"The chaos of my life consumed me and left me empty."
"As for our days, they contain 70 years or if due to strength, 80, but soon it is gone and will fly away. So teach us to number our days that we might present to you a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90: 10, 12
Tears sprang to my eyes this week out of the blue. I had been working every day with Nathan on our book, we had out of town company for two days, I taught at a Bible study in town, planned fun meals and times for the kids with Nathan home for a couple of weeks and gave Joy a really fun birthday--and birthday party with family and personal friends.
I was just exhausted. Early morning found me up and working at 5:00 a.m. and by 7, I found one of the kids was disappointed about some minor issue in our plans. Tears sprang to my eyes, (I do not cry very often), and I knew my self was speaking to myself! Slow down, stop the flow of life, simplify, and take a break.
Do you feel the chaos mounting in your life? What speaks chaos to you? It is different for each person. Piles in your home? Stress in relationships, always being behind, and the feeling that you are failing at life can create irritability, and a disagreeable spirit. Then follows guilt.
From the vantage point of having finished six decades, I am more aware than ever that life flies by. One day flows into another and then months flow into years. But somehow, so many I know keep going, one empty day after the other.
Owning our chaos means naming our drainers.
Taming our stress means to figure out the voices that are making us feel we aren't doing enough, enticing us to overcommit. God has not asked us to do more than we can do, so if we feel exhausted all the time, we are not managing our time well.
More than ever, I have seen, this month, that my closest friends, Clay, my kids, want my time, my focussed attention. So if I have not built margin into my schedule, I will feel pushed when they want my attention.
I am taking a few days off this week to play with one of my children and to have time away. Taming my own chaos. I hope you enjoy our webcast tonight and share with us what you are learning in our series about Owning Your Life, especially this week: Overcoming Chaos. Tell us what you think. Share with us what you are learning.
Remember, studies show that 88% of mothers feel severely stressed and overcome with anxiety due to poor time management and difficulty prioritizing.
Below are some areas of life to consider. Do these add to the chaos in your life?
Life is short and ideals are constantly interrupted, so we need to be sure to focus on the most important ideals. Most of all, plan for this:
The people God has placed in our lives should be the biggest priority.
Do the priority people in your life (your children, your husband, your parents, your friends) feel that you are often distracted by all the things you do? Do they comment on how much they appreciate your ability to give full attention to them or do they complain that you are not listening?
"But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said,
'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?
Then tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered and said to her,
'Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." -Luke 10:40-42
Worst of all, is the neglect of our Father. He is so ready to give peace, to guide us in wisdom through His gentle voice, to take the burden of performance off our backs, to relieve our guilt; but if we do not still our souls, we are likely to get into a snit as Martha did. We create our own snits by refusing to take time to be comforted in the presence of our living, loving Father.
We must make time to sit at His feet so we don't get into a huff. If you are too busy, the consequences will be grumpiness, frustration, and missed opportunities. (What is causing you the most stress and depleting your life? What can you do about it?)
Being women of wisdom means setting realistic goals so that we don't become drained. When we are constantly operating on a tank of gas that is almost empty, we have little in our hearts from which others may draw. It is so easy to listen to the voices of others and feel the guilt of performing up to other's expectations, instead of committing to the limitations and strengths of our own puzzle of life.
Make a list today of what you can reasonably accomplish and cut out those drainers that are unnecessary. What do you need to cut out? What do you need to add to your life to give your children more of a sense of love, peace and affection? Getting our priorities in order enables us to be better mothers, wives, friends, and women of God.
Make a plan to incorporate in your life the ideals that lead to real relationships and eternal values.
Control your life by eliminating time wasters.
Identify the areas of life you have neglected that will bring you more health--activities that bring pleasure, give peace, cultivate new interests, inspire your mind and heart.
Today, each of has a choice--will we take time to celebrate the joys that God has provided? The beauty that He wants us to explore? The sweetness of intimacy that comes from investing heart time with those we love?
The chores and responsibilities will always be there, but the time to invest in the ones we love, will soon be gone.
Cut your chaos, cultivate a peaceful life, create close relationships. Live a life that values all the matters.
Hope you enjoy the podcast!
Hope you can come see us for our Life Giving Home Encounters. Joel will be giving a mini-concert, sharing some of our family traditions. I will be speaking about Hospitality, Ordering Your Home, Mentoring Your Children, and Engaging your children in Ministry and Faith. I will have a question and answer time and be there to meet you when the evening is over. You can register online below. Hope you can make it! I would love for you to tell your friends.
Be sure to get in on the early bird registration. Tickets will cost more at the door. Only a limited amount of tickets available at the lower price. Register HERE.