It’s past noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I am pretending it’s Saturday morning, trying to rest up for a busy week of work and packing! Thanks for your prayers for the wonderful women’s retreat on Amelia Island in FL this past weekend. It went great!
I really needed and felt your prayers. I was so tired and my head was pounding by the time I got to the event Friday night, but my sweet event coordinator (Suzanne) kept looking out for me and praying for me. When I opened my mouth and my Bible, He showed up! My headache faded and His presence filled me.
The women were so sweet, so encouraging and so hungry for God’s Word. Women of every age shared stories of how much God had spoken personally to them. I love it when He does that in a detailed way so we know it’s HIM speaking to us.
To all my new friends in FL, I am praying for you today – that you will drink deeply of His love, seek His purpose and plans in all you do and move closer to Jesus throughout your day listening to Him speaking words of Truth to your heart!!! The winner of our drawing was Karen Monk!
Now back to my pajamas…this weekend’s conference was about balance. I shared how several years ago I ended up in a really hard place, totally overwhelmed and discouraged. My weeks were filled with random acts of chaos. I randomly decided what I was going to do each day based on 1) how I felt (should I do something fun? something productive? something creative? something easy?) and 2) what everyone else needed me to do.
I didn’t have a plan and my schedule was a mess. Every week was different – no rhythm, no reason, no purpose – just surviving each day and hoping the next would be better.
Finally I asked a friend for advice. She and I told me to write down all that I did each day of each week. By the time I completed that assignment, I could barely read the piece of paper. She then asked me to list my highest priorities, hoping to add order to my days. She mentioned the dreaded word – schedule. I wrinkled my nose. It sounded boring. I liked being spontaneous! But as Mary pointed out, it was killing me!
She challenged me to make a list of what I wanted to invest my time and my life in, and then schedule those things and people into my days each week. Time with God, dates with my husband, fun with my friends, face-to-face activities with my kids, reading, work, ministry, walking, managing our home, and refueling my soul with rest and down time. I knew that if I didn’t take her advice, I’d end up in a pit of depression. This over-achieving, people-pleasing lifestyle had led me there before and I didn’t want to go back.
God created us to live lives of balance. I don’t always get it right but I try to learn from my mistakes. Like when I used to come home Saturday night or Sunday after speaking and jump right into the week. I wouldn’t give myself a week-end; the week before just became part of the week after. Then I’d wonder why I felt discouraged and depleted, unsure about how I could do the next thing.
Sometimes we need to step back and adjust how we’re living and move things around to find balance. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do nothing. To just rest. And we need to remember that life was meant to be lived, not survived. I have learned the hard way that I can’t be it all and do it all, all at the same time – not even Jesus tried that – so why do I?
Well friend, for just a little while longer, I am going to do a little bit of nothin’. I hope you’ll give yourself permission to do the same sometime soon.