This past weekend our country celebrated love and romance in abundance. For a long time, I have had an “all or nothing” mentality and when worse comes to worse I tend to take the nothing route because overwhelmed is NOT a good place for me hang out. How does this relate to Valentine’s Day (or anything else for that matter) you ask? Great question! Because when we adopt the societal mindset that you have to give 100% to something or not do it at all, it usually starts with our work life and slowly filters into every other area. Sadly, this can begin to include relationships. On the surface it seems like a great ideal, to give yourself and greatest efforts. Now be honest. Mathematics was never my strongest subject (but my relationship with numbers is getting better, my Mom would be proud). But if I give 100% effort to my work-life balance, then doesn’t that leave me with 0% to give to my spiritual growth and relationship, my personal growth and development or even my availability to give to those in need? Something has gotta give!
We (and I say we because I hope I’m not alone here) spend so much time focused on achieving an almost mystical concept of “balance” while trying to “do it all.” I like to eat (more like love to eat so I hope this analogy helps make the point and not just rumbly tummies). If you go to a buffet and attempt to have a seven course meal, by the time you get to the end, if you make it that far, you can’t enjoy it or probably even remember the savory goodness of the beginning of the meal. You’ve been so focused on cramming it all in your mouth and into your stomach. Stimulation overload! Not only is it hard to do but it’s even more difficult for our physical bodies to process. Yet day in and day out we do the very same things to our minds, hearts and families. We cram in as many meetings, phone calls, extracurricular activities, playdates, chores and whatever else pops up on our to-do lists in an effort to feel accomplished, prepared for the days ahead or to keep up. But what does that really do? The next day, we have to start all over to feel as if we are consistent in those duties. It sounds exhausting just reading it (and typing it) but I know it so well because I have spent a large part of my life running that track.
I have learned that saying “yes” can be bondage and say “no” can be liberating and vise versa. But above all I have seen how My Father (He is “our” Father, but I tend to be possessive in my relationships) has continued to be faithful when I allow the light of Christ to shine through me instead of being glorified for what people witness me accomplish. Keeping up with 2016’s idea of normal is something I cannot manage and truth be told…neither can you! We weren’t meant to conquer the world or do it all everyday. But when we more equally divide out that 100% we have to give, in ways that ignore the most important areas of our lives, we will see the change take place. Just like pants, regardless of the scale, when the waist line isn’t digging into your belly after a meal or causing those terrible indentions after being worn for more than an hour (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about) you feel amazing! What area of your life could benefit from a change of focus? We all deep down desire that extra space, the give, that time to just exist without having to produce. I’m living proof that while it bucks the system of “normal,” it is sweeter than dessert in the most comfortable pants you own (without having to loosen the belt or undo that top button)!