At the end of chapter 2 in "Own Your Life" Sally Clarkson asks, "What activities or relationships create the most havoc? Steal your energy? Produce life-noise that keeps you from quiet and peace?"
I have been thinking about these questions and here are my thoughts.
The havoc takes over when I do not create enough margin in my day and basically I over-commit. I stretch myself to thin and wear myself out by 2:00 in the afternoon. When I leave margin in my day, I am not stressed or frazzled. I am able to stay organized, my husband and kiddos are not receiving 'stressed out Kim' and basically I just feel better. When I am stressed and frazzled, my pain level rises, I do not sleep well at night which in return makes me a grizzly bear and once again, my pain level rises. Over the years I have learned that my nerve pain is very connected to the amount of sleep I get and the stress I carry.
To help boil it all down, I decided to figure out where my time was going and what was causing me to be away from home. This is a typical week's activities that require me to be outside my home:
Women's Bible Study
Mama's Bible Study (every other week)
Zoo with the kiddos
Mama's Lifegroup Playgroup
Over the last couple months I have intentionally tried to create more margin so that I am at home more. I have found that when I am away from home frequently, I get behind on cleaning, laundry and my organization goes right out the window. It becomes a crazy cycle!
The book, "Own Your Life" as well as "The Best Yes" have challenged me to be more aware of my time. my goals and my purpose. When I am over-committed, trying to please everyone and be involved in to much, I am setting myself up for failure and burnout. I hate telling people no. I hate the feeling that I might be missing out on something fun! I have learned over time that if I am questioning whether or not to do something, I need to pray about it, ask my husband what he thinks and spend some time to think about it rather than just saying YES! The more connected we are with God, the more His Spirit will give us those 'red flags' and cause us to slow down and really evaluate the options before us.
I want to be intentional with my time. I want my husband and kiddos to be getting the best me I have to offer, not the tired grumpy version. People pleasing is an addiction for some, just like drugs or alcohol are for others. There are serious consequences to being a people pleaser. Being a people pleaser guarantees we will miss out on the better things in life when we are unable to say NO and really pursue the better options God has for us.
I highly highly recommend you read "The Best Yes" and "Own Your Life." Turn the tv off for 30 minutes each night to find time to read if you feel like you have no margin in your life right now for reading. We make time for what is really important to us.
It is so easy to become overwhelmed with life and just continue to go with the flow rather than stopping the crazy cycle. I am learning to stop saying 'yes' without prayerfully considering how God wants me to spend my time. I would much rather say yes when I know it is what God wants me to say yes to!