20170911

Too Much Busy & Stressed Out? How To Get Your Life Back

When we feel too busy and ruled by our schedule, we’re often using our time as a cover-up for what’s in our hearts. It’s easier to stay busy sometimes than dealing with our underlying fears, failures, emotions, and worries. No calendar overhaul will change our hearts. But we often find that as we make concrete changes our hearts, too, change.

So how do we get our lives back from a hectic schedule? How do we break free from busyness to live lives that are peaceful, reflective of our goals and our faith, and work towards the health of our families, our neighbors, and the world around us?

Here are a few ways to start:

1. Stop and Pray 
We have to first stop and take account of our schedules. Get your calendar out and sit down with those in your family who make the decisions and discuss what you’re already committed to. What brings you life and joy? What furthers your purpose as an individual or a family? What are you doing just because you think it’s expected of you?

Pray over your calendar. Our time is a precious commodity we can use to love God and love others. When we’re so busy, we don’t have the space in our lives to love others well. Pray for guidance that God would allow your commitments to reflect what He loves and what He’s doing in the world.

2. Set Goals 
Assess your goals and create a personal or family mission statement. What are your goals as a family? If you want your children (and you!) to increase in kindness, faithfulness, and love of God and neighbor, does what you have on your calendar reflect those goals? Spend some time articulating your long-term goals for growth. Then take these goals and look at your commitments.

Evaluate how you spend your time. For instance, if hospitality and welcome are important to how you live out your faith, then make sure that’s reflected on your calendar.

3. Say “No” to Make Room for “Yeses” 
We can’t be superheroes and we can’t do everything. If you’re a working mother, it might be hard to join the PTA and volunteer in your child’s class. That’s okay. We don’t need to do everything. But it may be possible to invite another family for a barbecue on the weekend and help out by teaching Sunday School at church.

Remember your goals. We have to constantly re-evaluate our schedules knowing both what God is calling us to and how he’s equipped us as individuals to work as a body of believers. That means that we have to say a lot of “no’s” before we’re able to say “yes.” Saying “no” will free up space in our hectic schedules for us to say the right “yes” that will not only make us feel less harried, but more than that, will help.

4. Schedule 
As you continue to work with your calendar, and as you pray, set goals, say no so you can say appropriate yeses, and evaluate, schedule the things that further your mission statement. Make room in your calendar for the long-term projects and dreams that get crushed out by daily minutiae. Pray for your eyes to be opened to needs around you and allow the Holy Spirit to move in you to work for God’s kingdom right where you are.

May our calendars and schedules reflect not only our own goals, but more importantly, may they be instruments to love God and love our neighbor.

[written by Ashley Hales