Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Make Time To Slow Down

How does one find time to do it all? Can we really do it all? I'm not so sure we really can  do it all and now that I'm penning these words I'm wondering if I really do want to do it all.

It's like we are a people who have to show the world how busy we are and just how wondrous of a job we are doing it to feel valued. Yep, we must work hard at keeping up with others. Life shouldn't be a competition, but isn't that exactly what we have created it to be? It's not that we are competing with ourselves to be the best, we are competing with our family, our friends, our co-workers, and yes, even our church family. We feel the need to be seen and to be seen doing something that makes others feel a little less about themselves. Oh, we do it in hushed form. We wouldn't dare say it out loud, but we do enjoy feeling superior in one way or another. 

It may be in how we do our job as a wife, a mother, a stylist, an artist, a writer, a pastor, take your pick at any job. We want to be the best and we want others to know we are the best. At least we want those around us to know how busy we are and how much time we really don't have to spend at home. 

Home seems to be the last place people want to be. If we are competing than we have to be out and about at a continual rush, making ourselves look great while we rush through every activity under the sun. We not only do our own stuff, but we jump in head first doing other's stuff. One job isn't enough. The more we do the more people will see and the more they will believe we are important and valued. Whew...are you tired yet? I'm exhausted and we're just getting started. 

We compete with other moms. Instead of encouraging other moms to simply be the best momma they can be, we more or less make other moms  feel less valued as we try our best ourselves to the top. Whether we are a mother who stays at home with her children or a mother who works outside the home too, we tend to make one other battle for first place. Any position other than first just doesn't cut it, so we strive hard to cut down one another while we jockey for the winner's seat. 

And just what has the winner won? Oh, she may have won the elation of others, but somewhere along the way she has let things slide to the backseat, the trunk, and even left at the curbside in her exhaustion to rise to the top as mother of the year, Christian of the year, servant of the year, just all around best of the best award. 

When are we going to really get it? I mean truly understand that it isn't the elation of others that makes us who we are. It isn't that pat on the back from our co-workers. It's not how much we can fit into our twenty-four hour day. It's not how much we can extend ourselves. It isn't anything of the sort. We aren't to compete with others. If that's what our life has come to it's time to wake up and realize that the competition of wanting to be seen is causing us to be unseen in the areas that truly matter. 

Spending time with our children, giving our husbands a chance at our time, just taking an evening and being together is so important. When can we just put the phones down, walk away from the computer, leave the television off, and simply get busy being un-busy with our family. Putting our family first, yes, above everything else in this world. 

Church activities and serving is important, but it should never come first above our family. When we do choose to serve it needs to be that it's God's calling for us, not just an opening and a need to be filled. This is where we get into trouble. Because then we are the girl who will soon be involved with more activities than she can keep up with and something is going to get left at the way side. 

We are most often the person that gets left to the way side. Why? We work too hard at making everyone in life happy and we're fearful in saying, no. We are people pleasers who spend our lives walking on egg shells, afraid to offend anyone, but it would be a horror to us if someone were unhappy with us. Soon we are so involved in making others happy and doing for others that we soon are telling our family, no, because we are so used to saying ,yes, to others. There are two extremes. We can completely be self involved or we can go the total opposite and be completely at the mercy of others and what they need from us. It's a sad fact that too often we do for so much for others, while we leave our family wondering how much they really matter to us.

If we have a family at home our family is our first priority. Nothing should come before our family. If there are activities that are coming between you and time spent with your family, let those things go. Our children grow so very fast and you know what? They need us! Our children and our husband need us. It's their eyes we should be looking into, not the world's eyes to see how well of a job we are doing. Our value is met through our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him we are valued most high. When we begin to live for the audience of One we will begin to really get it. 

Simply put, we are too busy to even enjoy life. We are so hurried we in turn hurry our children. We hurry through the week only to get to the weekend that we have now jam packed full of stuff. If we would only untangle ourselves from all the activities that we think we have to partake in and just let go of trying to do it all we would find that life isn't as hard as we make it out to be.

Can I be honest? I can't do it all. I can't be everything for everyone. And in reality, I don't want to be. I want to enjoy time with my husband on his days off. I want to spend time with family and friends. Of course, I know everyone, including me, doesn't have the luxury of just visiting with family and friends. But what do we do? We tell people, "Hey, let's get together", and what happens? We don't make time. I think we enjoy saying, "I'm so busy. I just don't know when I'll have the time". Yep, we like to feel important. The day will come when we won't have to worry about making time, because those who tried so diligently to spend time with us will no longer be on this earth.

The thing is, we have to make an effort to slow down, to spend time that truly matters. If we could actually sit down with paper and pen and figure up how much time we spend on everything in life, just where would our family fall in line? Under one more church function? One more extra client to see? Under when we have more time?

I wish we could go back in time to having a phone on the wall, (which we still do), and hear someone knock on the door once in a while instead of sending texts and emails. We have taken the personal out of life and we have now introduced our kids to notebooks and gadgets of all kinds to keep them busy while we're busy.

Gosh, I know we can't toss it all out. There are things that must be done. People have to work. Our children are involved in activities. I'm just saying, change our priorities. Take out what has us frazzled. You know what? If God hasn't called you to do it, He will send another. Don't live your life feeling like {no} is a bad word. I encourage you, for a week, one week, turn everything off and see what happens. Cancel some appointments. Facebook doesn't have to be checked on every single day. The world will still move about without your status update.

Slowing down isn't a bad a thing. Have some dinners with the parents. Get the games out with the kids. Create a life that you love, not one that you later wish you had lived. Take time and breathe in some of the life you've been missing out on since busy has taken over.

"The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home."
President Harold B. Lee

“We don’t drift in good directions. We discipline and prioritize ourselves there.” 
Andy Stanley

“If you want to have the time of your life, change how you use the time in your life.” 
Tim Fargo

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