"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
A couple of years ago, I was in a meeting in an office in downtown New York City. A young mom rushed into the room, dropping her computer case, spreading his papers all over the floor, and falling into a chair near me. Tears filled her eyes, "I left my children at the babysitters in tears, my house is a wreck, I am behind at my job, and my life is a mess. Today, the chaos of my life consumed me and left me empty. Help me, please!"
Do you feel the chaos mounting in your life? Piles in your home? Stress, 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 6 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.
Much of my life was lived at such a pace, however, that I felt like I was always in a hurry to get some place or to complete a task. These overcommitted times turned me into more a drill sergeant than a loving companion. How easy it is to focus on all of our "to do's" and to miss the magical moments of childhood and celebrating it together rather than gutting it out in frustration.
Busyness falsely promises productivity.
Studies show that 88% of mothers feel severely stressed and overcome with anxiety due to poor time management and difficulty prioritizing.
In a hectic world that is over-stimulated, constantly on our phones, computers, social media, rushing here and there, never stopping, we are we losing sight of what is truly important in the midst of the balancing act just to stay alive in the game. My mind ponders the fact that we were simply not designed to multitask to this extent. We often try so hard to juggle one million ideals, and once we drop one, then another, we feel defeated.
As mothers and wives, it is absolutely crucial that we learn to breathe, relax, and focus and center ourselves on what should be prioritized. Life is short and ideals are constantly interrupted, so we need to be sure to focus on the most important ones.
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?
Are you so stressed about making your home squeaky clean that you don't make time for game night or a stroll at sunset? Is your mind so preoccupied with getting back to the kitchen to clean all the dishes that you forget to actually enjoy dinner with your family? Did you fill your day with so many errands and "have-to's" that you run out of energy to extend a kind word, an affectionate kiss, a sweet note on a pillow and warm greeting to your husband? Do your young children already feel the pressure to succeed, please you, worried that their childish behavior is a disappointment?
"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.
Take time to experience His pleasure. Remember: "Taste and see that the Lord is good."
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.
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