Point to Ponder:
What can you reduce or shift that will allow you to be more present for your family, your well-being and the life you desire to live?
Lately, I feel like all I ever say is “no”, at least to my family. I’ve heard myself say “no” to Durant’s continual request to go fishing, as well as “no” to Malaine’s ongoing ask to ride her bike around the block. I’ve said “no” to taking a much-needed yoga class and “no” to something as simple as just spending time together as a family. I understand that busy times ebb and flow and “yes” can’t always be the answer; however, there has to be a balance. Then, I looked at my calendar and saw November is Wednesday—-WEDNESDAY! I am always dumbstruck by how quickly the calendar year goes, but this time it upset me. The days are blowing past and there are only two more months in 2017.
To reinforce my feelings, I randomly opened my daily encouragement book called Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford and sure enough, it was clear she wrote it for me. I love it when that happens! Here are the words she wrote for us:
I asked my distracted, overcommitted, stressed-out self three questions to help me start investing in what mattered most:
Does the amount of time and attention I currently offer my family and my health convey that they are top priorities in my life? The answer was no.
Does my current schedule allow time to be fully present with my loved ones or nurture my well-being? The answer was no.
Do I have any extracurricular commitments or time-wasting distractions I could eliminate in order to invest a few minutes in my relationships and self-care? The answer was yes. Yes. Oh yes, there was hope. That is when I realized:
I cannot control all of the circumstances of my life, but I can control some. I cannot let go of all my extracurricular commitments, but I can let go of some. I cannot say not to every outside request asked of me, but I can say no to some.
I cannot rid myself of all modern-day distractions, but I can designate small amounts of time each day to turn off the world and be available to the people who matter most (including me).
And that’s exactly what I did.
Every time I turned off the world and turned toward my family and my well-being, my heart felt right where I was supposed to be.
The more I chose my heart, the more I chose what mattered to me, not what mattered to the rest of the world.
With the help of these three questions, I’ve gotten closer to the life I want to live—a life of meaning, knowing my people, caring for myself, and engaging in things that could become a legacy when I’m gone.
Immediately upon reading Only Love Today I opened my devotional and the first two sentences were: “Linger in my presence a while. Rein in your impulses to plunge into the day’s activities.” Ha! I think the message is clear. One could say it was merely coincidence, but I can’t believe that. Distractions, being busy, as well as what to say “yes” or “no” to are part of the human dilemma. All I could do is laugh and say “Thank you, God. I needed that.”
As a result of the encouragement and devotional, over the weekend I said “no” to two incredibly fun Halloween parties and “yes” to just keeping it simple and hanging with my family. I said “yes” to letting the kids put Disney princess tattoos all over my arms; “yes” to getting new fishing polls, a new tackle box, going fishing, and riding bikes; and “yes” to eating popcorn and snuggling while watching pre-recorded episodes of our favorite family T.V. shows: Cake Boss and Impractical Jokers. It was a sweet and much-needed weekend together.
Knowing what and when to say "yes" or "no" is a tricky balancing act, especially if you are like me and don't like missing out on anything. However, to the point of both the daily encouragement and devotional, I think the balancing act can be achieved by pausing and tuning into your heart and gut--your spirit. For me, my pause led to my spirit telling me I needed to dedicate the weekend to pouring into my family. As for next week (post Halloween), I'll repeat the action and my guess is that my spirit will lead me to a sugar detox and a break from children flying high on sugar-ha! And hence, the ongoing ebb and flow of life......
From Only Love Today: Create a morning habit that will lead to more time, more patience, and more living in your day. Do not begin your day by reaching for your phone. When we pick up the phone to start our day, we get further from the life we want to live. Information, messages and requests take us away from what matters and shifts to what matters to everyone else. Instead, when we rise, reach for faith, human connection and self-care. Mornings can be about not missing our digital connection or they can be about not missing our soul connections. Choose the latter. Refuse to miss your life.