Almost everyone I know is busy and stressed. We work harder than ever before and it’s taking its toll. God did not intend for us to live in a state of constant commotion. How do you get your life and schedule back?
One bite at a time.
You ever eat at one of those swanky fondue restaurants? Mr. 4-Ever and I got to try one a while back. What a treat!
First up, we dug into a bowl of melted cheese and a tray of bread cubes and small pieces of fruit with long, pronged forks. We gobbled it all up. It was so satisfying that I could have been done right then.
Next, a salad bursting with flavor appeared. You have to eat the greens to offset the barrel of cheese you just ate, right?
A pot of hot seasoned oil and a tray of raw meat and seafood followed the salad. One tiny bite at a time, we got fuller and fuller, but we didn’t stop because the bites were so small, we could easily fit one more tidbit in. And it was all so delicious! Plus, we might never have this opportunity again!
When I was sure I could not eat one more thing . . . dessert appeared! One pot filled with melted chocolate, accompanied by a tray of fruit, flavored marshmallows, and brownie cubes. It looked wonderful, but I was busting my britches full. Everything in me wanted to say no-no!
Just a taste, I thought. One bite. Oh, so good!
Mr. 4-Ever and I dipped every crumb and fruit cube into the chocolate and shoved it into our groaning bellies till we were miserable.
The price you pay.
Then the bill came. Ouch! I could have bought groceries for two weeks on the total of this meal!
I’ve learned the hard way to push the plate away before I feel full.
Misery upon misery! One good bite at a time.
That’s what happens to our calendars too. We add one good thing after another until we are so overloaded, we’re miserable.
FOMO (fear of missing out)
Someone asks you to take on one more responsibility and you tuck it into your schedule, rationalizing that it won’t take much time. You’re invited to serve on a committee or board, and even though you know you should decline, the offer is so flattering, you say yes. Or, you get invited to a party, and what happens? You say yes because you might never have this chance again.
High price of too many yeses.
Then the bill comes. There is a price to pay for all that good activity: sleep deprivation; cruddy attitude; poor health; stress; missed opportunities to do what you really want to do because you’re already booked; no time to sit at Jesus’ feet.
Choose the better way.
I’ve learned the hard way to say yes to less. No excuses: No regrets: No drama. I just give an honest “No,” or “No, thank you,” or even “Thank you for thinking of me, but I just can’t take that on.” My friend, Becky, says, “Robyn, NO is a complete sentence.” Whatever language you use to decline, be clear and don’t waffle.
To take back your schedule and create some margin for emergencies and personal time, you may have to turn down a coffee date; serve on one less ministry; take one less trip to shop for nonessentials; spend one less hour on social media; sign a child up for one less extracurricular activity; volunteer for one less duty at work or school or church; say no to one more episode on Netflix.
Next time you’re invited or asked or offered an opportunity, ask for twenty-four hours to pray and ponder the pros and cons. After that take on only what you know is God’s best for you.
What is on your calendar that doesn’t belong there? How do you keep from being overloaded? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear more great ideas to stay balanced.
Scripture Refresher: “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for me. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT)
Prayer: Father, please give me the discernment to know what to take on and what to leave behind. Give me the courage to carry out those decisions. I want to do it all, and I know I can’t. Help me to be satisfied with what really fits for my life and relationships. Amen