“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
I begrudgingly scheduled the doctor’s appointment. As much as I didn’t want to go, the misery of consistent headaches, physical fatigue, and emotional heaviness I felt were beginning to take a toll. Stress had seemingly moved in and pushed laughter from my life. Emotionally I felt like I couldn’t breathe – not suicidal, but hopelessly apathetic. It appeared I had hit bottom. I was stressed out, burned out and in need of help. Once in the doctor’s office it turned out my blood pressure was 160/100. It was no longer a matter of praying that God would show me how to continue to keep the proverbial plates of my life spinning and all the balls I was juggling in the air. My body, spirit, and soul were telling me it was time for change.
Not only has busyness affected me, but I’ve sat across from many women who have felt the same. It’s important to remember we all have different limits but because busyness has dangerously become the cultural norm, it’s essential we look at our lives and do some evaluating. Busyness destroys relationships whether it’s with God and/or family. It tends to keep us inward focused and me-centered versus outward focused and other centered. God doesn’t call us to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2) and He hasn’t called us to frazzled, busy, stressed out, burned-out, no time for Him, His Word or lack-of-relationship kind of lives. He has called us to abundant life. He has called us to Himself. We were made for relationship- with Him and with others.
God is teaching me ways to implement change (which I will write about in subsequent blogs), but first I have a challenge for you. Sit down, draw a pie graph and label each individual piece of the pie with what makes up your schedule (i.e. work, school, family activities, household responsibilities, volunteering, church, caring for parents, etc). What you will probably find is that the pie of your life isn’t cut into the ordinary six to seven pieces like the pies we eat. It is divided into far more. In fact, we have so many pieces we’re trying to fit into our lives that the size of the pieces are pretty thin. We’re no longer looking at a pie but rather a cheesecake. We’re doing so much, but because we’re spread so thin we’re only giving a little of ourselves to each endeavor or those people involved.
As you complete the “pie” of your life, take a look at it. Do the things written there reflect who and what is most important to you? Are there things that are life giving to you, that give you energy? Are there things that are life draining, have become a burden or bring emotional unhealthiness? Do you have any slices of your pie that aren’t labeled? In other words, is there space in your life where nothing is planned?