through this over 20 years ago when I was the assistant cheerleading coach at our local high school. I loved those girls. I loved serving in the school district. Our teams racked up trophies and ribbons galore. (Our varsity even won nationals one year!) I was super close friends with the head coach and loved hanging out with her four days a week.
As much as I knew God was telling me to step away, I dug my high heels in and resisted.
I finally cried uncle and stepped down. When fall football season rolled around again, I was sure I’d simply die not being in the thick of things when the team took the field and the pep band struck up the fight song.
By then, I was on to other things, including being a mom and starting to speak and write. God filled any void with more of Him; more being and less doing. (And I didn’t lose my friend. We just morphed from being together-a-lot friends to being low-maintenence, only-see-each-other-a-few-times-a-year-but-pick-right-up-where-we-left-off friends. (my very FAV kind! ;-))
Okay. Here is another. My friend Becky once said this (and I’ve never forgotten it):
Don’t take on more than you can pray for.
Simple enough? If you can’t commit to praying for the requests that are sure to pop up, and perhaps some of the people you will meet as part of the commitment, then don’t take it on.
Next, the tagline of this blog:
Live your priorities.
This is such a hard one!
While we may say that in our lives God is first, our families are second and outside people and interests are third, the reality of our schedules is often just the opposite!
It has helped me over the years to actually number my priorities in my head (not just in three categories, but from one to ten. Like: 1. God 2. Husband 3. kids 4. extended family 5. close friends 6. ministry/work 7. other friends/neighbors 8. hobbies, etc…..) and then use the numbers to make decisions of how I spend my time, keeping my priorities in check.
It looks like this:
I am playing a board game with my son (a #3). The phone rings and it is a close friend wanting to chat (a #5). So as not to cause resentment in my son, I don’t pick up but call her back later and hope that when I do, she has time to talk without neglecting her family.
This is not a hard and fast rule. If the phone call had been a neighbor who had an injured child and wanted me to watch her other kids so she could rush to the hospital, of course I would pick up the phone and go grab her kids. I want my kids to see us modeling a life of service. However, I do not want them seeing me constantly putting friends before family and activities before God!
(Note, if you want to do an extended exercise in listing, evaluating and living your priorities, I have an entire chapter and workbook-like section in The Complete Guide to Getting and Staying Organized.)
Stop second guessing yourself.
If you know in your heart you are to clear your plate of an activity or responsibility (or the pit in your stomach is screaming at you to do so!) then do it and have confidence in your decision.
“I know all of life is screaming for your time, but instead of giving your divided attention to many good things, commit to setting aside time each week to walk through the process of finding God’s things for you. A confident-in-Christ woman wants to know who God created her to be. She is comfortable saying “no” to some things so that she can say “yes” to living the life God wants her to live. She is intentional and secure about pursuing the spiritual purpose God has for her.”
Ok friends. Our little series is done. But I want to hear from you.
Are you gonna take the leap and say no to some things?
In the future, how will you decide differently what you will and will not take on?
Anything jump out at you from the posts this week?
Praying for you!